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The Perfectionism Paradox


Have you got any weaknesses?

I imagine a large number of us have been asked this question in an interview at some stage or another. I'd personally like to think that it's on its way out. We would always try to think of a positive attribute that could be disguised as an area for 'opportunity' and, more often than not, answer, 'Well, I'm a bit of a perfectionist.'


It seemed like a great answer because it implied that you would do your job perfectly and wouldn't stop at anything short of this. What could possibly be the downside?

Perfectionism Procrastination

Ironically, this is a term I have just made up because I have put off writing this blog until 3 hours before I need to publish it. See photographic evidence below. So here I am, under time pressure to write something I believe has value (and not just anything to get the job done) while entertaining a baby whose favourite item in the world is the router box.


Perfectionism procrastination is how I would describe putting something off until you can do it perfectly. Obviously perfection does not exist (apart from maybe Schitt's Creek - if you haven't already seen it, make sure you do), therefore you'll end up in a rush like me, typing with one hand and trying to make sure the internet doesn't get ripped out.



Grey Brain vs Rainbow Brain


One of the things I have been responsible for introducing into school has been the idea of a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset. We decided to call it a grey brain or a rainbow brain for the children. A grey brain believes intelligence is fixed however a rainbow brain believes that you can improve and, more importantly, making mistakes and failing is a vital part of this process. It's kind of ironic that to get closer to perfection you must fail. Hence the title of this blog: it's a perfectionism paradox. For me to become a good author, I need to be a bad one first and discover what not to do. In a way it's very freeing. Once I accept that perfect isn't an option I am more willing to just do my best and learn along the way. I also quite like the idea of that: it's fun to know that I will get better at something as I continue with it.


The key to 'perfectionism' is not giving up. If you don't give up you can't actually fail because you haven't finished yet! I am going to make sure I keep going and try to learn as much as I can on the way and hopefully, one day, I'll have a finished book that I'm pretty proud of.


Is there something you've been putting off?


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