Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
The perfectionist—surely you know one and, at times, maybe you are one. While perfectionism is often seen as a positive trait, some believe it can do more harm than good, especially for your career. "High achievers demonstrate one key trait that wreaks havoc on their lives, relationships and work—their relentless drive to be perfect," says career and personal growth coach Kathy Caprino.
The desire to be perfect is usually a learned behavior from childhood resulting from a myriad of family conditions. Even though this behavior has its roots in family life, it could be damaging your career by hindering "your ability to lead, inspire and engage others—as well as generate trust and loyalty," says Caprino.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to let go of the negative aspects of this common trait. Start by examining why you feel the need to do things by yourself and seek support from the people you trust. This will help you delegate more tasks (at work and at home).
Secondly, you can learn to say no by understanding when you say yes just because it is part of your idea of perfection. It is perfectly okay to decline a day of volunteering or joining a committee if you don't feel it will serve you.
Finally, give yourself a break in an area you work hard in just to gain approval from someone and "learn to live with less perfection," says Caprino. Engage in a more accepting inner dialogue throughout the day to remember your value, perfection aside.