This is part of my ongoing LinkedIn Series: Ten Tips for Ten Days, you can read more and watch the one-minute video at the bottom of this post.
Perfectionism: a two headed monster
Perfectionism, the old enemy of creativity, has two faces: Procrastination and Workaholism.
At it’s heart, Perfectionism is a form of fear which insists on holding everything we produce up to an unattainable standard.
Perfectionism delights in finding any small detail and blowing it out of proportion until it looks impossible to overcome, constantly grading the outcome of every project before it’s even started.
To escape facing Perfectionism’s standards we often avoid starting altogether by procrastinating.
“Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.” -Victor Kaim
Procrastination is differentiated from legitimate busyness by it’s hallmark emotion: guilt. If you are feeling constantly guilty about that thing that you keep pushing to the back burner, chances are, you’re procrastinating.
Procrastination loves to delay on the basis of circumstances: the light isn’t good, you didn’t sleep enough, you don’t have the right pencils. Any excuse will do, as long as you don’t actually start creating.
Tools for Making Progress:
Set small, manageable goals with appropriate deadlines
Celebrate small victories (keep a confetti popper handy)
Make time for your creative projects (don't wait to "find" time)
Do the hard things first (this helps put your best energy on the hardest tasks)
Focus on being done over being perfect (real artists ship...they finish work and set it out)
Don’t forget WHY you’re creating.
The Opposite of Perfectionism is Excellence
Overcoming Perfectionism and Procrastination should not mean that we stop caring about the quality of our work - far from it! The key to producing high quality, Perfectionism-free work is to operate out of love-motivated, passion-fueled excellence.
Excellence requires us to care about, to love, something (or someone) more than we fear failure. Only love allows us to do our best work, because love allows our creativity to move freely.
Until we begin to create from passion we will not produce our best work. Passion is driven by your Motivator, your reason for creating, and will help you push through Procrastination’s excuses into excellent creativity.
You can read more about both forms of Perfectionism in our book, Bright Ideas: Light Up Your Creativity, or in additional blog posts here.
Do you want to learn to be more creative?
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I'm doing a series on LinkedIn this week called #TenTipsTenDays where you spend ten days giving a tip each day that relates to your field. I'm focusing, of course, on creativity. This is a super fun way to get the word out about what we do here at the Bright Ideas Collective and share a little creative wisdom with my LinkedIn crew.
If you want to be creative, or learn how to work through creative blocks, we have resources for you! You can buy the Bright Ideas Book, with practical actions to take ownership of your creative journey. Now, you can join the Bright Ideas Collective online community where we share and support each other in our journey to being more creative!