Progress over perfection!

The words progress over perfection above an illustration with blue shapes on a yellow background.
Illustration by Rizwan Javaid

Lately, there has been a familiar voice that has appeared back in my head. As I work to get the Low Fidelity podcast up and running, the voice constantly reminds me that the podcast should be perfect right from the start, or it's not worth putting out there. The cover, the interview, the guests, the sound, the speed at which I work, they all need to be perfect. This voice is very opinionated and is a constant reminder that what I am doing is not up to par with the expectations of a great podcast.

This is a dangerous voice if I let it take up space in my head.

In the past, the voice has held me back countless times from even getting started let alone putting my work out into the world, but I have a weapon this time around which I want to share with you in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation. It is a mantra I have collected.  I keep repeating the mantra as a reminder to myself, which the voice does not like. The mantra is, “Progress over Perfection!”. Maybe I need to tattoo it under my eyelids because this is a reminder I need every single moment as I am working on any project.

Making progress is good enough.

When an idea is born it is rough around the edges and we’re not sure how it will end up looking at the end but we know that it could have potential. Through feedback and iteration, we help the idea grow and keep moving it forward. The rough edges get smoother with every pass and over time the idea blossoms into its true potential. Similarly, any project we start is rough at the beginning. We are figuring things out. We’re learning skills along the way and getting out of our comfort zone. Sometimes we learn the hard way through trial and error and mistakes but we make progress and we grow through this process. We continually improve through feedback and iteration to end up building something great.

The key, however, is to focus on making progress and not let the idea of perfection become a roadblock to getting started.

So next time the voice in your head makes you feel guilty of not doing things perfectly and pleads you to stop, you can respond by repeating the mantra “Progress over perfection!” to help you move forward towards your goals one small, not so perfect step at a time.

Till next time, stay strong!