2. Progress over perfection

The words Progress over perfection and Low Fidelity on top of a paper texture and red grid lines
Episode cover: Progress over Perfection 

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.

Maybe you have a similar voice in your head that pops up as soon as you are taking steps towards your goals? In this episode, I share a simple but effective way I overcome the nagging voice of perfection when it appears.

I recently wrote about the idea of progress over perfection

Need help overcoming your inner obstacles? Reach out and let's talk.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the Low Fidelity Podcast.

In this podcast, I explore how creators can build a mindset of resilience, care, and confidence. I'm your host, Rizwan Javaid.

Today I will be talking about or topic that I'm tackling these days, which is the idea of perfection. Does this ever happen to you? You start to work on a project or a task and get it to where it needs to be. But then when you go to share it with the world, a voice inside of your head pops up and starts speaking to you.

Why isn't it perfect? Look at other people's work. Their work is perfect. Why isn't yours? You can't share this. Your work isn't polished enough to share. You can't do this. Stop.

Yeah, that voice is annoying and dangerous. If we listen to it, it can stop us in our tracks and keep us from making progress towards our goals. But we don't need to listen to that voice because whenever we start out with anything new, we're going to be bad at it, and our work will suck, for lack of a better word. I'll give you an example. As I'm starting out starting this podcast, everything is new to me, the organization of podcast production, the promotion, and the biggest thing is the quality of it. As I listen to other podcasts, I don't see mistakes, but as I work on my own podcast episodes, that's all I see. And if I focus too much on making my podcast perfect before I launch, I can get stuck.

When we start out in any new project, hobby or endeavor, we are going to stumble our way forward. As we learn. Along the way. We get better and we keep improving. But we have to start out somewhere and we have to be okay with our work being rough in the very beginning. It's something that has to happen. We can't compare ourselves to people who have been doing the same thing for many years and expect to be at that level right from the start. So it's something that we have to come to terms with and move past so that we can start to take steps forward and make progress.

So how can we keep ourselves from falling into this trap?

Recently I learned about this idea of progress over perfection, and it's pretty simple. Focus on the progress instead of making things perfect, and it's a mantra that I've adopted and I use every time I come to a point where that voice comes into my head saying I cannot share this work because it's not perfect. So it's a good reminder for me to focus on the progress and not get stuck and let the idea of perfection just stop me in my tracks.

Reminding ourselves to focus on making progress is what we are aiming for and not getting stuck in the perfection trap.

So repeat after me, progress over perfection, progress over perfection.

I could say this all day long, because every time I start something new, or even if it's a small task, I need to remind myself that I need to make progress and not get stuck. And over time, I hope it will come a little bit more naturally. But in the beginning, when you're starting out something new, it's going to be a little tough, but keeping a mindset of making progress however small but making progress, I'm focusing on that part instead of the perfection part. I think it will really help us.

You can even write it on a sticky note. Put it on your desk, make a poster of it, which I'm seriously thinking of doing so that I have something right in front of me, reminding me all the time because that's what I feel like I need is a constant reminder that this is an obstacle that I need to overcome, and it shows up many times a day. So the more I see it and the more it's in front of me, the more I'm reminded of it. And I can get over that challenge as soon as it comes up. I don't know, maybe I'll make a tattoo of it on the back of my hand just to remind myself because our goals are too important not to be realized because of perfectionism.

So I hope the next time that annoying voice in your head starts to tell you that your work is not perfect and tries to stop you, you can repeat the mantra progress over perfection to quiet that voice and move forward towards your goals.

Well, friends, that's it for today's episode. If you're enjoying the podcast, please rate and review it on Apple podcast as it helps other listeners find the show. You can also reach out to me at lowfidelity@rizwanjavaid.com or you can DM me on Twitter @rizwanjavaid.

Thank you for listening to low Fidelity till next time, stay strong!