Done is Better than Perfect

So full disclosure, I’m a perfectionist.

But hold on! Before you start picturing me as some neurotic monster, I don’t really fit the typical stereotyped perfectionist you’re probably conjuring up in your head— I’m not a type A personality in the slightest. I don’t make my bed every morning, I hate math, I don’t overcommit myself, I’m not judgmental, overly self-critical, cut-throat competitive, immensely goal oriented, or very meticulous. Although, in middle school, I did used to rewrite all my notes from class until they looked perfect, but I have WELL since grown out of that. I like to think I’m pretty easy going, and as someone who is creatively and artistically inclined, people often find it surprising when I talk about my perfectionist tendencies. I’m not very detail oriented and not a big planner either, I am much more of a big picture, follow my intuition type of person— and that I feel, is where the perfectionism hits. 

Pretty often I’ll get these big ideas for creative projects but never end up following through. As someone who enjoys creative writing, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started a short story and never wrote the ending, or stopped halfway through a poem because I couldn’t get the wording just right. Sometimes I feel like I’m not capable enough or good enough to bring my ideas or prospective creative endeavors to life, which has left me with dozens of thoughts that have gone unfinished, unplanned, or unexecuted. 

But recently, I decided to put my foot down with this perfectionism nonsense. Einstein’s theory of relativity wasn’t born out of one afternoon of trial and error, that baby took seven plus years to develop. Imagine if Einstein stopped halfway through due to self doubt— well, like I said, I don’t like math, so I actually don’t know what the implications of that would be; but the point I’m trying to make, is that practice makes progress, and the only way to progress is by trying things out and following through. Now, anytime I start to get discouraged when writing a poem, shooting portrait photography, trying something new, or even working on an essay for school, I tell myself over and over again until it’s drilled into my annoyingly stubborn brain, DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT. 

Again, DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.

 

Nicole Leary