Guess what the following people have in common? I have a friend who wanted to be a screenwriter at one point, but he never wrote a single line. He's excuse was that he couldn't think of a script that was guaranteed to sell. I have a photography client who hasn't touched her camera in over a year because she's waiting for an ideal photo project. I have a family member who has been living with his parents for over five years because he refuses to get a job, and is waiting for a million dollar business idea.

All three of these people are suffering from what I call perfection paralysis. Perfection paralysis is when people procrastinate on their goals by allowing perfection get in the way of progress. Although all artists and entrepreneurs seek perfection, perfection is also the number one cause of procrastination. Successful artists and successful entrepreneurs figure out how to find the balance between perfection and progress.

Even I have to admit that I've suffered from perfection paralysis. There were days when I felt my entire day was ruined just because I didn't get up at exactly 6am, and I ended up just blowing off the whole day. There have been days when I couldn't get myself to clean up my desk just because I couldn't think of exactly where everything should go. So my desk would end up with piles and piles of paper.

The main cause of perfection paralysis is insecurity. We don't want to start a project unless it's going to be worthwhile in the end. The only way it'll be worthwhile in the end is if it is perfect. If it is not perfect then we will see ourselves as a failures, or we risk the possibility of others viewing us as failures. So we put off doing anything at all. That is perfection paralysis in a nutshell.

The trick to curing perfection paralysis is to think more about progress rather than perfection. Take a look at one of your projects, and just start. Focus on completing rather than perfecting. Don't worry about the perfect way to start; just start. Don't worry about writing a perfect script; just write. Don't worry about having an immaculate desk; just start putting something away. Don't wait for a million dollar idea; just start making money. I think you get the picture.

Don't let the insecurity of not being perfect get in the way of making progress with your goals. The sooner you start something, the more likely it is that you'll end up completing it. The more you focus on progress, the closer you'll get to perfection.

Author's Bio: 

Young B. Kim is a writer, artist, serial entrepreneur, and the creator of ideavist™. Young's mission is to help people make their ideas happen through his writing, coaching, consultations, and through speaking engagements on ideation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

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