How to keep perfectionism from holding you back

Perfect is the enemy of great.

You can prevent perfectionism from holding you back

I’ve spent my career in marketing and communications positions. Striving to make everything perfect is a mindset I’ve always firmly held onto.

For years, I thought, “I am conveying critical information about my company, our entertainment content, and sharing news with external audiences. Everyone’s watching, so everything needs to be perfect.”

And to a large degree, this remains true and important to me here at TheSoul Publishing.

However, one of our company’s values caught my attention: “avoid perfectionism.” Although I am constantly striving for perfection, a small part of me always understood that to truly succeed, one must also avoid it.



I knew this was not only a refreshing perspective but one long overdue.

Keeping things moving to drive results and to strive higher means, at times, knowing when to say, “that’s good enough!” Below are some tips I use to best navigate this counterintuitive approach to perfectionism:

Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.

It is essential to constantly evaluate your to-do list and the priority level of projects. Realistically, no one perfectly completes everything on their list of daily or weekly to-dos.

However, by consistently prioritizing your key focus, more time is spent on the high-priority projects and those further down the list … well, they may be a bit less perfect.

Focus on the product, not the packaging

At other companies, teams may spend a significant amount of time putting together the perfect PowerPoint presentation, with perfect visuals all aligned in the most perfect way possible. Often without success.

At TheSoul, when we present information internally, we focus more on our thoughts and ideas in written form and less on providing an overly glossy visual shine. Both your results and your time will benefit from this approach.

Keep the pace

Heading global communications for a studio creating digital content,, I am fortunate to be part of a highly creative, entertaining and fast-evolving business.

To keep up, we must all move both with purpose and speed. And at times, this faster pace may lead to little imperfections in our work.

No matter the industry, it’s important to remember that this is okay. Push forward smartly. Focus on the big picture and the project’s essence to deliver the most substantial result.

Eliminate the guesswork

A practical method our communication team employs is that at the start of each quarter we schedule every task we can think of — big and small. We are then alerted when short but essential tasks require completion.

What does this have to do with perfectionism? Well, this process:

  • Removes guesswork
  • Prevents minor and routine tasks from falling through the cracks
  • Gives you more time to focus on the more significant tasks

Go with your gut

It’s a cliche statement, but it should remain top of mind.

We are not perfect. We all slip up from time to time. But you can often eliminate most mistakes by:

  • Putting trust in your experience of a similar situation
  • Seeking advice from a trusted colleague
  • Going with your gut instincts.

Each of these contributes to wise decision-making and prevents you from overthinking a project into paralysis.

Think of an emoji

We are all busy. We all have goals to complete, and we all strive toward achieving meaningful results. It’s natural, however, for there to be times when we feel overwhelmed with how to give our best to every single one of our tasks. To help, every so often, simply remember the meditation emoji. To me, it is a playful reminder to turn off my computer, take a break, and catch my breath.

I am fortunate to work for a company where asynchronous communication is a fundamental part of our company culture. We have the unique chance to pause, recalibrate for a moment, and return to our tasks without stressing over every detail.

Craig Radow is the VP of global communications for TheSoul Publishing. He was previously VP of publicity and marketing at 20th Century Fox Consumer Products and Twentieth Television.

COMMENT Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from directly in your inbox.