Perfection as a Limiter

Are you a perfectionist? Do you know anyone who is? Today, let’s talk a little about the drive to be perfect and what it can cost you.

What’s so bad about being good? Nothing at all, but trying to be perfect can cost you a lot in terms of mental health and harmonious relationships. You see, people who can mobilize themselves in the face of tough problems are usually folks who don’t worry about being perfect. They’re happy to move ahead with a partial solution, trusting that they’ll invent the rest as they go along. Their attitudes are flexible and their minds ever-growing.

Now, perfectionists will try to tell you that their relentless standards drive them to levels of productivity and excellence that they couldn’t otherwise attain. But often just the opposite is true. Perfectionists usually accomplish less, because they waste so much time paralyzed by fear of failure. Their minds are fixated on the perfection and they won’t start anything until they know how to finish it without any mishaps. From the standpoint of productivity, that can be a very real limiter.

Even though they don’t know exactly how they’re going to do something, high-performance people keep their vision of the end-result uppermost in their minds and forge ahead anyway. They believe that they will get the help they need, find the resources they need, and figure out the how-to’s as they go – and they usually do. They focus more on the desired end-result than the “how-to’s” needed along the way.

If, for some reason, they don’t achieve the outcome they wanted, high performers don’t waste energy beating themselves up about it. They simply learn from the experience and move on. The experience becomes one more piece of history for the databank, available to be used for “the next time.”