I am a recovering perfectionist. I set high goals and beat myself up when I fail to meet the mark. The verbal attacks I’ve unleashed upon myself would be Traits Of Toxic Parents categorized as emotional abuse if they were inflicted by a parent!
I’m not the only one who struggles with the toxic and negative messages that our mind produces in the relentless pursuit of perfection.
Great leaders strive to achieve excellence for many reasons. For some, the need for perfection is deeply embedded in a personality type that feels compelled to keep moving toward goals with a high level of integrity. Some are trained to believe perfection will take them to a high level of success. Still others try to quiet a strong inner critic.
Perfection is seductive because it hints at the promised land; however, it’s more about the ideal than the real when leaders let it sabotage their business and life.
Here are 5 toxic beliefs about perfection that will ruin your career:
1. PERFECTION COUNTS MORE THAN COMPETENCY
Leaders ruin careers when they confuse perfection with competency.
No one expects you to be perfect; they do expect you to be competent. When you lead from a place of competence, you lead from a place of strength.
Competence alone can’t make you a leader, but being an incompetent leader provides unlimited opportunities for you to be ineffective. Knowing what to do-professional competence-is vital. Being competent doesn’t mean that a leader knows how to do everything, but rather that they know what to do and how to get it done.
Your competence will instill confidence not only in yourself, but in those following you as well.
2. PURSUIT OF PERFECTION IS A GOOD USE OF TIME
Leaders ruin careers when they fail to realize that their time is worth money.
Successful people make decisions on how to make the best use of their time. They do not focus on perfection or being the best; instead, they work on doing what is needed to get the job done.
Henry Ford once was quoted as saying: “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste time.”
Do not waste your time trying to be perfect; instead, invest your time in addressing the issues that are creating roadblocks in your path toward success.