For perfectionists only: the science of perfectionism
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Yesterday on my monthly Mavericks call, one of the members of the group revealed an important issue related to getting things done, and being uncomfortable with his work because it’s not “perfect.”
Lucky for me, this isn’t something I’ve had to deal with (Lord knows I’ve got a laundry list of things I DO have to deal with, so it’s not like I got by unscathed, at all.)
But I’m always interested in why certain issues affect people, so I did a little research on this, and here’s what I uncovered:
According to “The Big Book Of Personality Tests,” by Salvatore V. Didato, Dr. David D. Burns, from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has studied this topic extensively. And Burns concluded perfectionists have an “all or nothing” approach to things.
They have a tough time readjusting their performance standards even when there’s loads of wiggle room to do so. And they have a tough time enjoying results – their own results or anyone’s results, for that matter – unless the results are perfect.
They tend to take the “no pain, no gain” approach, really… seriously.
Unfortunately, being a perfectionist is the outward projection of how someone feels about themselves. They feel imperfect and incomplete unless they can hit home run after home run.
And I can tell you from personal experience, that most people (myself included) don’t score big time. They just get up to bat over and over and over again, and they’re lucky enough to keep hitting singles and doubles. So they eventually bring enough men around the base so that they’re always in the game.
What I’m saying is, since no one hits only home runs (in spite of all the crap people tell you) — being a perfectionist is a losing proposition. It just can’t work out — ever.
Didato also cites an interesting study, which will hopefully take some pressure off your shoulders if you’re a perfectionist. The study shows all this pressure you put on yourself, is just needless stress. See, results showed that being a perfectionist doesn’t get you any further than not being a perfectionist does. It just makes you more stressed out.
And that… should be a relief!
So the bottom line is, even if you’re it’s not perfect, you should still…
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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