“Perfection” may be the ultimate goal, but trying to attain this can cause stress, hinder efficiency, and create unnecessary conflicts with the people around you. Perfectionists are frequently perceived as:
- Unable to see the big picture
- Stressed-out and anxious
- Rarely able to enjoy their accomplishments
A more productive goal is excellence: meeting the highest standards agreed upon for oneself or by the group. The person concentrating on excellence focuses on:
- Continued personal and professional growth
- Job satisfaction and customer service
- Clear and reasonable expectations
- A strong sense of accomplishment
To go from perfectionism to the pursuit of excellence, follow this advice:
- Get real. When you find yourself becoming frantic about a goal, stop and ask, “Is this problem really worth the level of frustration I’m experiencing?”
- Establish clear expectations. If you know what’s expected of you, you can better track your progress and draw boundaries when needed. This will help you move forward with the project instead of trying to make it better.
- Identify your triggers. Learn to recognize the factors that lead or contribute to your perfectionist thinking and behaviors — and avoid them.
- Delegate. Many perfectionists mistakenly believe that they — and only they — can complete the task at hand. Let other people assist you. This will improve the odds that the business will more easily reach excellence.
- Know what’s important. Ask yourself, “What’s most important about this project?” Consult with your supervisor, colleagues, and team members. Analyzing your objectives, then narrowing down key points and agreements, allows everyone to measure his or her performance accurately.