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Perfectionism - Not So Perfect

Aug 18, 2007
If you find yourself being super critical of yourself, you are probably a perfectionist.
You may even be proud of the fact that you are a perfectionist.

Is perfectionism a good thing? Let's take a look at some of the imperfect parts of perfectionism.

Being a perfectionist is one of the biggest causes of procrastination. If you find yourself putting off starting a job, notice what your expectations are of yourself. If you feel as though you have to figure out the perfect way for completion, you will probably delay the start for quite awhile. Be honest with yourself about what you're really doing with your time and energy. Why are you setting the standard so high that you can't even start?

Being a perfectionist makes it difficult to be authentic with yourself and others. If nothing but perfect is OK with you, how can you be transparent with others about something that you consider to be less than perfect? No one and nothing is absolutely perfect. Being OK with something not complete or not perfect in yourself and others allow much more connection in your life.

Being a perfectionist can make it difficult to be around you. Not only are perfectionists hard on themselves, they can be hypercritical of others around them. With focus on even the tiniest details and intolerance of anything that has any flaws, how could anyone be comfortable submitting work or being observed by you? Mistakes are just a part of being human. It's time to cut yourself and others some slack.

Being a perfectionist doesn't allow you to have the practice it takes to actually get closer to perfection! It is only with practice and more practice that we can improve on our previous performances. When there is so much hesitation to get started, the practice just doesn't happen often enough. Decisions always have some degree of uncertainty and to be a good leader it requires getting comfortable enough with those unknowns to take action.

Being a perfectionist can cause you to make everything of equal importance. There are some situations that cannot tolerate even the slightest degree of error. There are many other decisions in life that really don't have a huge impact on anyone's safety and can benefit from the forward motion of a decision made and carried through with correcting in the process.

Being a perfectionist and working long hours doesn't always reflect well on your abilities. Why are you needing to work longer and harder than everyone else? Are you not as intelligent? Is your productivity less than it could be? Are you focusing so hard on the details that you are getting buried in them? While you may have thought that it looked good that you were so "dedicated" to your work, you may actually look just a bit desperate!

It's time to look at your situation honestly and notice what your patterns are. Think about what kind of standards you have and if they are really serving anyone. Perfectionism has not created many happy and success people. In many cases it has made people isolated, unsuccessful and miserable.

When you can ease up on the stringent demand for detailed perfection, you will notice more of your energy and creativity coming alive. With that passion comes the kind of significant impact you can have on those around you and the work you accomplish
About the Author
What could you accomplish if you freed up more of your creative passion? Check out the resources at Exuberant Productivity.com that can help you achieve a healthy bottom line plus quality time. Contact Suzanne Holman, MAEd, the Exuberant Productivity Coach at suzanne@suzanneholman.com
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