Perfectionism is more than pushing yourself to do your best to achieve a goal; it’s a reflection of an inner self mired in anxiety” said Thomas S. Greenspon, a psychologist and author of “antidote to perfectionism,” published in Psychology in the Schools.
While some people take or leave mistakes as a lesson, perfectionists see them as personal flaws. They mentally beat themselves up and feel that sense of failure. The same fear of failure that perfectionism stems from.
Another source of perfectionism is the issue of the ego. Many people want things to be perfect because they’re in a mindset of caring what other people will think of them. That they will be judged negatively if something isn’t up to a certain standard.
In other words, perfectionism is born out of uneasiness, concern and doubt rather than a simple basic want to do things well.
Many people take comfort in being a perfectionist but it’s a common myth that perfectionism creates perfection.
One downside is the time wasted on making something seemingly perfect and actually causes you to become less productive.
Spending more time on something can often be an illusion. We think that we are improving something but that time is not necessarily quality time and could be hindering your performance.
If you feel your perfectionism is holding you back, then it might be time to change your habits and way of thinking. There are different tactics that can be adopted towards changing the perfectionist mindset to accommodate a very healthy and successful living.
A common mindset when it comes to perfectionism is either you want to do something well or not at all. But the problem with this is in denying the importance of the process. Achieving greatness comes from the experience and insights gained from this process allowing you the chance to tune and apply these for future success.
This inadvertently reduces the chance of failure overall despite what the perfectionist mind may try hard to deny. It’s sometimes easy to ignore the essence of something when it comes to perfectionism but as long as the essence is apparent within whatever you’re doing, it doesn’t need 100% perfection. Just 70% is all it really needs for it to be great and the fine tuning can be done afterwards. This way you’re seeing the end result more clearly helping to see potential issues.
The 80/20 rule is a good one to keep in mind, only 20% of your efforts can amount to 80% of the results. Any more than this isn’t going to make a huge difference.
You can’t always extinguish the perfectionist in you but you can become a healthy perfectionist. You can do this by always keeping the bigger picture in mind.
Whenever you start drilling into an aspect or detail of your project, ask yourself how much it’ll affect the end result. If it only contributes to around 2% then you need to let it go. This is an example of opportunity cost where there is potential loss of other avenues or alternatives because of sole focus on one idea.
Stepping back before diving in can save you a lot of time and frees you up to focus on a better result.
Originally from Lifehack