I love HGTV. I love watching the remodels, the fixer uppers, the new home builds take shape over 30 minutes. Mostly, I am amazed by how quickly the homeowners or buyers are able to make decisions regarding paint colors, floor plans, or fixture options. And then, voilà, seven weeks later, they are in their new home and everything is beautiful… and done!
Now, I know there is more to it than can fit into a 30-minute show. I’m sure there is some hemming, hawing, tears and temper tantrums that aren’t filmed. However, it took me years just to decide what color I wanted to paint my living room walls. Finally, after 10 years of false starts with paint chips and living with just white primer, I made a decision, chose a color and painted the damn living room over a weekend. And it felt so good to be able to check that chore off of my to-do list. Was it a perfect paint job? Did I absolutely love the color? Would I have chosen that same color again? Nope, nope and nope. But, it was done. I didn’t have to walk into the living room anymore, frowning at just white primer on the walls walls and feeling guilty that I hadn't gotten the job completed. It wasn't perfect but it was done.
That’s the problem with perfectionism. It is immobilizing. A task, a story, an idea is started but then the tweaking happens. “This doesn’t sound right; I need to rewrite it.” “The elements in this design don’t seem right; I need to fix it.” “Oh heck, maybe I’ll just clean the house instead!” Folks, there is no perfect time or place. There are no perfect colors or styles. Perfectionism gives you only anxiety, avoidance, indecision and ineffectiveness. Struggling to complete a project? Fine. Stop and admit that you're struggling. Take a breath. Make a pros and cons list. Do your research. Dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s” but stop tweaking and in the words of Nike, “Just do it!” If you wait for the perfect time, place, thing, person or idea, it may end up being too late. Take initiative, gamble a little, choose the paint color and finish the job. You’ll feel much better about the task and the outcome once you can check it off as completed, because, in the end, “done is better than perfect.”
Commercial & editorial lifestyle & travel photographer, educator, competitive cyclist, track/cross country coach