“Do you want it to be perfect or do you want it to be done?”
This was the question I asked myself as I scrolled through the many drafts in my blogging queue. Draft upon draft of nearly-finished work that I just wasn’t ready to post. When I returned to these mummified relics of my past musings I realized that I had buried the inspiration with them.
Blog posts that I once wrote with passion, my fingers zipping across the keyboard in a flurry of imagination, was more parched than a front lawn in the Mojave Desert. My inspiration had dried up and why wouldn’t it? I had dismissed it as “not good enough” and left it to wilt for months without a drop of attention.
You don’t have to be a writer to resonate with the perfection trap. Think about all the projects you started with passion and how you felt this passion be slowly chipped away at with an ice pick of criticism and self-defeating reviews. Maybe you even imagined the reviews of others and let these phantom critics deter you from the finish line.
I’ll let you in on a secret not many people talk about…
You don’t need to be an “expert” to create and you don’t need to be perfect before you press submit.
It turns out, it’s better to publish the article you deem “not good enough” than let it decompose in your drafts folder.
Procrastination is not a personality trait that results from laziness, lack of motivation or incompetency. Procrastination is a natural product of fear.
Your fear love excuses. Your fear loves living in the draft folder. Why? Because when you tell yourself “I’ll start this project when I have more time to really get it right”, “I’ll quit my job when I’m really sure things will work out after” or “I’ll publish that article once I’ve edited it a few more times”, you actually shut yourself down before anyone else can. You reject yourself.
Waiting to be ready is actually code for waiting until you feel like you and your work is good enough. The world’s most lucrative leaders, innovative geniuses and famous speakers also battled “imposter syndrome” the fear that they would be “found out” as just an average person with ordinary skills that landed themselves in an extraordinary situation.
I’m going to challenge you to start a project that you’ve been pushing to the bottom of your to-do list day after day. I’m also going to tell you with full transparency that you CAN accomplish the goals you want so desperately to reach.
Don’t be the kid that stands on the edge of the jumping rock, counts to three and still doesn’t leap into the quarry below. You’re done counting and sometimes you never FEEL ready to jump. You just jump.
I will also challenge myself to POST this blog today. Regardless of the little voice that pokes me consistently to “just edit it one more time” or “just work on it again tomorrow”. Done is better than perfect, because perfect will never come.
Be brave enough to create, share, learn and create some more. The creation process thrives in a space of freedom. Drop all that rigidity and get back to making things for the love of it, not the approval you’re chasing to the end of the tunnel.
Let your portfolio be a messy display of growth as you keep learning, one imperfect project at a time.