How to be an Imperfectionist and beat perfectionism

Perfectionism affects too many of us. It prevents us from taking action and never really getting anywhere in life.

A counterweight to the popular perfectionism myth.

That is why I picked up this book. How to be an Imperfectionist by Stephen Guise is excellent in resetting the frame. Below, I’ve highlighted some of my favourite quotes to give you a taste of this book.

I found myself highlighting much of the book. More importantly, after reading this, I found myself taking ACTION that I was stalling on for a long time.

Perfectionism is an imposter—a hoax; it’s the worst mindset you can pick out of a hat. Imperfectionism, however, is the real deal; it’s luxury… five stars… the best.

This isn’t a “trick” to make you happier. Remember, the unrealistic, ridiculous side of this coin is perfectionism. The idea that we can do anything perfectly is completely and irreversibly contrary to logic, the history of mankind, and every person’s experience. 

Perfectionists’ fear causes them to drown in complexity. Considering all of the possible ways a mistake could be made takes a lot of mental effort. This “works” for them because the overwhelming pressure and increased fear from visualizing everything that could go wrong drives them to a safer activity, where relief is found (until they’re reminded again). Can you see why perfectionism is the root cause of procrastination?

Against a giant tortoise, we’re all speed demons! Against a cheetah, even Usain “The Human Lightning” Bolt will get embarrassed. Your confidence in your foot speed depends on what relative benchmarks you consider to be adequate, poor, or remarkable…Every confidence benchmark is arbitrary, so we may as well create our own.

Focusing on quantity (not quality) of repetitions over time leads to consistency, which leads to habit formation, which is the heart of personal growth. When you engage in this process and a behavior becomes habitual, your subconscious will prefer it instead of resist it. That’s victory. Can you see now why I cringe when I see so many people try to “get motivated” to achieve their goals? We need long-lasting habits to win, not short-lived motivational bursts.

Motivation should more or less be ignored if you want your changes to last.

Excellent stuff right? I won’t get into the actual solutions Stephen suggests, but these ideas alone are enough of a paradigm shift that I think they were worth sharing.

It’s also a really short book.

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