Simple and easy living without perfectionism - 6 tips: Stop being in your own way!


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The desire to do everything well and right is not bad. However, if you exaggerate, you get in the way quickly. 6 tips against exaggerated perfectionism and for a simpler life.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Perfection: The desire to do everything right!

Last week I ran into another beautiful example of how someone who has too high demands on themselves gets in the way: "When I do something, I really want to do it perfectly," said my acquaintance with fervent conviction. There is nothing wrong with that; on the contrary, the goal is noble and important.

However, the project, whose planning it was, had already failed once. And the second attempt was just about to fail again, long before it even started. Reason: As the acquaintance admitted, his desire to make everything perfect led to an unbelievable effort: In order to achieve the desired perfection, a simple project was made bigger and more complex by the inclusion of different factors and people - until finally it became barely manageable turned out to be.

Perfection is omnipresent

No question: Perfection prevails in our society. All you have to do is turn on the TV or open your magazines, and you'll soon be able to face seemingly perfect-looking, healthy and, above all, unspeakably good-humored, happy people.

And there are mountains of advisory literature that want to show you how to do exactly that; So, how you live completely satisfied and happy, find the perfect dream job or make career completely without any side effects and get rich on the left.

Perfection in leadership and everyday work

But the phenomenon is not limited to our personal sensitivities. Perfection is omnipresent, especially in everyday working life: Workers should be perfect in this Company fit in and do their job as flawlessly as possible.

Above all, strength and competence, which are suggested by alleged flawlessness and the perfect appearance, count. Everyone plays their role as best as possible. The beautiful appearance often counts more than the actual content. The fact that true competence consists of being able to admit mistakes and non-knowledge in order to learn from them is often overlooked.

Perfectly styled: Neat Kens and Barbies from the executive suite

Where this can lead, has recently the former Telekom personnel board member Thomas Sattelberger  something strikingly described:

“The fancy kens and barbies in business outfits are only trimmed for economic efficiency, not encouraged to innovate. The managers in spe think only in the category 'higher, faster, further'. Business schools and business faculties are therefore significantly responsible for failed management leadership. ”

6 tips for getting out of the perfection trap

But how do you escape this perfection trap, bearing in mind all the influences of the environment and the media? The following behaviors can help prevent yourself from getting in the way of an exaggerated claim to perfection:

  1. Away with procrastination: Like my friend mentioned above, many people constantly push important tasks because they are afraid of not being able to do them perfectly. This is the classic procrastination of people who suffer from perfectionism. What Helps: Make a Priority List and Do Important Things Immediately!
  2. Reduce fears: The desire for perfection arises out of fear and personal insecurity. So, be clear about where your fears are and fight the evil from the root.
  3. What can happen? What will happen if you make less effort? Probably a lot less than you believe right now. Just screw down your claims on yourself a little at a time.
  4. Learn to deal with criticism: One factor that drives many people to peak performance is dealing with criticism. Question these times: Did you really criticize you? Is the criticism justified? Does your critic have enough idea of ​​the matter to really criticize you?
  5. Learn to make decisions: Instead of stubbornly remembering - write down everything. Structure helps you to decide despite perfection claim. And sometimes you can see things with humor, because laughing helps against perfectionism.
  6. Use errors productively: Mistakes are human. If you make a mistake, get annoyed that you were not perfect this time. But then think about what you could do better next time.

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  1. Daniela Darnley

    Courage, courage, courage - and this is exactly where this blog helps. Thanks for that!

  2. Gustav Hauptmann

    I just want to say thank you for a wonderful contribution!

  3. Randy Lenkiewicz

    I often see people getting in the way because you take things too seriously. Hence an important text.

  4. Clarissa Marotz

    Great post, I'm also very perfectionist and suffer pretty much.

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