Daily Dose of Coach #70

have tried to sound cool a few times in my life and called myself a perfectionist.  And, I still hear people say it all the time.  "I just can't get started until everything is perfect. Because I'm a perfectionist"  Ugh.  As I write this I cringe. There have been too many times when I haven't launched or didn't even start something because I was too busy being a "perfectionist." This is so dumb.

When I googled the word perfectionist the definition I got was, "refusal to accept any standard short of perfection." I guess if you read this you could confuse this with having an attitude of excellence.  But they are quite different.  A better definition for perfectionism would by, "refusal to start something, because of the delusional idea that I am or can get anything perfect." 

In other words, perfectionism is simply procrastination.  When you think you have to have everything perfect before you begin, it's just fear talking you out of it.  It's being afraid to take a risk.  It's like my favorite excuse people have for not wanting to workout with me or one of my programs, "Oh, I want to get in shape first, before I start with you."  

The difference in an attitude of excellence and perfectionism is excellence is built in humility, while perfectionism is built in arrogance.  Becoming excellent takes volumes of effort, lots of failures and persistence.  In other words, you have to start many times.  Perfectionism is an arrogance that you can get things perfect and everything will be perfect when you do.  They disguise their lack of persistence by claiming all must be perfect.

So think about that next time you want to call yourself a perfectionist. Just get started.  You can update as you go, just like the Iphone you're staring at.