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Summary:

Which way do you like this popular quote: “the best is the enemy of the good” or “the good is the enemy of the best”? If you like the first way — the way Voltaire said it — you’re ready for this tip. You probably know […]

Which way do you like this popular quote: “the best is the enemy of the good” or “the good is the enemy of the best”? If you like the first way — the way Voltaire said it — you’re ready for this tip. You probably know that aiming for the best at all costs can lead to anxiety and procrastination. If you don’t keep it in check, the healthy pursuit of excellence can all too easily turn into pathological perfectionism.

In a work-life balance podcast led by Karen Salmansohn, Leslie Bennetts and Marci Alboher talked about how corrosive perfectionism can be, and what you might do about it:

Become an imperfectionist – Bennetts says the burden of perfection women feel is enormous. Pointing to women’s magazines as the emblem of this burden, Bennetts argues that women’s magazines are centered on articles about making yourself better, whereas men’s magazine are about cool gadgets. To combat the vicious perfectionist cycle, Alboher says she is trying to become an imperfectionist — and implores women to drop three things from their to do list. [Daily Cents]

Of course men suffer from perfectionism too.

How do you combat perfectionism? We have a few ideas that might help:

By Anne Zelenka

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  1. once again — this comes in handy! :D

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  2. Anne, you are on a roll today! By that, I mean that you are writing about
    ideas/perspectives that have been slowly building in my mind over the past year.
    This post nails my most formidable enemy on the head. During the past 1 1/2
    years, I have lurked around a number of very prominent websites (like this one)
    - trying to feel out the Web 2.0 scene (and by “Web 2.0″ I mean the openness,
    collaboration, and values mentioned
    here
    in Tara’s post
    ). My journey has been incredible – sometimes to the point
    where I can’t seem to contain my excitement or ideas. I knew I had to channel
    this energy, but how? The most logical choice would be to start a blog of my
    own, but I couldn’t. Why? Fear of my imperfections. I was afraid of things like
    not sounding smart enough, sounding like an “idiot” when I propose an
    ill-conceived idea and most importantly that it would be there for the world to
    see! I know this fear is shared by many, but mine was keeping me from
    contributing to a WONDERFUL community, leaving me with an incredible amount of
    discontent – not healthy!

    Today is a milestone! While I was reading this post, I was thinking about
    another post that you wrote recently about
    thinking
    with a web mind
    , and it hit me! Single-handily, all of these great bloggers
    ARE imperfect – just like me. But collectively, “the network of people and their
    ideas” are the true genius. By writing this comment, I am striving to become
    more of an imperfectionist and write what I feel – without fear! While for many
    of you this may have been evident – for me, it was a powerful realization. Thank
    you Anne.

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  3. [...] The author suggests that becoming an imperfectionist—or at least embracing the the idea that not everything needs to be perfect—can dramatically lower your stress levels, and I think we can all agree with that. Imperfection — and other great thoughts [Daily Cents via Web Worker Daily] [...]

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  4. [...] The author suggests that becoming an imperfectionist—or at least embracing the the idea that not everything needs to be perfect—can dramatically lower your stress levels, and I think we can all agree with that. Imperfection — and other great thoughts [Daily Cents via Web Worker Daily] [...]

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  5. [...] what’s the point? But the expectation of every idea being implemented perfectly can lead to inaction. I’m coming around to the idea of just doing and seeing how things turn out. I like the idea [...]

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  6. Great advice. This is exactly what I battle but I call it “paralysis by analysis” – laying the best laid plans, while procrastinating on execution. Grrr..

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  7. [...] Tip of the Week: Become an Imperfectionist [...]

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  8. [...] Tip of the Week: Become an Imperfectionist « Web Worker Daily [...]

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  9. [...] Tip of the Week: Become an Imperfectionist « Web Worker Daily [...]

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  10. [...] Tip of the Week: Become an Imperfectionist « Web Worker Daily [...]

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