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RMC – The Complete Management Specialists


The perfect score!

Is the pursuit of perfection a good thing?

It depends on how you approach it, but understand that you are essentially trying to achieve unrealistically high goals.

Clearly if you are attempting to develop your skills and improve your standards while being aware that perfection will not and cannot be achieved, then aiming for perfection can be a healthy approach.

However, if you are never satisfied with your achievements, you may experience fear of failure, unhappiness and other emotions that are associated with the ‘glass half full’ mentality.

The key to making positive improvements is to accept and learn from your mistakes and use them as an opportunity to grow rather than beating yourself up over them and fearing that others will perceive you as incompetent.

So, how can we overcome excessive perfectionism?

  • Firstly, when the consequences of doing less than a perfect job are small, don’t sweat it. “Near enough” can be genuinely good enough. Divert some of that time and energy that you would otherwise have spent polishing the last 20% of a task onto more important and productive endeavours.
  • Make a list of all the things that you overdo or don’t do because of your perfectionist traits. Be aware that procrastinators more often than not have perfectionist tendencies. Now come up with one specific step to overcome each unwanted behavior; for example, restricting yourself to rereading written correspondence you have produced no more than once and letting at least a couple of hours elapse before doing so.

Tip: Try out these steps one at a time rather than all at once, otherwise it could lead to anxiety attacks!

  • Set realistic goals, and break these down to yearly, monthly and weekly subgoals. Reward yourself with the attainment of each subgoal. Ensure that these goals are designed to achieve your own dreams and not the real or imagined expectations of others.
  • Use positive statement (affirmations) to raise your self-esteem and to reprogram your negative ‘not good enough’ thinking.
  • Ditch rigid rules you create for yourself and see the opportunity in every failure. Remember, life’s not about how far you fall but how high you bounce. Take “must”, “should” and “shouldn’t” out of your vocabulary.
  • Learn to look at the bigger picture instead of unduly focusing on one or two areas.

One final suggestion to letting go of perfectionism is:- relax your attitude, take plenty of breaks, begin a new hobby and start enjoying life.

You can learn more about managing your time by taking our 3 hour Time and Stress course.


Filed under: Management Training

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Jeanette Richardson - Managing Director

Jeanette Richardson - Managing Director

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