Don’t Be A Perfectionist At Work: Be An Optimalist Instead

Fretting over every little detail and putting in extra hours at work may make you feel like you’re the world’s best employee, but perfectionism may be the one thing holding you back in your career.

Measuring lemons image from Shutterstock

To think perfectionism makes you a better worker is a misguided thought. While perfectionists are often admired and maintain an appearance of being hard workers, they’re not necessarily making the most of the time and energy that they expended on agonising over every little aspect of the tasks they face.

Wanting everything to be ‘just right’ all the time can take a toll on your mental health and your productivity. According to Dr Travis Bradberry, who has a background in clinical psychology and is a writer on the subject of emotional intelligence, perfectionists can become defensive when receiving feedback, be excessively critical of others and suffer from bouts of procrastination all the time.

They may also be afraid to take risks and have a strong fear of rejection. All of this in a work environment can be harmful to the perfectionists themselves and to those around them.

For those who have become obsessed with doing things perfectly, Dr Bradbury recommends shifting from a perfectionist mentality to that of an optimalist. So what exactly is the difference between the two? A perfectionist rejects failure as a possible reality while an optimalist accepts it as a natural part of life understands that sometimes you need to fail to succeed.

“Optimalists strive just as hard for success, but they’re more flexible, resilient, and adaptive in the pursuit of their goals.
“Shifting your approach from perfectionism to optimalism is bound to make you happier and more productive. First, you need to recognise the signs of perfectionism that’s holding you back. What follows are the hallmarks of perfectionism that has gotten out of control.”

You can read more about recovering from perfectionism over at LinkedIn’s Pulse blog.

[Via LinkedIn’s Pulse blog]

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