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Grind Tip: Keep Your Eye on Success, Not Perfection

Striving for perfection is horribly taxing on anyone, and especially the 41 percent of you who identify yourselves as overachievers. It's one thing to want to be the best we can be in every aspect of our lives, but it's another to never be satisfied without absolute perfection. Instead of just focusing on the one thing that could be improved on a project the next time around, force yourself to step back and acknowledge a successful outcome when it's apparent you've done a good job.

Beating yourself up for one thing when everyone else is looking at the bigger picture is a tell-tale sign that you are a perfectionist. Behavioral change agent Liz Bywater has a useful tip for anyone who falls in to this camp: Strive for success, not perfection. She knows that perfectionists often fail to recognize their successes and advises, "Do your job well, really well, and your achievements will be recognized and rewarded."


Join The Conversation
Anne26 Anne26 8 years
Honestly, in the job I am in now, I really want to do the best as possible and move up really quick. Someone told me "In a job, do what the others do not want to do which is probably the hardest task. With that you get rewarded."
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 8 years
I constantly struggle with this especially since I've associated perfection with success. And, if it's less than perfect in my eyes, I'm not successfull. :(
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's human nature to be an over achiever especially when we consider how competitive everyone is about EVERYTHING. i think that it's a good point that you should be really pleased with a 'job well done' rather than make yourself crazy!
stephley stephley 8 years
I'm printing this and bringing it home to my 12-year old. Her school friends are all overachievers and she's always beating herself up for not pushing herself more. She's got a real artistic temperament, draws and writes all the time, loves to learn about people and is a very interesting person - but all she sees is she gets second honors at school, not first.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
"Do your job well, really well, and your achievements will be recognized and rewarded." -- I think the real key is to recognize and reward yourself for your achievements, because you can't always expect that from the outside world, even if you are doing a really good job. I have this problem with beating myself up and also have a boss who is a tyrant. I tend to feel like a huge screw up over relatively minor things. To bring myself back to reality/the big picture, I keep some things handy to remind myself of my major career successes (the Order/Judgment from the first trial I won, etc.) Usually looking through those things gives me some perspective! Also, I think it is important to reward yourself when you do a good job or do something you were afraid to do. Whenever I get through a hearing or meeting I was really nervous about, I buy myself a nice meal or something -- it's positive reinforcement that I survived/did a good job.
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