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  • Writer's pictureBetsy Kent


Fraternal twins don’t look exactly alike, but were born at the same time from the same parents.

The more I think about procrastination and perfectionism, the more I think that they are exactly like fraternal twins - behaviors that look a little different from one another, but are born from the same mindset and create the same result.

Both are ways to avoid putting yourself out there and dealing with what happens next.

Both are methods we use to allow us to never finish a task, project or goal.

Both allow us to never get feedback.

Procrastination gets a bad reputation because we associate it with laziness.

Perfectionism is applauded because we associate it with massive action leading to the noble goal of creating something perfect.

But is one really better than the other?

Or is perfectionism just procrastination in fancy clothing?

Just the better dressed twin?

With procrastination, we never start a task, always thinking we will be better equipped, more motivated or it will be easier at a later date - which, let’s face it - is never!

With perfectionism, we never finish a task, always thinking there is always something we can do to make it better, more perfect. But let’s face it - it will never be perfect because perfection is not an objective state of being. It is a subjective assessment we make. We can never really know if something is perfect.

Either way, we have assigned ourselves an impossible task. Nothing will ever be perfect and we will never feel perfectly motivated and equipped to complete a task.

Ironically, we also use one twin to rationalize the other.

As procrastinators we decide, when push comes to shove, that it is too late to do anything perfectly. We just throw something together as best we can.

We KNOW we didn’t do our best, so we don’t have to take any negative feedback to heart.

We think we didn’t have time to try to do it well and finish it, so we don’t feel bad that others may find fault because it isn’t ideal.

As perfectionists, we keep working right up until we bump into the deadline, and we can’t procrastinate putting our work out there any longer.

We KNOW it isn’t perfect so we don’t have to take any negative feedback to heart.

We think we didn’t have time to perfect it, we think it isn’t finished, and so we don’t have to feel bad that others may find fault because it isn’t ideal.

But really, when it comes down to it they both are ways of never admitting that something is our best work. We are trying to avoid negative feedback that we think we need to take seriously and the resulting feelings of rejection or any of those other uncomfortable “less than” emotions that make us question our expertise, intellect, looks or self worth.

Both procrastination and perfectionism are trying to protect us from discomfort. They both mean well, and they each take a different approach, but like twins, they start from the same place and both create almost identical results!

PS - If you want to figure out how to stop engaging with these well meaning but dangerous set of twins, sign up for a free consultation with me and let’s talk about how you can get stuff done! I have the PERFECT solution - you won’t want to PROCRASTINATE on learning more about it! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. CLICK HERE to sign up for a spot on my calendar.

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