“80% and out in the world is better than 100% and still in your head.”
These words slapped me in the face as I was sharing a status update on a project, noting that I still needed to put in quite a bit of time and effort before it was ready to roll out. In my mind, it wasn’t anywhere close. I wanted it to be absolutely perfect and there was still so much to be done.
So, when I was told that it was “good enough,” I was appalled. Clearly, they didn’t see all of the flaws and I should probably keep tweaking the smallest things until it was juuuust right…
But those words got me thinking. What else had I been keeping in my head, waiting until it was 100% ready before letting it into the world?
That was over a year ago. And that slap in the face has now become my mantra.
So many times, good ideas never come to fruition because we want them to be perfect. We overcomplicate things when what we really need to do is to just bring our ideas to life. We let perfect become the enemy of good, never realizing that “perfect” can’t be achieved in the first place.
As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve been slowing coming to terms with a few concepts:
- Nothing ever gets to a state of “perfect.” The world around us is ever evolving. Just when we get something to “perfect,” the conditions change, new tools and resources become available, and the cycle starts all over again.
- “Good enough” truly can be good enough. Bringing an idea into the world and allowing the space for it to evolve is far more productive than forever mulling an idea around in my head.
- Sometimes, the only way to know if something is a good idea is to try it out. We can think through all the possible outcomes and all the contingencies, but sometimes we just have to go for it and assess along the way.
If we always wait until we’re completely ready, we’re moving too slow. There will always be room to make improvements. There will always be a way to make it better. So instead of chasing perfection, let’s try it out, tweak along the way, and put something new into the world.