The word “perfect” is considered by many as something positive that we should all aspire to, believing it’s an asset. Well, here at MACS Women, we don’t agree.
What most people don’t realize is that striving for perfectionism actually causes mental blocks and breakdowns – exactly the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
If you think about it, there isn’t any perfect woman entrepreneur out there. In fact, in the business industry even the most successful entrepreneur makes mistakes.
Following are tips on how you can curb your “perfect” syndrome:
1. Know the definition of perfectionism. Do you get obsessed with a report even after your client told you it was satisfactory? Do you stress too much even with the littlest of mistakes? Does the word ‘average’ makes you nervous?
Perfectionism is a belief that work of any type is unacceptable unless it’s perfect.
2. Know the cost of perfectionism. If you know that your ‘perfect’ syndrome is negatively affecting aspects of your life – health, relationships, peace of mind, career – it might help curb it.
At the same time, you must also determine the reason why you’re too eager to be perfect since this is what’s sucking you in. Most perfectionist people feel that they are in control when they do something they perceived as perfect.
3. Stop short of perfection when doing the task. One way you can correct your habit of being perfect is by stopping doing tasks when you feel they’re almost perfect. You can also deliberately mess up a small aspect of that task. If your report looks already perfect, put an out-of-place comma somewhere.
4. Know that perfectionism can lead to procrastination. Ironically, one of the many downside of perfectionism is procrastination. You don’t start working on a task unless you have the best solution, the complete resources, the right timing and the right context at hand.
By being a perfectionist, you set high expectations and over-complicate things to a point where you end up not doing the task because you think it’s impossible to achieve without all the resources you think you need.
5. Trust that others can do the job. Perfectionists often want to do everything themselves because they are not confident that anyone else can do the job right.
Delegate and let go. Have faith in the abilities of your teammates. If you see that they’re doing something wrong, show them how it should be done instead of taking over entirely. If you do everything yourself, you’ll limit your overall productivity as you fail to utilize other available resources - your teammates.
The pursuit for excellence should never be confused with perfectionism. The former is healthy for personal growth and career development, while the latter is a sure way to undermine your happiness and productivity.