Perfectionism sounds like a good thing, but it is not. Humans are flawed, so this impossible goal translates to the pursuit of perfection. This pursuit will never end, but still, we continue to chase. This compulsion stems from anxiety and it propels a talented person to hoard their imperfect creations in the misguided belief they can rid them of errors. If you struggle with the need to perfect your product before releasing, this article can give you some insight into how this need may be getting in the way of your amazing masterpieces
Release And Then Collect The Benefits
Some mainstream products were not only imperfect, but were released to the world with many needed improvements, such as the first iPhone, SpaceX Falcon, and the first electric car. These amazing technologies were released with the big picture in mind. Overall, they worked, and though they had many flaws people loved them. They were patient with the flaws because like the creators they could see the brilliance that needed only polishing. They poured money into the project so the creators could improve these revolutionary products. When you hoard your work or spend four or five times the amount of time needed to finally force you to release it, this delays all the feedback you will need to begin work on the next iteration. Like us, all products are a work in progress.
Imperfection Accompanies Most Great Things
Except for babies and prodigies, there aren’t many first drafts of anything that come out perfect. Developing the knowledge, skills, and failures that will lead to success in any endeavor is a process. Releasing a mostly-polished product that may have some issues is better than holding onto it until it has reached the peak of imperfectness. To get the feedback you need to improve you must first release. Creating something that is useful and resonates with others is the ultimate goal. Even those perfect babies don’t come out walking, using the bathroom, and feeding themselves. Over time, they improve, just like your product.
To improve your product you have to first submit it for feedback. There’s only so much critique you can give your work before you need someone else to give their objective opinion. Many times, people don’t share their ideas or opinions because they fear they’re stupid. Holding these potentially great ideas in erases your path to success. Every great idea started with a partial idea that needed feedback to become better. Some great ideas began as awful rough drafts. By keeping a product or idea back until its perfect, you are slowing down the iteration process. Once your idea is out in the world, you will receive the suggestions that will help you make the product the best it can be.
Even if your idea is excellent from the start, an objective opinion can help you see it in a different angle. With many other opinions, you can ferret out new functions, potential issues, and other ways to improve.
Feedback isn’t a bad thing. It is used to improve your product or idea. But, first, you must release the idea or product.
Fear Is The Root Of Perfectionism
Criticism and the resulting negative feelings associated with it lead to perfectionism. When your idea is not already perfect, you may fear that others will hate it and you’ll fail. Luckily, fear can be changed, because it is produced by the mind. The irrational fear of releasing a less than perfect product or idea can be combated through analyzing your fear and the worst-case scenario.
What is the worst case scenario?
You will get feedback and it may be critical. Just by knowing the root of your fear, you are helping yourself eliminate, or reduce, it. Criticism is an excellent way to improve your product or idea. It allows you to engage your potential customers and track what they do or don’t like. When you are more in tune with your customers’ desires, you can tailor your idea or product to their needs and reach more people.
If you don’t know what your customers need, how will you solve their problem?
Criticism can be scary, but you need it to make the solution that can help others.
Failure Is Amazing
If you have never failed, you have never done anything. That’s not how you want to live your life. You have too much potential to do nothing. All great innovators failed. A lot. Before hitting his biggest success, the PC, Steve Jobs failed repeatedly. Elon Musk fails, often. Like you, they have great potential, and though they continue to fail, they persist in order to better the world.
Dreaming, creating, and releasing is the triad of reaching your potential as a human. Many of us look for our purpose, but it seems, our core purpose is to create. Success is a journey littered with failures. A broken wheel here, a rusted car there. You will fail many more times than you will succeed, but each failure is there to help you learn how to be successful.
There Is No Perfection
None of us will ever be perfect. Not a day in our life. We’re wired with flaws. We’re wired to make mistakes because we need to change to evolve. If we were perfect, however you want to define that, we would go extinct. With no need to adapt, we would remain the same throughout the generations and be unprepared for the changing world around us. Our intellect, introspection, and mistakes keep our species alive.
So, go out, and help us evolve. Make mistakes and learn from them!