I understand the quest for perfectionism.
As a child I knew if I brought home a 98, someone was going to ask about those other two points. As a gymnast in high school, the perfect 10 was the Holy Grail. We knew we weren’t at the elite level, so we were praying to break a 7. If you were a child athlete back in the day, you were probably on a similar quest.
“So what’s wrong with trying to be the best Nicole?” you may ask.
Here’s the deal, if you chase perfection it will always be out of your reach. But if you chase progress, you’ll have success.
The mindsets and lessons of our youth follow us as adults—especially at work. Constantly competing to be the best is fine as long as it doesn’t get in the way of teamwork, collaboration and true progress.
Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why it’s OK to suck at being perfect.
- You’ll never get it right anyway.
Yup I said it. As much as we would like to think perfect is out there–it doesn’t exist. Someone will always find another way to make something better. Once you “complete” the project, you’ll find a way to improve next time. So it wasn’t perfect in the first place.
- You’ll never be satisfied.
We are often our own worst critics. Even if someone else thinks we are awesome we will seek fault in our work. That just gets in the way. One day you’ll realize that your “ordinary” is someone else’s “extra-ordinary”!
- Good and done is better than none.
Have you ever poured your heart and soul into something, then look up and realize it’s too late to take action on it? I’ve been there. Holding onto something until it’s perfect adds up to a whole lot of nothing and a bunch of missed opportunities. Ouch–that hurts.
- There’s a lot to be learned from making mistakes.
Looking back over my 20+ years as a business professional, my most memorable lessons learned came from my biggest mistakes. Those lessons are stories I share as “teaching moments”. I’ve learned that mistakes are stepping stones to greatness—as long as you move on past beating yourself up for making one!
- .The Art of Kaizen Gets Results
The Japanese have an amazing concept called “kaizen”. It roughly translates to “small continuous improvement overtime”. It is a principle taught in Lean Office. The approach of making tiny adjustments over an extended time, instead of trying to do it all at once, leads to significant improvements in productivity. I’ve learned the value of “today I’ll shoot for 85% and tomorrow I’ll hit 87%”.
Latest posts by Nicole Chamblin (see all)
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- You’re Not Alone in Battling Perfectionism - March 15, 2016