How Perfectionism Harms Businesses and Business Leaders.
In today’s world, especially in business and career, everyone is chasing perfection. Nothing is ever good enough. Now, while there are scenarios where constant improvement is necessary, in most areas, perfectionism is actually far more harmful than it is useful. Here are reasons why you should stop trying to be perfect.
You cannot achieve it
Let me start with an example. These days there is a quest to achieve “the perfect body.” This idea of the perfect body is reinforced by the media and often forces many people to follow through with extreme diets, exercise routines and “supplements” to the point that they begin to damage their bodies. Many develop eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. In the quest for perfection they actually make their previously healthy bodies appear worse and not better.
The irony is that they forget that even the so called perfect bodies in the magazines they read are far from perfect. Through extreme make up, lighting, tan and Photo editing, imperfect people are made to look perfect. People with flaws are made to look like they have none.
This brings us to a conclusion, true perfection is not only unattainable, when it seems something is perfect, it is an illusion.
Trying to be perfect delays things for a LONG time
Now, in some cases, it is better to wait and get things near perfect. For example, if you are sending a rocket into space or operating a flight or conducting a major surgery. In those cases compensating for all negative scenarios is actually a good idea because the consequence of going even slightly wrong is disastrous. There maybe some areas in your business that maybe similar to the above situations and it’s okay to monitor them carefully.
But in most other cases, trying to be perfect just leads to a lot of wasted time.
If you are someone who needs to meet deadlines , then trying to get things done perfectly will lead lead to losses in your business. If your job requires speed over quality and some error can be tolerated as long as you are fast, do the best you can in whatever time possible and then just ship it!
Trying to be perfect leads to health problems.
I have already mentioned above who the quest for perfection leads to people actually abusing their bodies, especially when it comes to body image. But the biggest way in which being a perfectionist harms your health is through the stress. If you are always worrying about how you are going to get the most perfect result possible or are beating yourself up when the result is less than your expectations, you are going to pile on loads and loads of stress. And stress is the precursor to many of the serious health problems we are facing today, especially a lot of depression, anxiety and heart disease.
Trying to be perfect makes you feel unhappy and unsatisfied
Even if you do get a job done, if you are a perfectionist you are unlikely sit back, relax and enjoy the fact that the work is done. Instead you are more likely to keep eating your brains about how what you did was just not good enough. So here you are putting in extreme amounts of effort as compared to everyone else and you are still not able to celebrate your accomplishment thanks to your own mindset
I am not saying one should not keep improving themselves, their products or their services. What I am saying is one needs to realize, when it comes to the vast majority of things, there comes a point where the effort put in and the improvement made, is not justified by the tiny returns as a result of it. This is the law of diminishing returns. The key is to identify and focus on the few areas where constant improvement does give increasing returns and not worrying excessively about all the other areas that don’t, for the sake of your own sanity.
Trying to be perfect can destroy personal and professional relationships
If you are a perfectionist you are likely to be so serious about life that you forget to have fun. And nobody wants to be around someone who is serious all the time. If you are a perfectionist you are unlikely to see the lighter side of life and people may not find your company enjoyable.
Also a person who is an extreme perfectionist is not easy to work with. They are likely to expect everyone working with them to have the same standards of perfectionism. The problem is that is just not possible. Everyone’s general level of motivation or motivation with regards to a specific project is different. Furthermore, if someone is talented and skilled, they can achieve far more than the perfectionist, with less effort. That doesn’t make them lazy, just more efficient.
If you are an excessively demanding boss or colleague, you are likely to have many confrontations with other people which is only going to make them lose respect for you . Even if the project succeeds, people will still remember how you made them feel rather than how much you paid them!
While striving for perfectionism is a good trait at times because it emphasizes the importance of extreme excellence and minimizes error, when you take the idea to an extreme in the wrong areas, it does much more harm than good.
So ditch perfectionism in all areas of your business except the ones where the returns justify the same and where you cannot afford even a tiny mistake. In most other areas, it is a good idea to do your best and move on. Remember, DONE is better than perfect!
How I Can Help Your Business
I, Anubhav Srivastava am a trainer and consultant who focuses on helping companies achieve transformational results by training/consulting on key areas that impact revenue. Would you like to develop a Dream Team that has top quality Leadership skills, knows how to channel stress positively, is adept at Sales and Negotiation, is extremely productive, constantly innovating in your Industry and is mostly highly motivated?
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