An unexpected foe

I have never considered myself a perfectionist. 

In fact, I always thought of myself as near the opposite -- failing to stick with things long enough to give them polish or even finish them at all. 

But right now I'm reading Finish by Jon Acuff, and it's challenging my understanding of perfectionism. He argues (based on some research he did with a PhD candidate) that perfectionism is the key obstacle that keeps most of us from finishing our goals. The first lie perfectionism tells us is:

If you can't do it perfectly, you should quit (or you should quit when your perfect streak ends)

That one hit me right between the eyes (as apparently it should for most people). I can't tell you how many things I've started and then quit because i couldn't do it as perfectly as I wanted (or thought I should).

My experience with podcasting is a great example. Everything I read while creating it talked about the importance of perfect consistency -- miss a week and your listeners will revolt. So, when I got behind, I would quit and wait until I thought I could resume without missing again. But, I'd start back up and inevitably break the streak by missing an episode and quit again... over and over until I basically gave up. 

From what i've heard over the years, most people have this issue with blogging, working out, dieting, or any number of things where a perfect streak is positioned as the only option. Although a lot of people out there are pretty good at perfect streaks, I'm starting to realize that's not the only way. 

I'm finding lots of great points like this one in the book. I'll try to break them up and reflect on them separately (just don't expect them on a perfect schedule...)