When it comes to creating any type of content – blogs, social posts, videos, website copy, or anything in between – it’s natural to strive for perfection. After all, your content represents you, your business, and your brand, and any glaring flaws or errors can hurt your credibility. And we sure as hell don’t want that.
But here’s the thing: There’s a huge difference between striving to create high-quality content…and straight up obsessing over it.
Our opinion? Perfectionism is hella overrated. That’s because it can cause you a lot more harm in the long run than a few typos or inconsistencies can.
What perfectionism looks like (and why it’s a bad thing)
Most of us growing up were probably taught that perfectionism equates to success. We must have perfect grades, perfect performances, perfect behavior, and perfect everything else in order to make others proud of us. And, if you’re anything like me (or millions of others out there), we’ve carried those “lessons” into adulthood.
Unfortunately for us, those childhood lessons were straight up bullshit.
For business owners, content creators, and entrepreneurs, perfectionism can be super debilitating. But it might not always look the like what we think it does. Here’s an example:
I was once talking to my therapist about my struggles to perform basic, everyday tasks like feeding myself, doing the laundry, and keeping my home clean. Do you think you’re a perfectionist? she asked. I straight up scoffed – no way in hell I was a perfectionist. At best, I’m really rough around the edges.
That’s when she opened my eyes to the fact that perfectionism manifests itself in a lot of different ways. For us content creators, that usually looks like:
- Making too many revisions and never posting
- Procrastinating due to anxiety or fear of failure
- Needing ‘perfect’ conditions to be creative or productive
- Missing deadlines due to delays
- Shutting down or checking out due to feeling overwhelmed
As a result, we enter the endless (and exhausting) cycle of feeling shitty and burnt out because our content feels rushed, out of our control, and not good enough.
Steps to overcome perfectionism – no matter the form
If you have one takeaway from this blog, let it be this: Perfectionism is impractical. You should let go of the idea of perfectionism because it’s straight-up unattainable. Can you be really, really good at what you do? Hell yes! But perfect? Nah, we deserve to save our energy and sanity.
Let’s talk through some ways to overcome perfectionism while creating content.
Set realistic goals and deadlines
If you find yourself constantly rushing at the last minute to make your content perfect, it’s time to re-evaluate your goals and deadlines. If you’re someone who likes to edit your content with a fine-tooth comb, make sure you’re allowing yourself (and your team) the space to do so.
On the other hand, if you give yourself too much time to edit, rewrite, edit, and rewrite again, try making some adjustments to your process so you don’t get caught in the hampster wheel. Maybe you give yourself just one round of edits before posting. Or, you could hand off editing to another copywriter or editor you trust to do a great job, so it’s out of your hands completely.
Prioritize what’s most important
Remember: If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. If you have a lot of deliverables and editing ahead of you, try prioritizing everything from most to least important. For example, if you’re creating something like a webinar or digital product that will get tons of engagement, you should plan to spend more time and effort during the creation process.
Now, we’re not saying that lower-priority content should be sloppy and riddled with mistakes. All we’re saying is that it shouldn’t require as much time or energy to make it the best. Because, let’s be honest, whatever you’re producing is probably still going to be really, really good.
Break big projects or goals down into smaller chunks
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed by a big project or goal, take some time to break it down into smaller, more achievable steps. Those might look like:
- Brainstorming ideas
- Creating an outline
- Writing one paragraph, page, module, etc. at a time
- Editing as you go along (so you don’t have to edit everything all at once)
- Asking for help
- Celebrating milestones along the way
Give yourself a break
Admitting you struggle with perfectionism can be really hard. That’s because we’ve been taught that anything less than perfection means disappointment (thanks a lot, parents, teachers, and coaches). But don’t forget: You are an imperfect human being, and that’s perfectly okay.
So, give yourself a break, practice some grace, and prioritize your mental health. You’re trying your best, and that’s genuinely all you can do.
And hey – if you really want to give yourself a break from content creation for a while (no judgment here!), we’re here to take it off your hands. Just let us know what you need help with or schedule a call with Latasha to talk!