Are you a perfectionist? Are you slaving away trying to get things just perfect before you move ahead? Well if you’re planning to create a plan so you can plan or are tweaking till all hours, your perfectionism could be costing you time and money.

I’m all about a quality product and service. My standards are high and mastery is important to me. I’m sure many of you high-achieving folks out there feel the same. One of my favorite sayings of all time came from a movie in the 80’s whose title eludes me. That saying is “Performance is a Reflection of Attitude”. I had this quote emblazoned on my high school locker, passed it out to all the sports teams I managed, and I probably still have a laminated copy of it in my closet. I still believe that is true to this day. What I’ve since learned though is that it is far more important to be in action and bring things to completion than it is to try and get them perfect.

I first heard the term “completion not perfection” as a strategy from the multiple streams of income guru herself, Andrea J. Lee.

She talks about completion not perfection in this blog post and they way she describes this stuck place of perfection may ring home for a lot of you (I know it did for me):

Along the path to creating valuable information for our clients – you know, special reports, workshops, books, or even blog posts – we can often run into a stuck place called ‘trying to get it perfect.’ It can go by different names such as, ‘i have to come up with something brilliant and original,’ ‘it’s been done before’ or even the all-pervasive ‘who am i to.’

Whatever name it goes by, the stuck place, when you’re in it, is pretty icky indeed.

Sometimes you just need to pull the trigger and call something good enough (for now), whether that be writing your resume, a blog post, authoring a book, writing your business plan, or simply ratcheting things off your to-do list. It literally can mean the difference between making or losing money.

The first step to make this shift is you need to let go of perfection. Jule Mele shares her experience struggling with perfection:

Growing up felt like a struggle. I never really fit in; I wasn’t comfortable at home. I jumped from one achievement to another, expecting to find lasting joy but never really getting there. I hated my life — it was so hard, and I was tired. It was always, Do a little more. Learn a little more. You don’t know enough. I felt unworthy, unappreciated, taken advantage of and angry.

She goes on to drive home the importance of awareness so you can know when you are in that perfectionist grip.

One field where perfectionism can run rampant and kill a business is when it comes to writing. Writers are inevitably perfectionists yet at the same time they need to actually write and bring completion to projects or their ideas are only pipe dreams and the bills don’t get paid (if they are writing for a living). The Adventurous Writer has great advice and 4 Tips for Overcoming Perfectionism for Writers. These tips are excellent not only for writers but for any creative professional (and frankly all professionals need to be creative to succeed).

If you’re looking to start nipping that perfectionist bug, consider some of these 8 Steps for Overcoming Perfectionism from EmbraceLiving. There are techniques to overcome perfectionism of course but at the core it is an inside out process.

No technique in the world can help you become unstuck unless you are willing to do the necessary soul searching and inner-work to give yourself permission to put forth your best effort and then let it go.  To bring things to completion and be OK with however it turns out.  To cultivate an inner-knowing that you are enough as who you are. And, that with all the glorious imperfections each of us have is where the perfection lies.


Paula Gregorowicz, owner of The Paula G. Company, offers life coaching for lesbians to help you gain the clarity, confidence, and courage you need to have success on your own terms. Get the free eCourse “5 Steps to Turn Fear Into Freedom” at her website