Someone giving a thumbs up, only hand is visible

The Problem With Perfect

“Once I… then I’ll be successful.”

How many times have we heard ourselves say this?

Once I make this salary. Once I have this title. Once I finish this certification, training program, or…

Yet another degree.

But these are just messages determined to keep you from recognizing that you’re already a badass. Your internal narrative is focused on some perceived “shit ton of flaws,” and you’re constantly searching for the next credential to overcome them.

Because somehow you’re never good enough. And you have to be great. And you equate being great with being perfect. And that’s the trap.

It’s why we sit silently in discussions, afraid the words we use won’t be eloquent enough, or impactful enough, even though we have so much to offer.

It’s why we see others being recognized for putting into action an idea we had months ago, but got bogged down in “analysis paralysis,” and kept looking for the perfect strategy to implement it.

And it’s why we’re always searching for some piece of external validation related to education, status, and “success.”

The assessment of “good” and “great” are relative. I might argue that “good” is enough for most of us because it means we’re doing the work; putting ourselves out there even though we have flaws. It shows courage when we step in without all our buttons buttoned, or with the very real possibility of tripping over our own shoelaces. It’s COVID hair, and unfortunate Zoom reveals, and all the imperfections that make us real and relatable. It’s beautiful.

Perfection is an illusion. It does not exist – in leadership, vision, communication, collaboration, career, or accomplishments. Stop chasing it.

The assertion that we aren’t “enough” because we aren’t perfect is a crutch. It’s an excuse. It’s a justification for not stepping out of our comfort zone.

It’s us giving into fear, and fear keeps us “safe.”

And safe is the enemy of success.

See the problem?