I remember that when I was doing my first job interviews 20 years ago, I used to put perfectionist in my weaknesses actually thinking it was not such a bad thing (You know, you have to tell the interviewer your strengths and your weaknesses and usually you look for weaknesses that are not so terrible, right?).
But I actually didn’t see the real shadow of perfectionism. The more I move on in my coaching journey, doing my inner work, the more I realize the costs of being a perfectionist. You see, perfectionism is great, until it is not anymore. It usually puts you on a successful journey because you are doing a great job at anything you engage into. But when it becomes automatic and not a choice anymore, then it gets in the way for you to be even more successful and to go to the next level in your life or business.
When you are a perfectionist:
- You want everything to be perfect so you spend hours fine tuning whatever you do, whereas you could actually spend this time elsewhere. You might even leave things in work, unfinished, because then there is always the possibility to correct or improve.
- You overanalyze everything, trying to optimize and prepare for all that can go wrong and when things occur not according to plan, you get frustrated.
- You are so afraid to make the wrong decision that you don’t make any decision, or it takes ages to make that decision.
- You care too much about what people think about you (this is common to lots of people but being a perfectionist makes it even worth) and it holds you back.
- You lack confidence because you don’t really see the good things you are achieving, you mainly focus on what could have been better.
- Eventually, you don’t take risks, you don’t do what you are scared of, you don’t get uncomfortable. You move on a perfect conventional, linear path and you miss opportunities for deep learning, breakthroughs and exponential growth.
“No one is perfect” is a common saying but it has been overused. It can make a great excuse for not doing our best, not taking responsibility and not owning our imperfections. But getting clear on our imperfections, owning them and making a conscious choice about what to do with them, that’s where the breakthrough is.
So, are you a perfectionist? What are the benefits of it? What are the costs of it? Can you own your imperfections? What do you want to do with them?
You know what? I have been rereading and rewriting this post numerous times already, because of course I want it to be perfect 😊. And right now, I feel it is not, there is something I can’t quite articulate and I don’t like it. And this is why I am going to stop here and press send!
2 thoughts on “Are you a perfectionist?”
Appreciate your wonderful post. Its never easy to be a perfectionist. But reminding that there is a beauty in imperfection can actually helps a lot. We are humans. Let ourselves be human, where we make decisions, make mistakes and learn from it. Its not easy to accept failures but its possible to moved on and just learn from it. To live not be perfect but to be useful.
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Thanks Nichole, “To live not to be perfect but to be useful”, I love that, great perspective shift, thanks for sharing your thoughts.