Perfectionism & How it Holds You Back

Many people strive to maintain a high level of perfectionism — perhaps thinking that it is akin to efficiency or effectivity. To suggest to them that this drive for flawless work and perfect performance could actually be damaging to their potential may be met with surprise.

Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? Could it be holding you back? Sometimes you’re most imperfect work can let your highest level of potential shine through.

Here are five dangers brought about by perfectionism:

-1- Aversion to risk

Being at the top of your industry, or being an entrepreneur, is full of risk. Doing everything by the book or “as it should be done” can give a certain feeling of safety and invincibility, but it’s not innovative. Taking risks is part of growing and helps you to find new ways of doing things better. This isn’t to say that you should be reckless, just a little more creative in your approach to problem solving. Without taking initiative and leading others to try something new, you can’t become a visionary.

-2- Stunted development

Repetition is not innovation. Repeating the same task again and again, in the exact same manner, may lead to perfection but it also keeps you in your comfort zone and hinders your ability to grow through creativity and change. This path may very well keep you from harm or stress, but it also keeps you from fully developing yourself.

-3- The same old ideas

For a leader to share their vision in a successful way there needs to be change. Being the catalyst for change and kick-starting your creativity can be difficult, but the process needs to start somewhere. You must learn to think differently and develop new ways of thinking or growth is impossible.

-4- Inability to adapt

The business world of today is constantly changing, and at a rapid pace. The challenges needing to be faced are incredibly varied and quick adaptation is required for success. New situations or strategies have to be quickly embraced in order to keep up with or ahead of the competition. Perfectionism makes this key competency very difficult and keeps you from evolving into a problem solver who can think on their feet.

-5- Unexpected disasters

Businesses put high demands on people and you never know what’s going to happen that might throw you. Having a system for doing everything is great, unless you suddenly encounter something you lack a system for. Add to that the overwhelming need to be perfect and an unexpected issue can become a complete disaster.

Ask yourself what you think perfection is. Everyone may have a different answer, but in the end, there really is no such thing. To hold yourself to that ideal is not only damaging and self-destructive, but it could very well be costing you so much more.

To reach your full potential and be at your most profitable, you need to let go of strictly perfectionist ideals. Rid yourself of the need to avoid risk, initiative, or change and make yourself focus on growth, development, and learning.

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