Trying to be perfect has come up in several strategic thinking workshops and conversations recently.

I definitely understand trying to be perfect. Been there, done that, and still try to do it way too often. But I’m getting better, even if not perfect, at cutting myself a break and not wasting time and energy on all the strategic thinking that can go into trying to be perfect according to standards nobody else really cares about at all.

Do you struggle with trying to be perfect?

7 Ways to Chill Out and Move beyond Being Perfect

Here are seven strategic thinking reminders I keep telling myself to try to get over the call to needlessly being perfect:

  1. Recall all the times when things weren’t EXACTLY perfect yet EVERYTHING was still completely fine. That’s the first step in lowering your own expectations for perfection.
  2. Understand that in most business situations, meeting your commitment to get something done is more important than absolute perfection coupled with the imperfection of delay after delay while you work on perfect.
  3. Go ahead and pick SOMETHING to be perfect at, realizing it means other things WON’T BE perfect as a result.
  4. Remember how many times you knew there were problems with something and NO ONE else did.
  5. Realize that all the collateral damage from being perfect in one situation keeps you from pursuing all kinds of other opportunities.
  6. If you weren’t such a perfectionist, other people would be able to HELP YOU and relieve your stress. Get over it and give someone else a chance to do even better than you might.
  7. It’s okay to have do overs; just make it easy on yourself to start over if something goes wrong.


Strategic Thinking on Being Perfect

I’m sure this list isn’t perfect. It could be written better or maybe things are missing.

But I’m okay with that! – Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3 Responses to “Strategic Thinking – 7 Ways to Chill Out and Move beyond Being Perfect”

  1. John Bennett says:

    The second one is so very true. I’ve always advised students to understand the “firmness” of any deadline (consequences???). But the key, I strongly believe, is to do the best you can – respecting the deadline – AND to make sure the report documents the procedures used AND the recommendations for getting a better outcome. Very often a firm deadline isn’t so firm: “Why don’t you try …?” “I agree with your recommendations and like your approach; take until ________ and get that _________ you recommend.”

  2. Franis Engel says:

    I started a “short” reply then ended up writing a blog post. Good example of perfectionism in action! It has its rewards…which is of course, why we keep doing the perfect thing…