Perfection Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Perfection Is not what its cracked up to be

Let’s talk about perfection! I think everyone, at some point in their careers, wishes for things to go perfectly. Even when logically people know that the best things that are worth having almost never come easy and that the things that come easy almost never last, people still want a smooth road to their destination. When we allow that need for perfection to keep us from going after our goals and achieving what we ultimately want it becomes more of a hindrance than a help.

I know all about striving for perfection but when I look at where that has honestly gotten me thus far, I don’t particularly like what I see. I have so many projects, books, concepts that are formulated in my mind. I plan them out, then re-plan them, and then outline the ideas to map everything out about two or three times. Then, because things still don’t seem to be fitting perfectly together just the way that I want them to, those plans, books, and concepts get stored away somewhere in a file cabinet where most ideas go to die (or get dug up years later). I think I’ve had at least two ideas of television shows that I never fleshed out and actually developed because I couldn’t get the ideas to perfectly come together in my mind and then years later I see television shows almost mirroring those ideas already created by someone else who probably didn’t wait for their idea to be completely perfect to get it done.

This is what happens when you wait on perfection. Someone else has a similar idea and they just simply get it done, perfect or not. I’ve been working really hard lately on not having to have every idea that comes to mind be perfect for me to get started working on it. I realize that perfection is not always the best thing because nothing can ever truly be perfect. There’s always going to be a tweak that could be made here, and possibly another minor adjustment there, and as a writer even when you hand over your masterpiece that may be perfect in your eyes to an editor, there is undoubtedly going to be something that that editor will see that won’t be perfect in their eyes and will need to be changed anyway.

So if you are sitting on an idea for a book, for a program, for a brand, for a song, or anything that you’re passionate about, stop sitting on it. Just say to hell with perfection and get started on it. No one will ever see it anyway if you don’t just put it out there, perfect or not. Odds are the less perfect the better!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Trying to Be Perfect Does Not Always Amount to Perfection

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that fear is something that I struggle with on a consistent basis.  Being afraid of failing has been something that has kept me from doing a lot of things that I have wanted to do.  Too often I have been afraid that I wasn’t good enough to make it, or good enough to even risk trying.

I guess it stems from my childhood being told by my mother on an almost daily basis that I was never going to be good enough.  After a while of hearing the same thing repeatedly from someone who is supposed to shape how you think and feel about yourself, you start to believe that it’s true.  It is that fear of not being good enough that has always made me feel that I couldn’t take certain risks if the preparation wasn’t perfect.

When it comes to query letters for articles, or pitching a novel to publishers or agents, or even sending out a resume to newspapers and magazines I want to work with or for, I have always held back if I didn’t feel that the package that I was sending off was perfect.  A lot of times this resulted in me taking months just to send one thing off.  Trying so hard to make everything perfect only really results in a lot of wasted time and lost opportunities.

It has taken until I was an adult with my own child for me to realize that those voices telling me that I wasn’t good enough were the voices that I needed to tune out.  That the voice that I should have been paying attention to all along was the voice within that whispered that not only was I good enough but that I was going to be greater than even I expected.

In a sense I have failed at being perfect because I’m not ever going to be perfect, and certainly not everything I do or write is going to meet the standards of perfection.  However, if I just continue being the best version of me that I can be, that is good enough.  It’s good enough for me.  It’s not always the loudest voices that deserve all the attention.  Sure they’re loud and extremely difficult to ignore but often times the loudness is just a distraction from the whispers of what we should really be listening to.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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