Are You a Perfectionist? Change that Habit!

It used to be that when job applicants were asked to name 3 strengths, the response “I’m a perfectionist” was seen as desirable. Not anymore.

Because in this frenzied world where managing complexity is the norm, perfectionists often:

  • Slow down completion of assignments
  • Set unrealistic goals
  • Have difficulty delegating
  • Berate themselves or others when they make mistakes

If you are a perfectionist, ask yourself 4 questions:

  1. In a 24/7 world, is an excellent piece of work better late than good work on time?
  2. What is the worst thing that would happen if you make an error?
  3. How many times in a day do you witness other people making mistakes and how serious were the consequences?
  4. What is the cost of reviewing your work multiple times (e.g. time, money, stress, work-life imbalance)?

Striving to be perfect in all aspects of your life fosters self-doubt and personal disappointment.
And as a leader, creating unrealistic expectations for others creates anxiety and disengagement.

3 strategies that will help:

  1. Be aware of your perfectionism and try to break the habit.
  2. Ask yourself about the task at hand: is “very good” good enough?
  3. View constructive feedback you’re given not as a sign of failure but as a learning opportunity.