Why Perfection Kills Change

"I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect, they are much more interesting" - Marc Jacobs.

The voices of women across Australia ring in my ears, I want to make change but I can’t start just yet I need more clarity, experience, skill, time, money… What I am hearing is I need to be more perfect.

I lost ten months in perfection paralysis. Working on building a business that I was to scared to launch because it had to be perfect before it was birthed to the world. It was only three months after launch that I realized my desire for perfect had achieved the complete opposite of what I sort and it triggered a complete rethink of my approach to change.

Perfection is brilliant at delivering a slow death to change, with negative impacts including significant loss of time, confidence and touch with reality. Not to mention untapped testing opportunities, lost motivation and an inability to fail fabulously and build resilience.

I firmly believe the clarity in change comes from the doing. For many of us there is a new skill required in unlearning the rigid old school structures of perfect planning before acting. Never in my 20 years of working in change across global giants, start ups or social enterprises has there been a perfect path to the holy grail of change. The path is evolutionary and comes from testing, failing, listening, learning and pivoting.

If you’re finding yourself stuck in change perfection I challenge you to reconsider your pursuit for perfect and stop placing unlimited barriers between yourself and a change that you know will make you happier. 

Know that where you start is not where you will end. You may believe you know how this change is going to play out but I can assure you it will be an evolutionary experience that will take form quite differently from what you envisaged.  Let go and allow yourself to be surprised by the journey.

Look at everything you do during your change as a way to test and explore what works best rather than having this idea that it needs to be perfect before you begin. Create hypothesis and then go about trying to blow them up, that’s where the real magic occurs.

Learn to love failure. I believe failure can be an extremely empowering experience. The most inspiring and action orientated entrepreneurs and change makers I have the good fortune of collaborating with share their failures like a badge of honor. They recognize how failure creates a platform for real growth, resilience and a stepping stone towards the next great change opportunity.

If you’re still feeling your need from perfection is holding you back why not truly push the comfort zone and get UnstuckHer with me. Enrolments are open until October 15, 2016.