Overcoming the Need for Perfection

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance

picHow often are you paralyzed by perfection, when the desire to do something perfect keeps you from ever doing it at all? Do you have a book to write? A picture to paint? How about a new career move or great invention on the back burner? For most of us there are at least a few things in our lives that we never take action on. Here are just a few of the excuses we use to justify our position – These may sound familiar to you.

Excuse 1 – I’m waiting for just the right moment.

Excuse 2 – I don’t know enough about it yet to move forward.

Excuse 3 – I can’t think of the right way to say it.

Excuse 4 – It won’t be right anyway so why bother doing it.

How many of these have you used before? Got any other favorites? Even though these excuses sound different, essentially they all boil down to the same symptom, a need for perfection.

So what is the perfection you seek anyway? Is it fair to say that rather than seeking perfection, you’re really just creating an elaborate and seemingly unsurpassable excuse to keep you from moving ahead? We have heard it said countless times that perfection doesn’t exist, yet we still strive for this quality in much of what we do. Are we setting ourselves up on purpose?

If we truly believe that perfection doesn’t exist, yet we use it as a tool in which to measure things by, then we’ll never add up and won’t meet our own expectations. Essentially we set ourselves up for failure before we even begin. This condition is then recognized by our egos, and our internal protector then steps in to keep us from making progress towards whatever it may be, even if it’s a life long dream or passion.

So how can we overcome this obstacle? Let’s try looking at it from another perspective. Consider that everything you do is in fact perfect. No matter which direction you go, whether you win, lose, succeed, or fail, it’s all perfect. How would this mindset effect the actions you take? Would it no longer matter whether it was the ideal situation? Would being ‘right’ no longer hold you hostage? Chances are you just might take on some new challenges and obstacles that could open up a whole new world of possibility for you. It may even remove the self-imposed limits that currently define your beliefs.

What happens if you take action and discover you’re not really where you wanted to be or envisioned being? Simply re-direct yourself and keep moving. It’s that simple, you’re never stuck, you’re only temporarily in that spot, move onwards and upwards. Don’t spend time there beating yourself up about it, accept it as perfect based upon what you knew when you made the decision, and then make another decision based upon your new level of knowledge. Who knows, you might just learn something in the process.

Now, the next time you’re faced with a situation where perfection becomes your threshold for action, remember to take action anyway, and know that no matter which direction you go, it’s all perfect.

Posted by

Sharon Lee

Comments (22)

Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORSĀ®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Sharon:  I have a friend that is struggling with this right now. She is paralyzed with the "I don't know enough," philosophy.  It keeps her from growing her real estate career.  It is so hard to watch.  It comes from a terrible experience her family experienced as business owners years prior when they lost a large lawsuit, and everything they had at the time.  She will relive that terrible experience everyday, afraid of a repeat, but what she can't see is that she is preventing herself from doing well by living in that moment in her life.

Sep 19, 2009 03:27 AM
Sara Goss
HatmakerGroup.com GMAC Real Estate - League City, TX
Realtor - Houston Bay Area, Texas

Sharon, I am perfectly human in my imperfections. . . action, in whatever area of life, keeps me moving forward, noting where changes need to be made, and re-acting. Life is a continual process, not a finished product that may or may not be perfect. Thoughtful post.

Sep 19, 2009 03:32 AM
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

What a terrible plight to have these excuses. I move forward on everything and I am wrong 75% of the time but I 'm too darn old to let grass grow under my feet. I always day that Babe Ruth struck out more time than anyone but he is the homerun king. So keep swinging at it, it's not not my fault the pitcher can't get it across the plate.

Sep 19, 2009 03:43 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Chris Ann-I have struggled with that myself numerous times so I have a new philosophy and it is helping me to move forward with great promise into the future. Have a great weekend my friend. <SMILE>

Sara-Thank you so much. Very well said. Thank you for visiting. <SMILE>

Hi Joyce-I agree and I have had my share but life is a changing and it feels wonderful. Thank you for visiting <SMILE>

Sep 19, 2009 03:48 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, RealtorĀ®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Sharon, I just do what needs to be done, and try to do my very best. Sometimes, it is not perfect, but no one is perfect. We just need to strive for perfection...

