Photo by Denis Cherkashin on Unsplash

Solve perfectionism with this mindset (nerdy but effective)

Hassan S. Ali


“When will I know I’ve MADE IT?” I yelled to my career coach. This was a few years ago. I was frustrated and angsty after months of trying to advance my career, with roadblocks along the way.

“When will I know I’ve gotten there?” I followed up, desperately.

(I just want everything to be PERFECT, to feel “finished”, to no longer need development. O, show me the way to this hidden utopia, expensive career coach. I must find it!)

After a pause, she replied: “There’s no there there. You’re already there, now.”

Of course, this only riled me up even more. But eventually, the words of this career coach / human fortune cookie sunk in:

In life, there’s no such thing as being “done.” 🤯

“There is only the present, constantly.”

To quote the incredible memoir, “Not Fade Away” by Peter Barton. He writes: “The present moment is lived, and relived; written, and rewritten. Every previous version still inhabits it. There is only the present, constantly.”

Lexus’s tagline is: “The Pursuit of Perfection.” As perfectionists, we want to be the Lexus that just appears in someone’s driveway on Christmas, complete with a giant bow on top. Cut to end of commercial, happily ever after, done. Finished.

But even that Lexus needs routine maintenance afterwards!

Are you a perfectionist like me?

Do you just want to have “made it” already? Are you “never enough”? Could you always be or do more, better?

If perfectionism is paralyzing you more than helping you, I’ve been there. And in my *Alexis Rose voice* journey to work through it, I came up with an analogy that’s helped me whenever perfectionism flares up.

The mindset to tame perfectionism: Think of yourself like a piece of software.



Hassan S. Ali

I write comedy things. the ha & lol. Also a founding editor of Slackjaw on Medium.