Do you think you are a perfectionist?
Do you spend a lot of time “perfecting” your work to make yourself happy?
Are you the type of perfectionist who over thinks? A perfectionist who is always refining, and seeking perfection?
Working and working to the effect that you’re never able to finish what you started?
The truth is we all think we are perfectionists. When you are in that zone you are naturally forcing yourself to set high expectations and put high pressure on yourself to achieve those expectations. There’s nothing wrong with striving to do your best and to maintain high personal standards. A dedication towards perfection will, without a doubt, help you to achieve desired results.
But, there is a negative side to being a perfectionist too. You may not realise, and it may sound stupid to you right now, or counter intuitive; perfectionism at its extreme will stop you from achieving your best potential.
Quite ironic really!
- Endless task – Perfection can make a person become less efficient. Most of the time your work is a ‘work in progress’. But rather than signing off and finishing a project, moving on to the next task, you ponder and potter to find flaws so you can keep on ‘perfecting’ the project. This becomes a time waster as you are over spending your time on a task that already completed. Sound familiar?
- Procrastination– Are you waiting for the perfect moment? This may be why you never complete some of your work. Instead of looking for simple solution you are focusing on the complexity. At some stage you are so overwhelmed and confused that you stop progressing. Keep in mind we are born to learn and grow. No-one is perfect.
- Overkill – Perfectionists can sometimes overkill a project. You keep find things to add, thinking that you are doing the right thing and in fact sometimes you’re so deeply involved with what you do that you have lost the whole purpose of the project. Remember less is more, and too much information or unnecessary features will add no value to a project or to a design. A classic example is a website with too much irrelevant information, or a presentation with too much content and over cluttered with images.
- Missing the Big Rocks – Perfectionists love the nitty gritty details so much that sometimes you forget the big picture. Instead of focusing on the big rocks you’re focusing on the pebbles and the sand that fill the gaps between the rocks.
- Pessimists – Some have a tendency to focus unrealistically on negative view points, and try hard to come up with evidence that may confirm those preconceptions. Those negative view points may not really be problems at all, and they may never be going to happen either. Perhaps you are just over thinking, and looking at only the negative, thus ignoring all the positive evidence right in front of you.
- You are not growing -Seeking perfection will stop you from growing and exploring. If you aim for perfection you will never be happy or accepting of who you are. It can also stop you moving forward to achieve your goals and dreams.
As Business coaches we see the two sides of perfectionism. Perfection is a good thing to strive for. It forces you to do your best. It can however become one of your obsessions. If that happens, then you are unable to accept anything less than the perfect. Thus, because you become so obsessed with the situation you sometimes miss the real meaning and purpose of the situation.
A healthy perfectionist on the other hand, is where you want to be, and what you want to aspire to. By being more aware of your aspiration for perfection you are able to draw a line, and set limitations. That way you’ll be able to handle each situation diligently and not obsess with the whole thing.