How to Overcome Perfectionism
There is no crime in wanting to do things right. In fact, I am a perfect advocate of the saying ‘If it’s worth doing at all, it’s worth doing well.’
However, the concern comes in with the question of just how much is well enough.
When things start tending towards perfectionism, especially in a niche such as video production, you might be doing yourself more harm than good.
This post is all about how to overcome perfectionism with video in mind.
Overcome Perfectionism – The Detriments
The perfectionist mindset is not one which identifies where something can be improved.
It is rather one that fusses over the minor elements and tweaks that could be made in the attainment of a fleeting idea of perfection.
With every tweak comes another opening which will lead to yet another unnecessary fuss. That is to show that there are a lot more disadvantages to chasing a dream of perfectionism than meets the eye.
Speaking of these detriments…
- Procrastination: Striving for perfection will make you lose valuable time by always postponing your projects. There will always be that one more thing you need done and that will always be pushed to a later date.
That could lead to overwhelming work in the end. If they don’t finally get done, this is the kind of thing that could get in the way of a successful career for you too.
- Poor time management: Perfectionism will also lead you to spending time (and energy) in regions where they aren’t needed. Time that could have been used to do something else would be wasted in a bid to adjust one other thing that does not even need more touches.
That effectively limits your output, cripples your productivity and might even stunt your creative development.
- Poor collaborations: There is nothing bad in having high standards. When these standards start developing towards a perfectionist tendency though, you will find it hard to collaborate effectively with others.
You will constantly hold these people to those standards you have set and that would, undoubtedly, cause a lot of tension and conflicts.
If there is anything I know about teamwork, it is that you won’t get anything done with a divided team.
- Personal issues: When you let your perfectionist side take over, all the fun and interesting parts of the business is taken out of the loop. You are left being constantly unhappy with your work, leading to personal issues in other aspects of life.
This would amount to taking the joy out of what should have been a fun process for not only you, but those you are working with too.
How to Spot and then Overcome Perfectionism
The problem with many is not that they are only perfectionists with almost unrealistic standards, but that they do not even know they are.
There is a very thin line between being a perfectionist and just having high, quality standards. To solve the problem, the first step to take would be identifying such perfectionist tendencies in your behavior.
The points below are usually a good place to start if you are to nip this issue in the bud.
- Looking for the perfect variables: The very first thing that should indicate a perfectionist tendency is in waiting for the right ‘everything.’
- This could range from waiting to get just the right script, equipment, personnel, directors, etc. before you get started with your project.
- Collaborative problems: No matter what your collaborators bring to the table, you are always having one issue or the other with it. It is almost like they cannot do anything right by you; not even if they are the best in their respective fields.
More often than not, it is always the little things you attack and not the main concepts of their work.
- ‘All or Nothing’ behavior: A perfectionist would always see projects they are about to start as if every other thing they have – their identity, status and standing – was riding on it.
They would thus rather not start it than start and fail or not get to the point they have envisioned in their minds.
There is usually no provision for a middle ground in the plans, allowing just two extremes of a plot.
- Doubting feedback: When trustworthy people, in and out of your field, tell you how good your work is, that is usually all you could need. The problem is when you find yourself constantly doubting them (and ultimately yourself) when these types of proclamations are made.
You might have to check for a breeding/ present problem of perfectionism right away.
Overcoming Perfectionist Tendencies
Just like many other behavioral tendencies, perfectionism is one thing you can do away with. This will only be possible if you’ve identified the problem, embraced it and then, made a decision to act against it.
Now that you are at the latter stages where an action is required, here are some things you should start doing today.
1 Embrace Failure and Criticism
You must have known that one of the thing which spurs you into wanting to be perfect is the fear of failing or being criticized. Start seeing these two from another standpoint – they don’t mar you, they rather make you.
Do your best work and leave room for criticism. That way, you will grow healthily into the kind of expert you want to become.
2 Don’t wait for perfect
I should probably tell you at this point that there is never a perfect scenario. There is no perfect set, perfect weather or perfect anything for anything at all.
The perfection comes from what you make of the resources you have at hand.
Rather than waiting for everything to take place before you start out, why not start and let other things work themselves out along the way?
3 Allow change
Have you made a plan that, along the line, got slightly derailed? Well, a wise person once said that the only constant thing in life is change.
That change is not necessarily a bad thing.
With an open mind towards such a change, you will be more accommodating. When this happens you’ll find it easier to adapt. That makes for perfection in more sense than one.
4 Seek Results, Not Judgements
When working on your projects, set goals for yourself and look forward to the results. The truth is, no matter how great whatever you do is, people will talk.
As long as you are getting your results and embracing constructive criticism, you are good to go.
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