Procrastination: The Perfectionist’s Lie as Presented by Brendon Burchard (plus video)

This is an image of a nearly-perfect vintage MG restored near Aspen Colorado. I'm using it to illustrate and accompany Brendan's talk and blog on The Perfectionit's Lie, since if you look more closely to the MG image, you will see all the holes in the perfectionism story. I mean, who even too this Nikon worthy picture without an art director to turn the steering wheel into a dignified location. Authentic is not the way with creative and gifted art direction.
“Untitled image of near perfection, ” ©2013, Lauren Berley Studio

“The prettiest excuse we wield is the perfectionist’s lie, that crafty and vain and elegant delay logic shared with a high-chin that says, ‘You just don’t understand, I am a perfectionist so I have yet to finish.’

The reason for our holdup is so beautifully precise yet abstract; our personality is to blame. No, the reason most have not finished is because they have yet to truly begin. They got tangled up in doubt or distraction, and so they have yet to commit the grueling focus, toil, sweat, and investment that real work and creativity requires. They believe they fear the blemishes of beginnings and the faults on the path to finishing, but perhaps they fear themselves. If there were such a thing as a ‘perfectionist,’ they would at least be precise and call it like it is: ‘I am scared and distracted, and so I have yet to proceed or complete.’
And if there were such a person, they would be wise, knowing that the act of ‘perfecting’ something comes only after completing and releasing it. They would know ‘perfection,’ if such a thing exists, only happens after the terrible mess of creativity has been waded through with heart and discipline and excellence; they would know that the real magic happens after a thing is done as best as possible given the time constraints of a true and often terrifying deadline, after it can finally be shared with the world and beaten up and commented on and criticized and iterated; that the learning only begins once you see your work and art in the hands of others, once you see their eyes shine with joy or squint with confusion. They would know that day dreaming is not enough; that action, not perpetual analysis, moves us toward a more perfected state; that initiative alone propels us to real glory and greatness; that true high standards demand implementation not anxious apathy; that flawlessness is a fiction of the dreamer and has no use in the reality of the learner, the artist, the master.

Should such self-labeled delayers overcome fear and distraction, and actually allow days and weeks and months of courage and commitment, allow all the sloppiness and the feedback, allow the grand challenge to ego and to faith, allow the highs and lows of inspired and meaningful striving—then they might find themselves having actually completed the thing.


They might suddenly realize that it wasn’t perfection they were after at all, but rather contributing something great and worthwhile; that only in the actual duty and discipline to finishing the things we dream of can we become alive and whole and legend; that in the handing over of our gifts to those we serve, no matter how imperfect, is what finally, after all that time, fulfills our mission and lifts our souls.
So let us lose the perfectionist’s lie and get at it. Let us do the work and take thrill in the toil and hardship and meaning that inspired action gives us; let us create and share and learn and reinvent with joy; let us complete it and release it and love it and allow our works to live under the sun for some growing and weathering and beautifying. Let us become masters.”
– Brendon Burchard, Live. Love. Matter.
*Brendon Burchard is one of the most-followed personal development trainers in the world and NY Times Bestselling author of “High Performance Habits” and “The Motivation Manifesto.”
http://Brendon.com

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