Good Is Good Enough
ADHDers are prone to perfectionism. This can cause all sorts of problems. One might never complete a project because one can never get it just right, or on the flip side, one might never start a project unless one is sure one will be able to do it exactly right. Both of these mindsets are toxic. Furthermore, perfectionism is time consuming. If one is constantly trying to get everything just right, one will never have time to do all of the things one needs to do. All of the problems surrounding perfectionism can be solved by embracing one simple idea: Good is good enough.
Let’s look at some examples to see how this idea can work in our lives…
Example 1: Cleaning One’s House
There seems to be a tremendous amount of pressure to have a clean house, especially when guests are coming over. We often will go to great lengths to make sure our houses look perfect. Yet, the house does not have to look immaculate. In my house, I have a throw pillow that says, “Sorry about the mess, but we live here.” I have accepted that my house is not going to be the neatest house in the world. As long as it looks at least somewhat presentable, I am fine with it. As far as I know, they do not give out awards for cleanest house, and let’s be honest. No one is going to judge you for having a slightly messy house. As long as you are not a hoarder, it is fine. Good is good enough.
Example 2: Writing a Book
Let’s say you are working on a book. You have completed the first draft, and you are working on revising it. Then, you get an idea of some things you can add to the book to make it stronger, so you stop revising and start writing more content. Once you have completed that, you go back to revising. Another idea hits you, and you go back add some more. Then, you are finally able to make it through the entire manuscript for a revision. Just to be safe, you go through it again and make more revisions. After three times of going through the book and making revisions, you still think there might be more things you can add or more mistakes you may have missed in your revisions. What do you do then? Do you do more research and find more things to add? Do you go through the manuscript once or twice more? Eventually, you have to declare the book done. You will never write a perfect book. All books are flawed in some way. Yours will be, too. Accept that good is good enough, and declare the book done.
Example 3: Ironing Clothes
I am not the greatest at ironing clothes, but I know how to make clothes look better by ironing them. I know I am not going to get every wrinkle out of every article of clothing I iron, so I embrace that. As long as I improve what I am ironing and get most of what needs ironing ironed, I am okay with that. When ironing clothes, there is no need to get it perfect. Five seconds after you put it on, it is going to have a wrinkle on it again. Good is good enough.
Determine What Is Good and Acceptable for You
Perfection is unattainable. In each task you do, determine what is acceptable. What is the lowest level of success you can enjoy? Obviously, you do not want to accept that which is unacceptable, but you do have to accept the fact that it will never be perfect. What does an acceptable level of success look like for you? This will be different for each task you undertake, so ask yourself that question quite often.