Friday, April 16, 2010

Pursuit of Excellence - Strive For Excellence Not Perfection

Many people have bought into the myth that people who chase after perfection are following a higher calling. Why do I refer to this as a myth? Because people who chase after perfection usually are not following after very much at all. Those who claim to be perfectionist, by default, tend to be procrastinators.

Perfectionism causes people to:
  1. Be afraid to take risks.
  2. Fear rejection from others.
  3. Criticize the work of others.
  4. Over think the projects that they are currently working on.
  5. Constantly compare themselves to other people.
  6. Become paralyzed and even debilitated in their way of thinking.
  7. Have a lot of unfinished projects.
  8. Have a lot of frustration in their lives.
I am well familiar with the many challenges a perfectionist faces because I am a recovering perfectionist. For years I would start a project just to improve upon it and improve upon it before I would even release it to the world. By the time it was completed, I would be tired of the whole thing and would begin on a new project. Sometimes I would not even finish the project I was working on at all because I could not possibly see how it would be good enough compared to all of the other projects that were out there that were similar to mine.

The other crippling effect my perfectionist ways had on me was that I would not even start something unless I could see how I could complete it from beginning to end. This is where the procrastination came in desquised as me just wanting to be responsible.

People who are perfectionist tend to get left behind by everyone else (except for the people who are just downright lazy). It is really a shame because perfectionist tend to create superior and do a more thorough job than everyone else. This is why some of the most talented artists in the world are starving when their masterpieces are sitting in their mother's basements collecting dust and taking up space. This is why some of the most well rounded musicians are not living their dreams; they are too afraid to put themselves out there for fear that their art may be criticized by others.

Here's a solution that has helped me to stop over thinking every thing and actually start putting myself in front of the world:

Strive for EXCELLENCE and perfect it along the way. Everything evolves into something better over time but in order for that evolution to happen, you have to first start taking action and let yourself be put in vulnerable situations.

So what if someone else does it better than you. Here's a secret that successful people know very well; there will always be someone better than you regardless of who you are. Instead of fearing them, learn from them and then join them in their success.

The next time you feel held back because your project, product, talent, service or haircut is just not perfect, start saying to yourself, "Today I did the best that I could. For right now good enough is good enough." Congratulate yourself for taking action and  than look for ways to improve.

It is important that you understand that it's better to have a finished product that is imperfect than to have a perfect idea that is still stuck in your head.

Make it an everyday challenge to yourself to
  • Complete a small project everyday.
  • Sstart a large project that will fulfill a dream.
  • Put it out there once it is completed. 
By "out there" I mean in front of others who will benefit from your gift. It could be through multiple resumes, Youtube, a craft show, a blog or ezine, a press release or any other venue that could possibly make a huge impact on other people and  to your personal success.
Challenge yourself to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone. Encourage others to do the same thing and resist the urge to become jealous or envious when they become successful.

I hope that in reading this you have freed yourself from the bondage that perfectionism holds over people. Relax because most people make life more complicated than what it actually is. Just accept the fact that mistakes will be made and then learn from them. Stop being so hard on yourself and stop being so hard on others.

I'm very proud of you for moving forward and improving yourself. You are going to make an impact on other people's lives so start doing it sooner than later.

Give thanks to God for all of the talents that He has gifted you with and start living the beautiful life that He has given you.

For more inspiration and to join my mailing list, go to

I look forward to getting to know you.

Alisani Brazil, The Happy Kindalista.

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I sincerely appreciate your comments and feedback. Thank you so much. You can enter your comments anonymously if you would like. Have a wonderful day! ~Alisani Brazil