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This intersect was scheduled to be sent at 11:30 am EST, and I’m writing it at 9 am EST, the same day. Was it procrastination? Maybe.
Or it could be to test my limits. Don’t grammar-police me on this one. Spreading the message is what is important to me.
Not gonna lie. Perfectionism almost ruined my career. Hence, why the title of this intersect is “Meet The Thief of Joy: Perfectionism.”
I was never satisfied with my work. Always looking for ways to improve is great, but not when “improving” is returning to square 1 more than improving.
Many think perfectionism is a “quality trait,” proudly acknowledging it in job interviews.
Instead of working 2 hours, you’ll work four or even 6 hours to finish the same amount of work.
My first website took me six months to complete. To me, perfectionism is a disease that robs you from the joy of your passion.
Reflect for a few minutes. When was the last time you were delighted with the results of your stunning work?
Yeah, you actually have to create stunning work. But, here is the thing, you create incredible work by embracing the suck of the beginning. Don’t believe me? Let’s put things in perspective.
I’m going a little Sci-Fi here, but it is worth your imagination. You have Imed from 2 years ago, let’s call him Imed-past and Imed of today travelling in the past (2 years behind,) let’s call him Imed-future.
Both Imed-past and Imed-future are starting a newsletter along with a Twitter profile.
Imed-past is searching and studying how to write a newsletter, while Imed-future is already writing a newsletter about why he’s starting one and his upcoming goals with his new brand.
Four weeks have passed since Imed-past is about to start his first issue, but he still procrastinates because he feels it could be “better.”
What about Imed-future? Well, he already has published four issues, his writing improved, and he met exceptional people because of his content.
Now, can you imagine how that compounds over time? Being a perfectionist will only put you on a boat with racks, while those who aren’t perfectionists are on a speed boat, leaving you far away.
Do you wanna stay behind?
Nah, I don’t think so.
Perfectionism is a dangerous trap.
- One more book.
- One more course.
- One more tutorial.
Nothing is ever enough, and nothing will never be enough. Stuck for 3 months, 6 months, a year, a whole year you’re in the same place with more “know-edge” not knowledge.
That's useless knowledge that makes you think you need more useless information. You have enough. Apply what you already know. Take action!
I’m the living experience of what I just expressed.
You’ll never reach your full potential if you’re always trying to make everything perfect, which is impossible.
Go back to my lovely Sci-Fi example. Can Imed-past catch up with Imed-future, who is constantly creating?
I don’t even need to answer this question. Huh?
If I could really travel back in time, I would slap myself out of perfectionism. I’m writing this with passion. You HAVE to read it with passion.
You have no idea how perfectionism can ruin your life and career. Actually, you do have an idea. You just aren’t fully aware.
Sometimes, you are aware, but you can’t help yourself.
And it’s normal because it’s “kinda” of a disease.
It’s an illusion you created for yourself.
How? Because perfection doesn’t exist.
So, you who are constantly chasing this illusion is a battle you could never win.
Gladly, there are many ways to break through this illusion.
The point of me writing this intersect supposedly one night before (writing it the same morning) was to prove that perfectionism is a thing of the past for me.
I’m deeply passionate about this topic because I know how fucked up it is for people suffering from it. Especially those thinking it’s a positive trait to have.
Me helping you get the fuck out of this illusion is the best gift you can ever give me.
The reason is simple. You’ll create more.
When you create more, you’ll help more people.
I won’t give you generic BS or cliche advice such as “just create.”
Overcoming perfectionism is a 99% mindset trick.
To understand how to defeat the enemy, we must know how he took over our territory in the first place.
It’s pretty simple when you reverse-engineer.
1) You brainwash yourself into believing that “perfection” is real
2) You compare yourself to others (especially those with 3x of your current experience)
3) You hear from other “perfectionists” saying they are where they are because of this “positive trait,” which is a big fat ass lie.
Be honest with yourself for a minute, you’re constantly comparing your work to others, and you feel like you’ll never reach their level, which is quite accurate when you’re doing the same fucking thing every day of the week.
Let’s switch things, shall we?
I will give you THE one thing that actually moved the needle for me.
Change your perception of “perfection” to “high standards.”
Define your high standards that equal your "current perfection" and evolve with time.
What are my current “high standards”?
Well, it depends on what field we’re talking about.
My high standards for writing are different from those of my Design Studio.
- Is the writing reflective of my voice?
- Does it help the reader?
- Does it have at least one visual?
- Is it easy to read?
- Does it reflect the client’s vision?
- Is it minimalist and unique?
As you can see, it’s not that complicated.
When I designed my current website, I gave myself 10 hours to finish everything.
I found a way to do it. No fancy menu or fancy animation was needed.
Here’s what I noticed. We develop perfectionism when we’re emotionally attached to the work we’re producing.
Comparison fuels perfectionism.
Zoom out for a bit, and ask yourself how you could develop perfectionism if we wipe your memory out and you have to start from scratch WITHOUT seeing someone else's work.
How would you determine if that’s good enough for you if you don’t have something to compare to?
Well, that’s the whole point. You can’t, and therefore you won’t try to make it perfect.
Your way out of perfectionism:
1. Let go of your ego.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others.
3. Confess to yourself that being a perfectionist is wrong.
4. Understand that there will always be someone better than you.
I’ll finish with one last thing:
Perfectionism = Always prioritize quality over quantity.
Well, I won’t say it's a bad thing, but are you creating or analyzing all day?
When I started my Twitter journey, I chose quantity over quality to break the ice and create as much content as possible to get feedback.
Now, I have analytics that tells me what content performs well and what doesn’t.
All because of? QUANTITY.
So, what are you gonna do, my friend?
Stay in your endless pursuit of perfection, or come to the other side?
The side of progression.
PS: Let me know if you want me to cover this topic in-depth (3,000 words+)
I explore the intersection of passions and business.
I am a minimalist, and multi-passionate currently obsessed with the creator economy, branding & web design.
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