Get Better Manifesto
I've always been a perfectionist.
But I'm gradually learning that good enough is fine and that progress is more important than perfect, and that perfect is the enemy of done.
These are sayings that I have posted above my desk at work; none of my co-workers have really noticed them, but they're nice to have around. They're useful reminders.
But the best cure for my be good, my always proving myself, and my I must be perfect all of the time default mindset, is this classic lecture by Dr. Heidi Grant (start at 19sec):
In short, if you're like me and don't have time for a 20-minute video, science shows that people tend to have two mindsets:
- Be good mindset: everything I do is about demonstrating competence; everyone is judging me all of the time.
- Get better mindset: I'm here to learn, I'm here to get better, challenges are good, growing is good; so long as I'm learning (and I'm doing better than yesterday—or last week), I'm doing OK.
If you've ever read or heard of the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, it's the same as what she talked about with growth mindsets (get better) and fixed mindsets (be good). However, I find Dr. Heidi Grant's work much more accessible; I've gotten alot further reading her book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals than I ever did with Dweck's book. Dr. Grant's audience is much more mainstream then Dweck's.
This philosophy, this belief, this faith is the underlying bedrock of this blog: that each one of us can work hard, improve our skills a little bit, and do it all over again tomorrow. And, in a month or a year we won't believe how far we've come.
So watch the video, and see if it helps you.