5 Reasons To Embrace Your Imperfections

They’re the key to doing great work.

Josh Spector
Mar 28, 2017 · 4 min read

Each week I share 10 helpful ideas in my newsletter. Last week’s included how to learn new things as an adult and the ages we peak at everything in life.


“Perfect is the enemy of good.” — Voltaire

After I write this post, I have two options.

I can obsess over its flaws, wonder if there’s a better way to say what I want to say, and edit it for months until I think it’s perfect.

Or, I can hit publish.

I’ll choose the latter option.

Because seeking perfection doesn’t move us forward — it holds us back.

Here’s why…

Perfect isn’t interesting.

Perfection is never as interesting as imperfection.

The flaws, rough edges, broken rules, and counter-intuitive choices are what makes our work unique, effective, and memorable.

The imperfections are what attracts others to our creations and what makes them stand out.

Attention is drawn to things that stand out — not things that fit in.

The definition of “perfect” is something that “has all the required or desirable elements.”

What that actually means is it’s perfect because it offers what’s expected. That’s fine, but what’s expected is rarely interesting and often boring.

What’s expected isn’t what gets noticed.

Perfect isn’t relatable.

It’s cliche to say nobody’s perfect, but it’s cliche because it’s true.

Nobody is perfect and that includes our audience. We all struggle and like to see our struggles reflected back to us in the people we follow and admire.

Revealing your imperfections instead of hiding them doesn’t drive people from you — it draws them to you.

They humanize us and our creations, and they encourage people to connect with us in ways they’ll never connect with things that appear perfect.

Perfect is limiting.

Let’s say we manage to create something perfect (we can’t, but more on that in a minute).

We’ve lived up to the impossibly high standard we set for ourselves, but now what? Where do we go from here?

Perfect doesn’t allow for change, improvement, or growth. If we convince ourselves something we’ve done is perfect, we remove our ability to improve it.

When we become comfortable with putting imperfect things into the world, we create opportunities for ourselves to become better.

Our mistakes are valuable. Don’t undervalue them by trying to avoid them.

Perfect is an excuse.

The easiest way to avoid putting something into the world is to aim for perfection.

We can’t let anybody read our book because it’s not perfect. We can’t sell our product until it’s the best it can be. And there’s no point in pitching potential clients until we’ve perfected our pitch. Right?

Wrong.

Too often our quest for perfection (our “high standards,” “commitment to excellence,” or whatever other nonsense we label it) becomes an excuse to avoid moving forward.

If we try and fail, we’re a failure. But if we work on perfecting our creation forever, then we just have high standards!

When we’re willing to put something imperfect in the world, we force ourselves to realize the only thing holding us back is our fear — and that can be overcome.

Perfect doesn’t exist.

Here’s my last pitch to convince you to embrace imperfection.

Perfect doesn’t exist. You’re chasing a ghost.

There are an infinite number of variables surrounding our work that make perfection impossible to define and assess.

What’s the perfect version of this post?

For some people, it’s a short version. For others, it would be 10 times longer. Maybe it needs more concrete examples or more profanity (Fuck! I knew it was missing something!).

There’s no “perfect” version of this post just like there’s no perfect version of anything we do.

I know this post is imperfect and I’m fine with it.

Because I’m fine with it, I can publish it, provide value to people with it (hopefully), learn from it, and move on to create another one.

Aiming for imperfection allows me to progress. To move forward. And ultimately to succeed.

So, who needs perfect?

Subscribe to my newsletter to get 10 helpful ideas each week.


For The Interested

Actionable ideas to help you produce, promote and profit…

Josh Spector

Written by

I run the For The Interested newsletter and help clients use social media and newsletters to grow and activate audiences. ForTheInterested.com/subscribe

For The Interested

Actionable ideas to help you produce, promote and profit from your creations.

Josh Spector

Written by

I run the For The Interested newsletter and help clients use social media and newsletters to grow and activate audiences. ForTheInterested.com/subscribe

For The Interested

Actionable ideas to help you produce, promote and profit from your creations.

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