We know resilience is important. The ability to recover after a setback is the most important predictor of success and long-term happiness. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania has done fascinating work in this area. He found that…
Seeking perfection can be very debilitating for the following reasons:
- Your focus on detail can leave you missing the big picture. As you format and reformat a document, you fail to notice new information that will impact the overall argument you’re making.
- You fear failure and are often hesitant to act in case you won’t be right. This can be as simple as not wanting to ask a “stupid” question in a meeting or failing to seize a professional opportunity for fear you won’t do it well enough.
- It’s exhausting. The problem with perfection is that it’s in the eye of the beholder. You can work and re-work something forever. There is usually little meaningful benefit from doing so. At best, it’s incremental improvement. Sometimes you have even made matters worse.
- It’s really hard on the people around you. If only you can do things “the right way,” you create disincentives for others to try or leave them believing they will never be able to do it for themselves. This happens as often at home as it does at work.
Learn how to rid yourself of the curse of perfection in my new book DO IT MEAN IT BE IT, The Keys to Achieve Success, Happiness, and Everything You Deserve at Work and in Life available now on Amazon