Hmm, perfectionism! A lot of people proud themselves for being perfectionists, and many introverts are! We enjoy so much the power of our mind: mulling things over and over, getting excited about the possibilities of improvement, getting curious what else can we do to make it … perfect! 🙂
That’s why the self-imposed challenges are so challenging for us, introverts! They push us out of the comfort zone, to get things done by taking action before we get it … perfect! Ouch, how painful for a perfectionist!!!
I certainly was a perfectionist, not long ago, until I changed my perspective: instead of looking for perfection … I’m a work in progress, and loving the process! 🙂
In fact, having your own business is one of the most interesting self-imposed challenges you can get! 🙂
Even if you don’t have your own business, or don’t want to, let’s explore a bit the perfectionism from both perspectives, as an asset and a threat:
Certainly, being a perfectionist can be considered an asset! It pushes you to permanently thrive for becoming better in both your personal and professional life, including your relationships! It’s a motor that could fuel your motivation to create more beautiful things and get better results.
But perfectionism can also get in your way, becoming a threat to achieving your goals. Why? Because the perfectionism and time don’t get along too well! While perfectionism requires time to achieve the dreamed results, the timeline (deadline) could be a wake-up call that expected outcomes might not be achieved if you continue to fuel your perfectionism.
In fact, in what way perfectionism could be useful for you … if you miss an important deadline?!
For example, will you really be happy with creating a great resume if the deadline for application has already passed?!
When I was managing a Mentoring Program for professionals, I was contacted by a mentor few days after I introduced the mentee to him. He was a little puzzled: the mentee was supposed to send his resume within 24 hours, but several days passed by and he didn’t receive anything. He even started to doubt if the mentee still wanted him as a mentor, since he didn’t get any feedback since. The mystery was solved when I called the mentee: “I was waiting to create the perfect resume before sending it to my mentor!”
While telling him that mentor’s role includes also a resume review, I couldn’t stop myself thinking how perfectionism can get in our way, threatening our overall progress!
Are you a perfectionist? Or you already learned how to strike the balance between perfectionism and progression?
PS1: My way of dealing with it: I always keep in mind the bigger picture and decide, based on the specific situation, if perfection is more important than overall progression.
In the case of a self-imposed challenge, even if perfectionism is not achieved, the progression and learning that occur can lead to an overall better outcome. Which is, mainly, the actual purpose of a challenge … isn’t it?!
PS2: I also consider that any little progress is better than nothing, so instead of putting myself down for not being perfect … I enjoy taking baby steps! 🙂
PS3: If you don’t know if you are a perfectionist, take this test on the Psychology Today website.