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In a world that often glorifies perfection and waiting for the “ideal” moment, it’s easy to forget the wisdom in the old saying, “It’s better to start small and make progress than to wait until things are just perfect.” This timeless piece of advice holds a wealth of truth and practicality. In this article, we will explore why it’s beneficial to embrace imperfection and the many advantages of taking that initial step towards your goals, even when conditions are less than ideal.

The Myth of Perfection

Perfectionism, the relentless pursuit of flawlessness, can often hinder progress rather than facilitate it. Here are some common pitfalls associated with waiting for the perfect moment or outcome:

  1. Endless Delays: Striving for perfection can lead to procrastination as we wait for the “right” circumstances or conditions to align.
  2. Fear of Failure: The fear of making mistakes or falling short of perfection can paralyze us and prevent us from taking any action at all.
  3. Missed Opportunities: While we wait for everything to be just right, opportunities may pass us by, leaving us with regrets about what could have been.
  4. Stifled Growth: Perfectionism can limit our personal and professional growth, as we avoid challenges or tasks that may stretch our abilities.

The Benefits of Starting Small and Making Progress

  1. Action Breeds Confidence: Taking that initial step, no matter how small, builds confidence and momentum. Each step forward reinforces your belief in your ability to achieve your goals.
  2. Learning Through Experience: Mistakes and setbacks are valuable teachers. When you start small, you have the opportunity to learn from your experiences and make necessary adjustments along the way.
  3. Time Efficiency: Waiting for perfect conditions or outcomes can be time-consuming. By starting small and making progress, you maximize your use of time and resources.
  4. Tangible Results: Small, consistent actions yield tangible results over time. Progress may be incremental, but it is steady and measurable.
  5. Adaptability: Starting small allows you to remain flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. You can pivot and adjust your course as needed, rather than being locked into a rigid plan.
  6. Overcoming Fear: Taking action, even in the face of imperfection, helps overcome the fear of failure. You come to realize that mistakes are not fatal but stepping stones to success.

Practical Steps to Start Small and Make Progress

  1. Set Realistic Goals: Break down your larger goals into smaller, manageable steps. Focus on achieving one step at a time.
  2. Establish a Routine: Create a routine or schedule that allows you to consistently work toward your goals, even if it’s just for a short period each day.
  3. Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how minor they may seem. Small wins provide motivation and encouragement.
  4. Seek Support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, mentors, or peers who can offer guidance and motivation as you make progress.
  5. Stay Focused on the Journey: Remember that the journey itself is valuable. Embrace the learning experiences and personal growth that come with taking action.


“It’s better to start small and make progress than to wait until things are just perfect” is a reminder that perfection is an elusive and often unattainable goal. The pursuit of progress, even in the face of imperfection, is a more rewarding and practical approach. By taking that initial step and consistently working towards your goals, you not only build confidence and resilience but also move closer to realizing your dreams. Embrace the power of imperfection and start small today, for it is the journey of progress that truly matters.


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