Perfectionism vs. Progress: Can You Have Both?

Do you get lost in your pursuit of perfection? As though if it isn’t absolutely perfect, it isn’t enough?

If you can relate to these feelings, you’re in good company. Psychological Bulletin’s study of over 41,000 professionals shows that the urge for perfection has been rapidly increasing through the past 40 years.

This might be because of many things, but one of the big ones is our constant reference to social media in setting our standards and expectations.

 If you can associate with feeling like you need to keep up with the influencers on your social media, you might be one of the many young people struggling with Perfectionism.

Today’s article will discuss how perfection is an obstacle to success instead of an aid. By the end of this article, we’re hoping that you’ll be able to recognise your perfectionist habits and reel them in to make sure they don’t obscure your progress.

Addressing Perfectionism

First off, let’s figure out if you’re really a perfectionist, or just keeping yourself to a high standard. Can you relate to these three tell-tale signs of perfectionism?

You get easily disappointed by the performance of others.

Perfectionists don’t only expect perfection from themselves, but from others around them as well. This would present itself through you often finding yourself disappointed by how others perform.

You don’t handle deadlines well.

Perfectionists are never happy with their results. There’s always something that could have been done better. So – naturally, you feel too uncomfortable to send your work in at all when the clock hits 12. You pursue an unrealistic standard, and it stops you in your tracks.

If you’re uncertain that you’ll succeed – you skip trying altogether.

Another giveaway that you’re a perfectionist is jumping the gun and quitting while you’re ahead. In short, this means that you’re protecting yourself from failure by simply not trying.

Are you guilty of these behaviours?

The Bottleneck of Perfection

If these traits sound familiar, you might be a perfectionist – and that’s not a good thing. Expecting perfection is a hindrance on your path to progress.

You can’t get reliable feedback if you don’t turn in your work. You can’t make the mistakes that are vital to learning if you’re afraid to fail. And you can’t climb the ladder to success if you’re afraid to take the first step.

Expecting perfection is highly demotivating and negatively impacts your overall satisfaction. When you fall too deep into unrealistic expectations, you create an impossible obstacle course for yourself.

You know that you have to meet your deadlines, but nothing you do will ever feel like enough. This traps you in a cycle of negativity and causes you to associate your work with a sense of inadequacy, and one day you’ll wake up and hate your job.

Embracing Your Mistakes

The solution is easier said than done. To progress, you need to rewire your relationship with failure – to associate your mistakes and failures with something incredible!

Failing should be acknowledged as something beautiful. Each failure is a learning experience, and every mistake is a clear navigator in the right direction.

Changing your perception of failure is something you need to work on every day. It won’t happen over night, but when you learn how to fall down and get right back up, you can watch yourself grow at an unprecedented pace.

Don’t fear your pitfalls. Practice with little things, and build up your self-confidence to still be proud of yourself, even when the going gets tough.

No one is perfect, and no one starts off their career as the best. Learn how to enjoy the process of building up to that level, and most importantly – accept yourself, no matter what happens. Your results don’t determine your worth!

If you’d like more advice on how to pave the path to success, join Generation Success’s Success Seekers programme via our website. Our team is constantly on the lookout for new ways to build your career, your employability, and your confidence to be the most desirable employee on the market.

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