Hello and welcome to a piece of peace, your weekly dose of motivation and inspiration. Today I would like to share on the topic of “The perfectionist Debate.” This week I had an interesting interview with a successful business owner who stressed that she has struggled for years when working as part of a team because of her Anal-retentive personality.
Anal-retentive commonly abbreviated to anal, is used to describe a person who pays such attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others, potentially to the detriment of the anal retentive person. She explained, she knew she was not meant to be a 9-5 employee because nobody understood her work ethic and the only way she knew how to do anything was to do it the absolute best. Most people in her opinion settle for mediocrity and that is why they never achieve the levels of success she has. Sitting in her office space and seeing the empire she had built from nothing, I reflected on a conversation I had with my friend last week about the problem of being a perfectionist.
According to them, being anal is a problem because it involves a tendency to set standards that are so high that they either cannot be met, or are only met with great difficulty. Perfectionists tend to believe that anything short of perfection is horrible, and that even minor imperfections will lead to a catastrophe. Nobody is perfect and the people who always strive for perfection put an unnecessary burden on colleagues and employees, which creates a negative working environment.
Listening to the debate, I tried to figure out where I stood. I have never met any successful (and I mean truly successful) individual who to an extent was not particular about one thing or the other. It could be the way something is written for them, how they want to be perceived by the public or something as trivial as how they want the office to look. Most of the greatest minds of our time, were all called perfectionist or anal at some time. Yet they seem to be the ones that we write business case studies about, learn about their lives and seek inspiration from.
I believe too much of everything is bad, but I do not agree with those who come down on the individuals who have anal traits because it is that perfection which creates the apple products we have all grown to love so much, the light bulb which has brightened so many homes for generations, scientific theories which have made the way for advancements in medicine and so many other examples. It is that attention to detail that we consistently celebrate. It seems like all things human, we encourage things when they bear fruit and then tear it down when we do not see the benefits of it in the short term.
If you have the trait of a perfectionist, I strongly think you should find the right balance when dealing with other people but certainly do not let it go because that trait could be the wild card that makes you different from any other person. And always remember to be yourself because to be honest, everyone else is already taken.