Why striving for progress makes you more successful than perfectionism

Stefanie Voss ©Annette Reidick2

Perfectionism is known to be a “vigor” of many people, a lot of them are successful, but is it really because their perfectionism? Most of the time perfectionism turns out to be more of an affliction rather than passion. To be successful in the job you’re doing you have to love and really enjoy it. If that is the case, you will be incredibly annoyed if something doesn’t turn out the way you’d have expected.

The desire to do something particularly well is paralyzing. Therefore, we worry too much about not succeeding and end up not achieving anything. In this case Global Topspeaker and leadership-expert Stefanie Voss uses an enlightening motto: “Go for progress, not perfection”.

The professional speaker and coach likes to organize things perfectly. Especially the planning for her videoblog is very important to her. Stefanie Voss always makes sure to be well prepared. And then a cold hit her only two days before the shooting. A slight panic took hold of the perfectionist. Should she cancel the appointment and change all the plans and preparations?

But then she remembered that perfection doesn’t mean progress. Sometimes an 80 % solution is a really good thing – simply because it can be implemented head-on. Working towards the 100 % solution often results in waiting, going back and forth and hesitating instead of going ahead. So, you prevent progress.

To overcome perfectionism and accept that “failure” is a part of progress leadership-expert Stefanie Voss made a checklist on how to deal with typical pitfalls of perfectionism:

  • If a project or plan drags on and on, a perfectionist trap might be lurking somewhere.
  • Do not let your perfectionism hold you back but think about how you could get going right away.
  • An 80 % solution is not wrong or bad much more the perfect solution, if it gets you moving ahead.
  • Think and act according to the motto „Progress first, perfectionism is less important “.

Focusing on progress, Stefanie Voss pulled of the video shooting and it turned out pretty well in the end. So her experience is: Striving forward in life and making progress must not be hampered by overzealous perfectionism: “If you feel that your quest for perfection holds you back, then remember this: Sometimes an 80 % solution is a really good thing – simply because it can be implemented head-on. Working towards the 100 % solution often results in waiting, going back and forth and hesitating instead of going ahead. So, you prevent progress”, says the leadership-expert Stefanie Voss.

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