Resist the Perfection Block

This post (link and excerpt below) came up the other day. I am always trying to not be perfect. To not push myself to be perfect and end up (usually) not getting anything done, not even starting, or feeling unsatisfied (or worse) about something I have done, nitpicking at it.

One thing I do is never being satisfied. It is awful because whatever I am working on just never gets done or I redo it, start over, find another method, and change it, always thinking it has to be better – or that it is not good enough. Not that I am settling for good enough. I just need to stop, stand back and appreciate what I did and see it as good. Comparing what I have done to something else is a disaster for me. But, it is also how I find some really great ideas. So there is a balance in there, somehow. It is hard to find it.

Your Resistance Brain Stops You From Being Awesome (And How to Fight Back)

How? For starters, by letting go of your need to be perfect at everything you do. Find something so important that it is worth enraging your prehistoric fears. And start taking action now notwithstanding what your lizard brain tells you. You are good enough to begin anything you expect of yourself.

Break your project, idea, task, activity or goal into the largest possible amount of sub-steps you can imagine.

Write all the steps down.

Prioritise them.

Go back to the first item on your list and find the smallest possible action you can take to advance it.

Commit to the process. Even if it’s 20 minutes a day.

Any time you stumble, just get back up and take another run at it. That’s how progress happens.

A work in progress pushes you to continue working on your goal.

People who are ultimately successful in initiating and maintaining major behavioural change usually do it through gradual, step-by-step changes.

When the Future Feels Hopeless

These (see below) are great as ways to refocus yourself and get out of a rut.What I learned to do for myself is look at what is sustainable versus what I feel obligated to do, pressured to do, etc. What am I doing that really makes me feel good, accomplished, and able to go on and do more. So many things I was doing and focused on for poor reasons. Those things were not helping me but were keeping me from doing the things I really did want to do.

Productivity is a cycle, a chain of events. If you are stuck on one step you can’t move on to the next. So, try finding a different chain of events or change the cycle and see if it can avoid the blocked step, the part that you can’t manage alone, or right now, or maybe don’t really even need.

From a post: What to do When the Future Feels Hopeless

1. Channel your inner lawyer.

Pessimism generally distorts reality. … employing what they call a disputing technique—verbalizing the negative assumptions we are making about the future, and disputing them with realistic facts.

Most likely, your future is also brighter than what you may think at your darkest moments, so dispute your pessimism not with mindless optimism, but with facts. Build a solid case for something other than the worst-case scenario, and argue it to yourself like a lawyer. And while you’re at it, read fewer stories about the pandemic. You probably aren’t learning anything new, but, rather, just trying to get a bit more certainty about the future, which is impossible.

2. Turn constraints into decisions.

… In other words, start an examination of every problem by listing the apparent limitations on your freedom, and instead of taking them as given, consider how you can change them.

… you might use this period to reset your definition of productivity. True, many aspects of many jobs have been made more difficult by the pandemic. But other parts of a truly productive life are begging for your attention. You can set goals for exercise, work on acquiring new skills, spend quality time with loved ones, or learn to tame your monkey mind in meditation. This is the sort of productivity that will reward you in the long run and can help you establish a healthier, happier equilibrium when the pandemic is over.