Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Perfectionism is a Double-edged Sword

Is striving for perfection a problem?

“It’s okay, nobody’s perfect.”

When you hear those words, you know that you failed at something!

Shouldn’t we all strive to be the best?

No, not necessarily!

Performing your best at any given time is great! But what’s NOT so great is obsessing over being perfect and not being able to live up to an unrealistic standard. Research shows that trying to be perfect can cause anxiety and that’s bad news when it comes to your mental health!

So where do you draw the line between wanting to do your best and trying to be perfect?

Harvard Business Review gives a list of how perfectionists tend to get in their own way and end up being unproductive.

  1. Decision paralysis. Always wanting to make the best decisions so you end up deciding too slow and missing out on possible opportunities! Here’s an example—you had to decide which vendor to choose and you took so long to decide that vendors, colleagues and supervisors are frustrated by your missed deadlines.
  2. Avoiding failure. The need to be seen and viewed as “always having the right answer” makes you miss out on learning opportunities.
  3. A BIG ONE: Expecting too much from others. I have a friend Cathy who expects herself to be perfect, and those around her! She loses friendships over this.

 Do you find yourself relating to any of the above? If so, consider:

  1. Start imperfect and Improve by 1%.

    Always be in improvement mode! Find something and focus on making a small improvement on that.
  2. Chewing the cud and ruminating is OK… if you’re a cow.

    When you start worrying too much about something, STOP yourself for 10 seconds to think about it. If it’s going to help—go for it. (But when was the last time worrying helped with anything?)  
  3. Make informed decisions… not perfect ones. I wrote a short and popular blog that.

Grow for it! 

Dr. Rob


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