I took a break from some of my regular books on strategy and business to start focusing more on my own development. Though I do value tactical books, I am understanding more and more how important it is to develop sound philosophies and values to apply any technique I learn.
What am I reading?
How to be an Imperfectionist - Stephen Guise
Who should pick this up?
Has trouble delegating tasks for fear it won't be done correctly
Has had something to share put keeps delaying it
Believes anything but straight A's on a report card means failure
Makes decisions based on what people will say rather than how it makes them feel
Why did I read it?
In addition to suffering from all of the above, I've been more aware of how my perfectionism is hindering my ability to effectively lead, communicate, and grow.
What were some key takeaways?
Make my goals binary. The reason I avoided doing something of importance was because I prioritized quality. If I couldn't do something well, I was afraid to do it because mistakes equated to failure. The binary approach highlights completion and not level of execution. For example, the binary options when writing an article would be 1) publishing or not publishing. If I put up I new blog post, I've succeeded. It doesn't matter if it gets views, produces engagement, or has typos. It's completed, a completion is a victory. This binary approach now places the emphasis on action and not perfection.
Stop thinking so much. I often find myself reliving the past or wanting to weigh all of my options for the future. I'm an INFJ personality type so it's not odd that 90% of my dialogue is in my head. However, ruminating over the past - playing out what could have happened or how I should have done something differently - doesn't provide value to the present moment. And on the flip side, waiting to have all the correct information before making a decision also blocks my ability to start. As a general rule of thumb, if I become aware that I'm spending more time thinking than acting, I stop what I'm doing, identify the next logical step to take, and then take it.
Overall, it's one of those books that seemed to be speaking directly to me. I recognized myself amongst the pages and understand myself better. And that is usually a win.
Here's to the next barrage of imperfect posts.