Sep 19, 2009 05:22 AM
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

Sharon

I think Gary pretty well sums it up. being ourselves is an art form we will always have to pratice; being something else is going down a road that has all detours.

Sep 19, 2009 06:55 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I stopped making excuses a long time ago.  Don't get me wrong, I sometimes have reasons, but I always keep trying.  Failure is a learning curve and reason to keep going.

Sep 19, 2009 08:57 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Sharon

Thanks for sharing your insight, you correct perfection can paralyze a person; a person striving for perfection often fails. It far better to strive towards excellence's.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Sep 19, 2009 02:32 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Rebecca-I have been a bit of a perfectionist but most definitely will never be perfect. Too much stress. I try my best and that will have to be good enough. Hope you had a great Saturday, <SMILE>

Hi Tom-Very well said and I definitely agree. I have a hard enough time being me. <SMILE>

Hi Tammy-I totally agree. <SMILE> You are perfect just the way you are.

Hi Lou-That has happened to me before but I have moved past that. Thank you for the visit. <SMILE>

Sep 19, 2009 03:06 PM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Also Sharon, I am so far from perfect it is nothing I have ever worried about. Some of us like me need a LOT of work <Smile>. Now you, YOU are close...

Sep 19, 2009 04:01 PM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Sharon! Oh my, I could probably write my own post as a reply!  I think you hit it - many people are paralyzed by this idea of perfection -- I gave that up many years ago and it is very freeing. - I think I probably drive the perfectionists nuts - but that's OK !! LOL!!

Sep 19, 2009 04:12 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Gee Gary-Was it something I said. LOL You came back with another thought. That is sweet of you to say but Sharon Lee is so far from perfect that it isn't funny and I never want to be. I just want to be the best me I can be. I always try to do my best and if it isn't enough for people then their is nothing I can do about that. Thanks for the second comment. <SMILE>

Hi Mary-I think you should write a blog on it. I have given that up myself my friend. Way too much pressure. I am just me. What you see is what you get, good bad or otherwise. My ex-hubby was a perfectionist and since he couldn't turn me into his idea of a perfect wife, it didn't work out. OH well, I am happy being me. Who needs perfection when you can just have fun. <SMILE>

Sep 19, 2009 05:18 PM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Sharon that makes me sad.  That is very painful - I don't think anyone should change who they are. people who try to change others are not happy people, and you can't make them happy either! You live it up, girlfriend!

Sep 19, 2009 05:49 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Mary-Thank you my friend. But not to worry. I made the best decision for me 16 years ago when I left him. It was painful went I lived with it. But I have never regretted the decision to leave. It was the best thing I could do for me. My ex was a legend in his own mind. He used to play the song CLOSE ENOUGH TO PERFECT FOR ME. Sadly that WASN"T true. HIS LOSS!!!! <SMILE>

Sep 19, 2009 06:56 PM
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

I think there are far too many people in this world with the misconception that they can find perfection at some point in this life. If you wait for perfection, you'll never do anything.

Sep 20, 2009 02:25 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi JL-I believe you are so right. It is a trap for sure. A losing trap. Thank you for all your comments on my posts. I appreciate you for doing that. <SMILE> Have a super Sunday my friend. <SMILE>

Sep 20, 2009 03:10 AM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Sharon, thanks for your comment. I feel better. "A legend in his own mind" LOL!

Sep 20, 2009 11:16 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Mary-Thank you my friend for your beautiful heart. I am very blessed by your friendship. God Bless YOU. <SMILE>

Sep 20, 2009 11:56 AM
Rich Rogala
Consistent Clients - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Marketing Coach

I like Gary's response - Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection. You're never going to reach it anyway, so why let it hold you back?

Sep 21, 2009 01:48 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Rich-Most definitely true. Gary is right on target. <SMILE>

Sep 21, 2009 01:08 PM