Little Miss Perfect

27Feb
12Comments

Time and time again the amazing women I work with tell me “I want it to be perfect.“  “If it were just perfect.“  “It is almost perfect.“   These are educated, driven, successful women and everytime they say this I remind them that perfection isn’t an end goal, nor is it ever going to be the result.  They are astonished and sometimes even resentful when I laugh at the thought of perfection until I share what I am about to share with you today.

per·fect

[adj., n. pur-fikt; v. per-fekt]
adjective

  1. conforming absolutely to the description or definition of anideal type
  2. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoreticalimprovement:
  3. exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certainpurpose:
  4. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings
  5. accurate, exact, or correct in every detail

When I look at the definition of perfect some words truly rub me the wrong way.   Things like Conforming, beyond practical or theoretical improvement, without flaws or shortcomings.

The pressure we are put under by society, employers, and ourselves to be perfect in our personal lives and business is in one word:

Unattainable

With so many images and sounds of perfection surrounding us in everything we do, from the music on the radio that has been recorded, rerecorded, auto tuned, session played, mixed and re-mixed to the photography we see in magazines that have been edited, color corrected, airbrushed, and other fine means of “photoshopping”, perfection is constantly pushing and shoving us in every direction….if we let it.

Any efforts to achieve perfection or to deliver the perfect “thing”, build the perfect business or always make the right decisions is bound to leave you in the dumps when you discover that mistakes can and are made and nothing, absolutely nothing on this planet is perfect.

People say “Well you can STRIVE for perfection and then you will get as close as you can!”   In a word.  NO.  Why strive for something that is impossible?   That doesn’t imply that you should ever settle for mediocrity because that is the opposite end of the spectrum.  There are other words that can be used to help you elevate your performance, your consciousness, your business or any aspect of your life but PERFECT should not be one of them.   Words like

Integrity  Happiness  Delight  Excellence  Value  Inspiration  Relevant

Memorable Significant Greatness

Never ever perfect nor perfection.

There is something endearing, believable and genuine about the person takes complete ownership of their mistakes and the solutions to problems and uses imperfection as an opportunity for learning and growth.   Those mea culpa days, and  yes there will be many of them will force us to regroup, rethink, re engineer, think out of the box and innovate and improve!

The fact is, no one and nothing is perfect and THAT is what makes us interesting and THAT is what gives us a constant opportunity to live, experience, do and learn in a constant ebb and flow.  It makes things exciting and interesting because life and business can’t be fixed in post production.  This is the LIVE and MAIN event and is designed to be enjoyed to the fullest 24/7 365.  Fixing it in post, is just too late!

Next time you are striving for perfection whether you be strategic planning, goal setting or just musing, consider using the following SMART principles:

Specific  Measurable  Attainable Realistic and Timely

It will push you out of your comfort zone, make you think about your objectives and allow you to measure your success so that you can continue to grow.

Trust yourself!

Be imperfect!

Would love to know all about your thoughts on perfection!  Leave a comment below!

Share the love on Twitter and Facebook!  I’ve made it super easy!

Life isn’t fixed in post production – Read what @AVV has to say about Little Miss Perfect http://ow.ly/9jfZZ #mentormondays

Perfection is overrated! Use SMART principles in goal setting for life & busines with @AVV http://ow.ly/9jfZZ #mentormondays

Trust Yourself!  Be Imperfect!  Todays #mentormondays with @AVV http://ow.ly/9jfZZ #mentormondays

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Anastasia Valentine is an award-winning product strategist, CEO of a fabulous marketing and PR agency, speaker, published author and mother. She has over 20 years achieving amazing results in bringing ideas and products to market in the high-tech, music and retail industries.
She works directly with amazing solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and small, medium and enterprise-class companies across the globe.  Her approach combines her knowledge, skills and experience fueled with her drive, a little tenacity and a lot of moxie to launch and build businesses!  Visit Anastasia at www.anastasia-valentine.com

This Post Has 12 Comments:

  • Cathy Whitney says:February 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Striving for perfection is truly a monumental exercise in futility. I embrace the imperfection of what I do, say, create and how I live. The imperfection keeps us human.

    My son, Austin, has an amazing talent for drawing – with every piece he draws, I am genuinely blown away. To me, the drawings are perfect, but Austin doesn’t think so. However, he is confident in his ability and recognizes that there is no value to trying to make the image perfect. He’s 18 and has that figured out already.

    When I cater or write or parent, I want things to be ‘perfect’, but not by any set definition, just that I’m pleased with what I have done for clients or my kids and they’re happy, too. Simple, right? Not always!

  • Rebecca Whelan says:February 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Growing up I thought I had to be as good or better than other people. I had to be the best at everything I did and push myself to the extreme to do it. The more I tried in vain to acheive this impossible expectation, the more frustrated I became at not acheiving it. It started to become an obsession to try and be the best at everything, to the point where I felt like I was losing control of my life.
    It spiralled so out of control that I started to do anything to control everything around me (which of course never works). So, I found something I could control; myself. This started a five year battle with a skewed self image and an eating disorder.
    It took years and a lot of support from those that I love to help re-teach me that I don’t need to perfect and that I am worthy of love no matter what mistakes or imperfections I may have.
    The world is so much bigger than me and I have realized that what I do with my life is so much more important than how Iook or how well I can do something.
    I have talents that I am greatful for. I have a healthy, working body. I have a loving family and friends.
    Really, what is more perfect than that?

