Progress over Perfection

Dave Blundell
Published on:
January 1, 2021

When I face the competing commitments to either make progress or wait until the circumstances are perfect, I will choose progress.

After some serious soul work this past year, I discovered a root of perfectionism in my life. I called it lots of healthy sounding qualities like excellence, good planning, due diligence, and quality. I was just putting lipstick on a pig. It is often perfectionism, plain and simple. I attach my self-worth to what I do; the underlying real motivation of perfectionism.

One of the many manifestations of this type of perfectionism is waiting until the circumstances around me are perfect before I start something or simply make progress. Wanting whatever “it” is to impress, reflect well on me or the organization, the temptation is to simply hold off until I can be assured that “it” will go well. Not just well, really well.

The danger here? How many great things don’t happen because I spend my effort trying to minimize any risk or uncertainty? Waiting for perfect causes atrophy and eventually atrophy leads to death; the death of an idea, a dream, a vision, and even an organization.

To prevent atrophy, I need to simply move. Take steps. Make progress. The steps don't need to be huge. In fact, it's often more helpful to make small steps.

What small step could you take TODAY to move forward on something?

As I think about the start of a new year, especially this next year, after all the uncertainty that was 2020, I need to continue to default to progress over perfection. It doesn’t mean we let go of excellence, due diligence or good planning. Progress doesn’t have to be reckless. What it does mean however, is when I face the competing commitments to either make progress or wait until the circumstances are perfect, I will choose progress and the faith that comes with it.

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