3 Simple Words to Beat the Danger of Perfectionism

June 20, 2024

Perfectionism can be a double-edged sword. While it pushes you to produce top-notch work, it can lead to procrastination and unreasonable expectations. To balance

this, adopt this simple 3-word mindset: “work in progress”. 

The Perils of Perfectionism:

Chronic delay and procrastination

Striving for unattainable perfection can lead you to work on a task longer than necessary, causing you to turn it in late. Or, you may put off tasks to avoid getting caught

in the seemingly tedious and overwhelming processes of perfecting what’s on hand.

Unreasonable standards

You hold others to unreasonably high expectations, which might stifle their creativity.

Why Does the “Work in Progress” Mindset Work in Combating Perfectionism?

Helps you embrace criticism

By adopting a "work in progress" mindset, you acknowledge and accept the fact that your work is a draft that’s open for refinement, as there’s nothing perfect in this

world. This helps you view feedback as a way to improve, not as a personal attack. 

Helps you embrace mistakes

As a work-in-progress yourself, it means that nothing is ever truly "finished” or “complete”. We are bound to make mistakes along the way, which can be viewed as either

failures or opportunities for growth. 

Helps you become a real team player

A real team player understands that there’s always room for growth and that everyone is constantly on the path of evolving. 

Therefore, when people’s weaknesses surface, instead of judging or criticising unhelpfully, a real team player focuses on helping them improve and fostering a supportive

environment.

Conclusion

Leverage the strength of your perfectionism (e.g. a drive to deliver work of utmost quality) and mitigate its weakness by adopting a "work in progress" mindset. This

mindset shift will prevent you from being paralyzed by perfectionism. Embrace feedback, welcome mistakes, and encourage growth in yourself and others.

Remember, perfection, which doesn’t exist, isn't the goal—progress is.

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