Flirting with Perfectionism

Lately, I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with Perfectionism.  I seem to have this deep-seeded desire to have him in my life, but continue to push him away every chance I get.  I wonder all the time if he is good for me or not. To my thinking, embracing Perfectionism means having a very specific vision for what or how something should be down to the very minute detail, and simply not accepting anything less or different than that.  Think Martha Stewart, Madonna, Barbra Streisand…they’ve all had intense relationships with Mr. “P.”

In some ways, I’m a bit jealous.  My relationship has not been as intense.  And, I’m not completely sure if that is good or bad.  Maybe, it’s neither.  As I defined it above, Perfectionism actually sounds admirable to me – sounds like he would make a great partner.  You have to admit, all other issues aside with these women, they were able to build extremely successful careers at one time or another.  A lot of that had to do with their unyielding vision and attention to detail on what they were creating.

But, if I am truly self reflective, Perfectionism and I are not a match made in heaven.   I am really attracted to the “strong vision” part of Perfectionism.  However, the detail orientation and an unyielding nature are simply incompatible with me.

I actually despise the details much of the time.  They drain me.  I get bored.  I procrastinate.  I move on.   But, I know they are needed…at least in a “roughly right”  or “good enough” sort of format.  I am pretty sure, however, that roughly right and good enough are not in Mr. P’s vocabulary.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for those that can relish in the details.  In fact, I now recognize that I am much more effective, when I am balanced by detail-oriented people.  My lesson has been to learn how to truly appreciate those skills, rather than be annoyed or intimidated by them.

But, more than the details, it’s Perfectionism’s inflexibility that will keep us apart.  I am a strong believer in having a vision, developing a plan of attack, and working hard at that plan.  But, being able to quickly adjust and find your way as you go in the general direction of that long term vision is invaluable, and frankly, a lot more fun!   Things change – especially in today’s fast paced, supercharged world.  Good business requires nimbleness and an ability to quickly pivot, as they say.  If you are attached to one specific way, required change and, ultimately, success will be much more difficult.

So, Mr. P, maybe we can just be friends?

3 thoughts

  1. Pingback: The Empathetic Ice Queen? | TOSO

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