Perfectionism Will Hurt You

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Perfectionism is kind of like too much of a good thing. It's good to be interested in excellence, but when you feel that your work (or relationship) has to be perfect you are saddling yourself with a burden you don't need, a burden that can effect every area of your life. You won't be able to please yourself at work or at home because nothing and no one are ever perfect.

Perfectionism can lead to isolation for various reasons. You won't want to let people get too close to you lest they perceive your short-comings. This leaves you without alliances, and out of the loop.

Perfectionism also makes you a poor risk-taker and taking risks is often required in business. Perfectionists become dysfunctional when something comes up that they've never seen before, or if they're asked to try something different that seems risky to them. It can also keep you from meeting deadlines.

When you're a perfectionist, your timidity and concern won't always be perceived as that; more often it's perceived as arrogance. It appears to others that you think you're better than them, because you have an exalted standard of performance for yourself. For that reason a perfectionist can appear intimidating and overly-demanding. In fact if you're a perfectionist you ARE over-demanding -- of yourself and of everyone else.

When your goal is perfection, it becomes difficult to make decisions and to meet deadlines. You're always trying to out-think yourself.

Perfectionists are often micro-managers. They're afraid to let anyone else do anything, because of the unrealistic standard of perfection.

"Beware of perfect people," says Dick Brown, chairman and CEO of uWink Inc. "They will never propel your enterprise to greatness. They're too cautious. You've got to be fast to be good."

Aim for excellence in your life, not perfection. If you don't know the difference, please get coaching. Learn to tell when you've done "good enough". You'll not only end up accomplishing more, but you'll enjoy your life more as well.

About the Author:

Susan Dunn is a personal and professional development coach dedicated to helping her clients live better lives. Visit for FREE Distance Learning course. mailto:sdunn@... for FREE ezine.

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