Whilst many people wear the title ‘perfectionist’ like a badge of honour – I’d urge you to avoid falling into this category and instead aim for producing work ‘to the highest quality possible and with no defects’.

For one, there is no such thing as perfect. What’s perfect for me, probably isn’t perfect for you. Our styles are different, our needs are different, our values are different.

And know that whilst you are working and re-working something to ensure its 100% perfect (again I repeat – no such thing!): –

  • Other tasks fall by the wayside and your productivity falls
  • Other deadlines are missed and trust in you falls
  • You’ll be less likely to delegate work believing others can’t do it as well as you and your workload increases
  • When you do delegate work, you’ll micro manage – reducing your productivity and your colleagues confidence and enjoyment of working with and for you
  • You’ll delay taking action on new initiatives until you have a guarantee of success. And because that is rarely possible – you’ll never start and will be overtaken by colleagues who are not paralysed by perfectionism fear
  • You’re more likely to suffer from stress and other mental and physical health issues because you will continually be worried that you don’t measure up

Thomas Edison was fastidious about quality and working with a zero-defect mentality but thankfully he wasn’t fooled by the perfection illusion. If he had been, we may not have the lightbulb today. It took him and his team over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to create a working lightbulb. That’s over 1,000 mistakes. Something a perfectionist would simply not be able to tolerate.  

The greatest gift you can give yourself in support of your success is to equip yourself with as much knowledge and the best tools and resources as possible, aim for high quality and zero defects in everything you do, and learn from any ‘miss takes’ that you or others may find.

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