Perfection vs. Progress (The Creative Struggle is Real)

Perfection Vs Progress

"You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction"


Hey, Lauren here. Today I want to dive deep into a topic that's close to my heart - The endless pursuit of perfection, and how it actually hinders our progress as creative photographers. 

We all crave perfection. The perfect business, with the perfect images and the perfect bank balance. 

Sounds great in theory. So why is perfection a bad word in this house? Because in reality, there is no such thing as perfect. It's an illusion. And this is why perfectionists can never truly be happy with what they produce. 

No matter how creative the results are to the outside eye, a perfectionist measures their own self-worth against what they do, not who they are or what they've already achieved. Even if a perfectionist does achieve a "perfect" goal, they then proceed to set the next bench mark higher, to achieve more, to push harder. They work towards impossible goals and are unable to keep up with the inner demand or nagging voice telling them to do better, so they often neglect their own self care and get behind on the mountain of work because their energy is so focused on perfecting the small details.  And this, my friend, leads to burn out.

How do I know this? Because, my friends, I am a recovering-perfectionist. 

Perfection and creativity don't mix. Like oil and water, however much you shake that bottle the two will always separate and be at odds. You are looking for a solution, but all you have is a suspension.

Well, I'm all about the solutions, so lets' get down to the small tweaks you can make to your mindset today that will help the nagging perfectionist inside that's blocking your progress.

In order to move past the perfectionist's block, we need to pivot our mindset onto a different path... the path of progress & excellence. What's the difference? 

• Perfection is about the end result. 

• Progress is about the journey and growth along the way. 

• Excellence, on the other hand, shows you are giving your best at that moment in time, (an excellent service and standard) with measurable goals for improvement without the pressure of perfectionism.

Once you ditch the pursuit of Perfection for the flexibility of Excellent Progress, you will immediately notice a shift, because you can appreciate the on-going evolution of your journey. 

When you replace the pursuit of perfection with the pursuit of progress, you'll notice a significant shift. You start to feel more in control, relishing the journey toward your goals and enjoying the bigger picture that unfolds.

How to shift your focus

The "Excellent Progress" mindset allows you to focus on growing your client base and enhancing their experience, treating them exceptionally well, while keeping your home life more organized and yourself more relaxed (win win win). 

Progress is limitless. It always offers room to grow, making the future exciting and the present satisfying. 

Here are my top tips for replacing perfection with progress so you can grow your excellent business faster and smoother:

Set Realistic Goals:

Break your big goals into smaller, manageable ones. For example, instead of aiming to completely overhaul your photography technique in a month, focus on improving one aspect at a time, like mastering a new lighting technique, trying a different style of editing, or redesigning your website. One thing at a time my friend.

Messy Imperfection is Part of your Creative Process:

Understand that not every photo or project in your business will be flawless, and that's okay. Celebrate the unique qualities that “imperfections” can bring to your work. They often add character and authenticity to your business. Imperfections are a part of life, by embracing them, you are showing your human side in a very automated world. 

Practice Mindfulness and Self-Compassion:

Mindfulness can help you stay present and focused on the task at hand, reducing the anxiety that comes with perfectionism. Be kind to yourself. Remember, your worth is not solely defined by how Perfect your business or home life is. You wouldn't judge others so harshly, it's time to extend some of that compassion to yourself.

Seek Feedback and Collaboration:

Sometimes, working in isolation can reinforce our perfectionist tendencies. It's easy to get stuck in your own head. Collaborate with others, seek feedback, and be open to different perspectives! This can provide a much more balanced view of your business and progress.


Avoid constantly comparing your work to that of others, instead focus on your own journey and progress. Remember, every artist has a unique path and style. Regularly acknowledge your successes, no matter how small. Whether it's a client’s positive feedback or your satisfaction with a day’s work, celebrating these moments can shift your focus from what’s not perfect to what you've actually achieved.. excellent!

Continuous Flexibility:

Adopt a mindset of continuous learning and growth. Instead of aiming for perfection, aim to learn something new with each project. This approach fosters a sense of progress and development. Regularly notice your work processes and mindset. 

By implementing these strategies, you can transition from a perfectionist mindset to one focused on excellence, progress, and personal well-being. You'll find the juggle for excellent quality is balanced beautifully with the practicalities of running a business AND maintaining a healthy personal life.

Remember, perfection is a mirage. So go and embrace your excellent progress, and watch as both your business and personal life begin to align! By allowing yourself to be true to who you are and your craft, everything else will fall into place.

With love and encouragement,

Lauren xox

Hi! I'm Lauren

World's most OK mom and Photographer.

Join me on this journey as we embrace the beautiful chaos of running a photography business with family life, so we can turn our everyday moments into extraordinary milestones.

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