Perfection is the Enemy of Progress
2 min read

Perfection is the Enemy of Progress

It has taken me quite a bit of mental work to get past a fixed mindset. I wouldn't even say that I'm totally through to the other side, but I'm getting there. Even just realizing that there is such a thing as a fixed mindset and that you have it, is a huge step forward.
Perfection is the Enemy of Progress

‌‌I have always leaned more on the side of being a perfectionist. I grew up in a family where doing well was expected, and I did.

I've done a lot of reading recently on fixed vs growth mindset. One of my favorite books is Mindset by Carol Dweck. In the book she talks about parents praising hard work instead of specific results or achievements. Unfortunately, looking back I realize that my parents mostly fell into the latter group.

It wasn't their fault, really. I know they were just doing what they believed was best in order to help us kids reach our potential and have the most opportunities for success. And we did have a lot of opportunities.

We were naturally gifted in many areas and didn't come crashing against the wall of "failure" until we were a bit older. I think this is pretty common. The kids who never have to study or work hard to do well in school, and when they get to college they unexpectedly fall apart.

These individuals think that because they suddenly aren't just naturally "getting it" that their inherent lack is now exposed and everyone will see them for the frauds that they are. They believe you're either born with "it" or not. You can't grow and improve yourself. You either are intelligent, beautiful, talented, funny... or not.

It has taken me quite a bit of mental work to get past this fixed mindset. I wouldn't even say that I'm totally through to the other side, but I'm getting there. As Carol says in her book, even just realizing that there is such a thing as a fixed mindset and that you have it, is a huge step forward.

One small example of this is actually this blog. Usually I would be unable to get started writing until I had the perfect website setup, with a pretty logo, all the proper plugins along with an entire content creation system yada yada.

I don't start projects half-heartedly. I dive in 110% with the intention of doing big things. And if I discover any sort of obstacle that might make it imperfect, well of course I have to scrap the whole thing. Or I might spend so much time and energy "preparing" that I burn out.

That's why you're reading this on a free piece of crap website.

Hopefully soon it wont be a POS website. But I didn't want perfectionism to get in the way of me starting this challenge. It very easily could have and that was my initial plan. Set up a beautiful, slick website. Sign up for the hosting and all the things. You know what I mean.

So I did the minimum work I could to get my words published on the internet in the quickest way I knew how. Yeah, maybe there were some other ways I could've achieved the same goal, but this is what popped into my mind first. No wasting time mentally debating which free option to go with either.

Just. Do. It.

I know as much as I worry about UI design and cool features, none of you really care about that. When I read the writing of other people, I don't care about that stuff at all. Heck, just look at the blog of Steve Pavlina, who I mentioned in the last post. It's as plain as plain can be. Nothing but you and the words on the page.

In the end, that's what matters.

What I write.

So that's what I'm going to focus on. And I'm not going to let perfection get in the way of my progress towards that goal.

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