Have you ever used or heard someone use a phrase similar to… “I’ve gotta keep working on this, I guess I’m a perfectionist!”?
I’ve witnessed perfectionists at work, I’ve lived with perfectionists and I’ve even claimed to be one (at one time in my life). As my life journey continues to advance, though, I’ve recognized an inherent danger with being a “perfection” chaser, so I steer away from using the word at all cost.
Chasing perfection, to me, is a dangerous path, because it sets an expectation that isn’t achievable. What have I seen the chase for perfection lead to:
1. Delays- the perfectionist will work, rework and rework some more (all in the spirit of having the perfect product or project, but 9 out of 10 times, the “work” never gets completed).
2. Risk Aversion- I’ve witnessed “perfectionists” miss out on job opportunities because while they were writing the perfect resume, someone stepped passed them in line, applied, was willing to make a mistake or two and EARNED the job.
3. Missed experiences (business or otherwise) – I’ve watched businesses use the excuse of perfectionism, all the while they seem to be hiding from a fear of the unknown and their businesses stagnate for fear that their new expansion, product or service might not be “perfect”.
Be willing to be “un-perfect”, in every aspect of life. Be willing to take a risk, say “I don’t know” and keep moving forward on life’s path. In the long run, you’ll end up more productive, gather more experiences and I feel that you’ll be more innovative. Don’t wait for perfection. In my opinion, it isn’t worth the wait!