To break through perfectionism, take a small step in any direction

In Hidden Potential, Adam Grant writes (I’ve reformatted for a better list read):

In their quest for flawless results, research suggests that perfectionists tend to get three things wrong. 

  1. They obsess about details that don’t matter. They’re so busy finding the right solution to tiny problems that they lack the discipline to find the right problems to solve. They can’t see the forest for the trees.
  2. They avoid unfamiliar situations and difficult tasks that might lead to failure. That leaves them refining a narrow set of existing skills rather than working to develop new ones. 
  3. They berate themselves for making mistakes, which makes it harder to learn from them. They fail to realize that the purpose of reviewing your mistakes isn’t to shame your past self. It’s to educate your future self.

In Adversity for Sale, Jeezy writes:

I always tell people when you’re feeling stressed out, lost, and overwhelmed, you’re better off taking a small step in any direction rather than sitting there not doing anything because you’re paralyzed by your insecurities, uncertainty, and fear. That’s what I did when I started recording Thuggin’ Under the Influence in that studio in Macon, and that’s what I was still doing when we put out Come Shop Wit Me

The truth is perfection is an impossible goal. It’s good to shoot for, but at a certain point, you’ve just gotta let things go. That’s especially true with creative projects. The power is in the doing.

The closing sentence is in the same spirit as my book title, Creative Doing.

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