For many professionals, maintaining a certain level of perfectionism seems imperative to doing a good job.
And while it is important to concentrate on turning in quality work, placing too much focus on perfection could be doing more harm than good.
In a recent LinkedIn post, LaRae Quy, a mental toughness expert and former FBI agent, explains that a constant need for perfection can poison your view of what success looks like — and may ultimately ruin your career.
Here are four ways being a perfectionist is hurting you, according to Quy:
You don’t use time wisely.
Though conventional wisdom usually agrees that taking extra time to get something done well trumps getting it done quickly, if you’re spending too much time focusing on making every detail perfect, it could be hindering your long-term productivity.
“Successful people make decisions on how to make the best use of their time,” Quy says. “They do not focus on perfection or being the best; instead, they work on doing what is needed to get the job done.” Strive for excellence, but don’t waste valuable time perfecting details that won’t matter in the end.
You think you know everything.
Don’t let your drive to have all the answers get in the way of looking for creative solutions and learning new things. “Resist the urge to be a perfect know-it-all and step back,” Quy says. Truly great leaders aren’t afraid to ask questions if they don’t know something right away. Admitting when you need help will get you get farther than faking your way through a makeshift solution.
You aren’t flexible.
Oftentimes, successful business leaders need to think on their feet to quickly respond to problems as they arise. This may be difficult for perfectionists. “The desire for perfection will cripple our need to adapt to fast-moving situations where minds need to remain nimble and flexible,” Quy explains. The most successful people don’t worry about perfectly solving a problem the first time — they keep trying new things until they discover what works.
You aren’t genuine.
Absolutely no one is perfect, so trying to fill an impossible role automatically diminishes your authenticity. “Don’t worry about what others want you to be, or their judgments of you,” Quy warns. Spend your time creating the best work you can instead of building a facade of perfection. “Let others be inspired by the way in which you deal with your imperfections.”
Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.
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