Friday, June 02, 2006

June 2006 - Overcoming perfectionism

Inspirational quotes
· I may not be totally perfect, but parts of me are excellent. - Ashleigh Brilliant
· Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing. - William Feather, author
· He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spendhis entire life on one leg. - Chinese Proverb
· Don’t make excuses. Make things happen. Make changes. Then make history. – Doug Hall


I used to think perfectionism was a good thing. I think it’s because for a very long time I confused it with excellence. If excellence is doing something to the best of your ability, what is perfectionism? Read on…

Have you ever said these things to yourself, or has someone said it to you?
· If you can’t do it right, then don’t do it at all
· Anything less than perfect is simply unacceptable.
· It’s not good enough.
· I can’t do it now because I don’t have the time to complete it.
· Everything must be perfect before I can start.

All of those statements smack of perfectionism. Read them again and see. Perfectionism actually paralyses us. The truth is that even if you do a job 80%, it’s better than nothing because you’re taking action!

You see, a lot of people don’t ever start something because they want all conditions to be perfect. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that will never happen! When you do step 1, step 2 becomes easier and before you know it, you can look back and appreciate how far you’ve come.

Now you can see why perfectionism is the root of a lot of procrastination problems. When I send out the weekly organising challenges, I often say “you can do anything for 15 minutes”. Because when you start, you overcome the perfectionism monster that wants you to have hours to sort out your budget, filing, cleaning out your cupboards, etc.

You don’t need hours – you can do anything in baby steps. I know you don’t have hours to spend doing this or that – neither do I – but we all have 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there. And all those small pockets of time add up.

Now I don’t want you to think that I’m saying it’s not good to do something to the best of your ability. Of course it’s good – I just don’t want you to make excuses that you can’t do the things you want to or need to.

In closing, I want to encourage you to take some action! Don’t let your perfectionism cripple you.

c) Marcia Francois

Do you want to use this article? You may, as long as you include this complete bio with it: Marcia Francois, the Take Charge coach and professional organiser, coaches people to reach their goals and maximise their potential. She publishes the popular “Take charge of your life” monthly ezine. If you're ready to finally live your dream life, get your FREE subscription now at


Anonymous said...

Great article! Like they say out there - "Rather do something, than nothing at all!"

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