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Perfectionism Kills

I’m not perfect. There I said it.  And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. No one is perfect.  Anyone who comes across as being perfect is faking it and is scared to death that you will find out the truth about them.

Not being perfect doesn’t hurt us. But what does hurt us is trying to be perfect. Have you ever avoided doing something because you were afraid of not doing it perfectly? Nature is a wonderful example, dare I say a perfect example, of doing something even if it’s not perfect. Nothing in nature is perfect. No leaf, no flower, no blade of grass. And no one can say that nature isn’t exquisitely beautiful. What would happen if nature only did what it could do perfectly? It’s actually the imperfection that makes it so gorgeous.

I think a lot of people feel this way about their finances. Maybe you avoid investing because you can’t do it “perfectly” so the money that could be earning returns is sitting in savings… or worse, spent. Maybe you avoid making a budget because your budget might not be perfect. Or you might not follow it perfectly. So instead of using a budget, money gets spent without a plan. Maybe you don’t send anything extra towards your debt because you can’t pay the whole thing off this month.

Instead of trying to be perfect we all need to just work on improving. Having a rough budget listing income and the major expenses is better than no budget at all. Investing in a conservative index fund is better than sticking your money under the mattress.  Paying small amounts towards your debt will add up over time.

Focus on improving, rather than perfecting a skill, you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish!

4 comments… add one

  • retirebyforty October 5, 2011, 1:17 pm

    I agree, if you’re perfect then there are no room for improvement. :) It’s better to take action and learn from your mistakes.

  • Lindy Mint October 5, 2011, 7:52 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot lately too. I have a tendency to wait for the perfect circumstances, or wait until I have the perfect skills or the perfect amount of knowledge before doing something.

    But really, just diving in and starting is the best way to learn. And without that, you can’t be successful in the first place.

  • Beating Broke October 5, 2011, 8:12 pm

    Sometimes you just have to jump off the fence and get in the game. You’re absolutely right, sometimes we hesitate waiting for perfect and we miss the boat.

    I just realized how cliche ridden this comment has become, so I’m gonna drop it like it’s hot and move on. ;)

    P.S. I really meant to stop and introduce myself at FINCON11, but never found the chance too. Next time for sure!

  • Carrie - Careful Cents November 10, 2011, 8:44 am

    I totally agree! Perfectionism is one of the things in life that can completely paralyze your progress, like fear.

    I love how no two snowflakes are alike, and that’s what makes them uniquely beautiful. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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