Perfection is the Enemy of Success


Is perfection holding you back from success?

Martha Stewart is a self-proclaimed perfectionist. If you have seen her television show or visited her website, you are probably inclined to agree with her. She has made a living off of creating the perfect do-it-yourself crafts, decorations, and party hosting ideas. Although Martha Stewart has found a way to take her perfectionist attitude and turn it into a multi-million dollar business, many other self-proclaimed perfectionists will find that their attitude will only hinder their success in the business world.If you are starting your own company online and building a website to market yourself, having an obsessive need for perfection will work in your favor. Wanting to make sure that every aspect of a project you are working on is free of flaws is a good thing. However, letting insignificant details stop everything dead in its tracks can prevent you from finding real success. Being a perfectionist can hinder your personal growth and prevent you from seeing the big picture.

Perfectionism can drain your creativity

Always having to make the perfect product line, or have the perfect website design can put your focus on the wrong aspects of what you’re doing. When you can’t get out of your own head, you will be less likely to think outside of the box. This type of attitude has the potential to limit the scope of your projects and your future opportunities.

Needing to be perfect can mean that you are less willing to take risks with a project you are working on or your business in general. No business ever succeeded without taking a few risks here and there. If you are someone who is only comfortable doing what you already know you are good at, then you will most likely never see huge amounts of success in the future.

People who label themselves as perfectionist all too often find themselves distraught over minute details. Their perception of what is important is skewed because they are too worried about making little mistakes. When you are too caught up in the details of what is going on, you won’t see the big picture. If you can’t see the big picture, you won’t notice the places where you could take what you are working on to the next level.

Both limited risk taking and having a short-sighted view of your job can limit the opportunities for your future. If your nose is always to the ground looking for the latest mistake, you won’t notice what is going on around you. Turning down invitations to events and missing chances to network with others in your industry because you’re too busy analyzing your latest project can have a huge negative impact on your business.

Perfectionism can destroy professional relationships

Everyone has worked with at least one person that has prided themselves on being a perfectionist. More than likely, this was the last person you wanted to work with on a project. It wasn’t because their work was sloppy or incomplete, it was because working with them was difficult. Many people can get frustrated when they are suddenly placed under the unrealistic standards of another person.

Perfectionists have a very precise view of how they want to have a project done. Most of the time, they have a hard time living up to their own standards, so when you throw other people into the mix tensions can begin to rise. Not everyone is going to have the same ideas of how a job should be completed. If you cannot open your mind to see other points of views and other ways of getting things done, the odds are likely that working with co-workers and other employees will be a challenge.

Quite often, people who are perfectionists have an overconfidence in what they are doing. They will try to steamroll projects and other aspects of the business to suit their personal views. Once they have their mind set on something, they become singularly focused on what they want and will completely tune out any negative comments or helpful advice from others. This attitude is very off-putting to many people, and it can alienate your co-workers and employees.

Perfectionism stops progress

One of the worst things that perfectionism can affect is the growth of you as an individual and your business. Going by the book when tackling new projects can be a great way to start, but if you never seize an opportunity to try a new way to get something done, you will be severely limiting your progress as an employee or business owner. Not allowing yourself to try new things and only having one way of accomplishing tasks is a severe handicap in the business world where change and adaptability are the pillars of success.

Not being able to handle different situations that arise will not only stop production, but it can also ruin your business. If you only believe in one way of handling situations or completing a job, the creativity and the advancement of your company will suffer. The world of business is always changing, and as a professional you need to be able to change to meet the new demands of your customers.

One of the reasons perfectionists stick to their guns when it comes to their job or business is because they have a deep-rooted fear of failure. When you put all of your focus on not making a mistake, straying away from what you know you do well can be intimidating. In business, you can’t be afraid to fail. Donald Trump has had to file for corporate bankruptcy four times throughout his career. However, he now has a successful enterprise because he wasn’t afraid of failure, and he did not let his mistakes get in the way of finding his success.

The moral of the story is that although being a perfectionist has its upsides, there are pitfalls you should be aware of that this type of attitude can bring to the table. No one is going to be hard on you for putting out flawless work. However, people will begin to fault you for not being able to meet deadlines because you’re too busy over analyzing every detail of the project. If you find that you have fallen down the rabbit hole of perfectionism, try to do little things every day that challenge how you think. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to try new things and show you new ways to get things done. Most importantly, work on having an open mind and stay receptive to new ideas.


2 Responses to Perfection is the Enemy of Success

  1. boboleaBob says:

    So Donna – are you saying that you are……imperfect??! 😉

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