What Does Being a Perfectionist mean?

This past week I attended Connecting Women of Influence where a panel of experts shared their thoughts on the question. Before going any further, if you are questioning whether or not you are a perfectionist, click on this link to take an assessment that will provide you with your answer. http://tinyurl.com/8u4evj3

How did you do? What did you learn about yourself? Are you surprised with the results? Would friends, family, colleagues describe you as a perfectionist? What is perfect?

Here’s the aha for me. There is a time and place for perfectionism – and yet, we each have a different definition of what perfection is. My conclusion is that perhaps it isn’t about perfectionism, rather, it’s about doing something our way – and no other. Ours is the only, the best, therefore the perfect way to do it. Ouch, that sounds very myopic to me, and not very open-minded.

As for the attendees of the event, over 70% identified as being a perfectionist. And, there was unanimous agreement, being a perfectionist causes a myriad of challenges in our professional lives as well as our personal lives.

It becomes problematic when perfection inhibits our progress. Sometimes perfection costs more than its value – it can squelch creativity, spontaneity, performance, and progress. My mother-in-law uses this as her guideline: “When the price of perfection is prohibitive, good enough will do.”

Perhaps, just perhaps, that’s why I will now identify as a ‘recovering perfectionist.’

How about you? Care to comment and join the conversation? We might all learn from each other’s perceptions of perfectionists and how that affects each of us as unique individuals.

Author: Susan Bock

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