“Perfection kills dreams. Progress is what brings dreams to life.”
When I was asked in a recent interview what one message I wanted the audience to hear, that was it.
Because many of us are waiting for the PERFECT time to take action on our big dreams and goals. That’s why I said perfection kills dreams because the hard truth is…
If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, you’ll be waiting FOREVER. THERE IS NO PERFECT TIME!
I’m not yelling, I promise.
I’m just really passionate about this point. Perfectionism used to be a huge problem for me. I was really good at rationalizing reasons to stall or stop when things got murky/scary. I’d tell myself that I didn’t know enough, wasn’t skilled enough, didn’t have enough money or time, didn’t know the right people or have the right degree, I needed to wait for a sign or the perfect moment or a bulletproof plan or….
Yada yada ad nauseam.
I thought I was being smart for waiting until I was ready. I was saving myself time, effort, money, and sanity. Right?
But really, I was making excuses that came from fear.
It was fear of failure.
What if I find out I suck at this? What if I embarrass myself in front of others? What if I lose people’s respect or confidence? What if I have to face the fact that my dreams will never come true?
It was also fear of success.
Yes, even though it seems counterintuitive, I feared things going my way! Why? Because then I’d have to keep delivering. My status quo would—poof!—change and I’d have to navigate new territory. I’d face more responsibility, more pressure, more stress. Who knew that imagining success could be this overwhelming!
But here’s the thing. Whether I ended up “failing” or “succeeding” wasn’t the point. It was about trying and not having to wonder “What if?”
Making the transition from Perfectionist to Progressionist didn’t happen overnight. It started with catching myself stalling on moving forward in the name of “getting it right.” I asked myself: Could I start this now and figure it out as I go? If I finish this and put it out into the world, would that be better than waiting on the slim chance I could improve it in a way that actually matters?
It's about Progress, not perfection.
— Marie Forleo
One of my Big Dreams was to be a published author. Even after pushing through many obstacles and having a final draft of my book, Meant for More, I still had to deal with fear. What if there are mistakes? Did I share too much of myself? What if people don’t like the book...or me?
Those doubting voices could have stopped me. They might have in the past. But this time? Heck no! And guess what? I did later find some mistakes in the book. There are some sections of my book I’d write differently.
But guess what also happened, even though the book isn’t “perfect”?
I became a bestselling author and created a business to help others amp up the fulfillment and vibrancy of their lives (something I love!). I’ve also been invited to speaking engagements, attracted coaching opportunities, and expanded my network of like-minded peeps!
Dreams don’t happen when you’re comfortably ready. Every time I go for another inspired goal and exit my comfort zone, I have to practice the mindset of progress over perfection.
So just do it. If your gut is telling you that you have a great idea, solution, plan, or vision….for the love of all things holy, DO IT!
You owe it to yourself to take at least the tiniest step toward bringing that goal to life.
Do what you can. Start today. And remember...
Put your focus on progress. Not perfection.
You won’t regret it.