  • Rhonda Lee - BarefootArtist says:February 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I just spent the weekend at a workshop where I was absolutely misrable. I wanted to be perfect at a skill that I have practiced for many years. Well, maybe not perfect, but a lot better than I was. In fact, the fear of disappointing my teacher, who I hold in the highest reguard, was so consuming that I had absolutely no fun at all. In fact, I almost went into an anxiety attack. I haven’t done that in about 7 years. The stress I put on myself was just ridiculous and so out of character for this particular activity. This is the one thing that fuels me and gives me joy and I would not allow myself to simply learn and enjoy. My instructor certainly put no pressure on me. This is his greatest joy – teaching what he loves the most in the world.

    So pretty much I bombed the whole weekend and I have no one to blame but myself. However, I plan to practice my own words. I stood right there in the sea of people and said to myself that I was no longer going to to be harsh on myself. I thought that meant that I would bail out of the next event so I wouldn’t panic again. After reading this and stewing over my thoughts all night, I have realized what I should do. I absolutely will NOT be harsh with myself. Next time, I will allow myself to enjoy with full freedom to explore the lessons, completely bomb and excel at them and fully embrace my perfection in not being perfect. It’s the whole reason why I practice this activity in the first place. I forgot myself in my quest for something that really doesn’t exsist. What can I say? I’m human.

    Thank you. This post could not have come at a better time!

  • Anastasia Valentine says:February 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Cathy if there is one thing I know about you it is your perseverance and commitment to excellence. It is so true that we may see perfection in what other people do even if they don’t. I think in our eyes that perfection really means – I would never change a thing! So grateful for you sharing this with me! AV

  • Anastasia Valentine says:February 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Becky! So awesome to see you here. Your post totally reminded me of a song by Pink called Crystal Ball. One of the lyrics are “Learning to be Brave in my Beautiful Mistakes” You are a pretty awesome woman! So much respect I have for you! AV

  • Anastasia Valentine says:February 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    NO YOUR post couldn’t have come at a more beautiful time! Seriously though. It is one of those posts that while it feels pretty profound to me you never know how it will resonate with others until you put it out there. Knowing that these words made a difference for you made my day. The whole notion of unrealistic expectations and the pressure that we put on our selves and even the pressure we manufacturer (which is no less real!) is crazy. Sometimes we need to let go to let a whole lot more in! Perfection be damned! You totally rock! So grateful!

  • Sue Ann Gleason says:February 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Yes, well … perfection, my favorite topic. I am a chronic and recovering over achiever. I am the missing zygote (Women Who Run With the Wolves). I am hopelessly addicted to perfection. AND, I absolutely know that I have to get over it because striving for perfection is the most time sucking, debilitating habit we can employ. Thank you for the reminder. I need to be reminded. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. . . Love this post, love what you are up to in the world.

  • Lazarus Nazario says:February 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I LOVED hearing this!! And boy yes indeedy I needed to hear it! Thanks for the kick in the teeth. I know in my heart that perfection is impossible. I’m just now finally learning to trust myself. I like the notion of finding what works for me, cause perfect ain’t something I am! LOL! I took notes on the SMART principles! And I love your words: Integrity Happiness Delight…..I’m gonna write them down and put them somewhere I can see ‘em EVERY DAY! I’m right behind ya girl!
    xx

  • Alara Castell says:February 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I love being imperfect! Of course it wasn’t always this way. I was raised in a family that I had to do things right and we had to look like the perfect family. This definitely stuck with me in my early years of being an entrepreneur and I can say honestly that it sneaks up on me here and then, but I then remind myself that being perfect is overrated. I just realized that last year I actually wrote a post about it and the picture in said, “Perfection is a myth…” (http://ow.ly/9li77). I’m so glad you laid everything out and it is such a valuable thing to remember and keep in mind when living life.

    xoxo
    Alara

  • Jennifer Peek | Business Coach for Creative Entrepreneurs says:February 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    As a recovering perfectionist (and sometimes not so recovering), I need to hear this message almost daily! Honestly, I have never seen it stated so well. While I’ve always thought of perfection as unattainable, I was also one who embraced the idea of striving for it…under the theory that if you shoot for the moon, at least you will hit the stars. But, you’re right. It doesn’t and shouldn’t work that way.

    We should be aiming for excellence, significance, greatness, value…but not perfection. Now I all these new words that are much, much more energizing. Perfection tends to suck the air and life right out of you – probably due to that unattainable quality!

    Jennifer Peek | Business Coach for Creative Entrepreneurs
    Find Your New Groove
    The Freedom to Build Your Business Your Way

  • Christie Halmick | Jewels Branch Creative says:February 29, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Anastasia – excellent post. My school teacher mom has always been a big proponent of making sure we turned in our homework even if it wasn’t perfect. This help me so much in college because I had permission to not be perfect. I knew I could turn in imperfect work so that I got a grade of some kind instead of a zero. I forget this often with my business. That showing up is SMART.

  • Sherold says:March 01, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Anastasia – I love this post. I think you’ve found some over achievers over here at your blog. I am recovering from being an over achiever and perfectionist. I am totally “willing” to suck at it now. My assistant and I like to call it out when we ‘suck’ at something. Just being willing to suck has made our work much lighter and more fun. Thank you for writing this. We all need this reminder.


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