Is Perfectionism Hindering Your Success?
The definition of perfectionism is “a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less….”. That definition sounds like a personality characteristic that could help every sales professional succeed. But what if being a perfectionist could actual hinder your success? The key to success or failure is actually if perfectionism RULES - or RUINS - – your business.
There are two types of perfectionists. The first type is adaptive or positive perfection. This type of perfectionism will typically lead to success and achievement. These people have very high standards and goals and strive to reach those standards. They are competitive and extremely focused on achieving success.
However, these individuals are not controlled by this perfectionism. They consider it important to do things right, but they are not overly concerned over making mistakes. They don’t have doubts about every action they take nor do they fear criticism from others if they do make a wrong choice.
And guess what? That’s a good thing!
WAIT! Don’t we hear everyone complaining that no one really cares about doing a great job? These perfectionists actually DO care about making right choices. But if they do take a wrong turn in their business, it is not the end of the world. They make the correction and go on.
Thomas Edison said “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
Enter the second type of perfectionism and the one that could hinder someone from becoming a success in their business. That is called “maladaptive” perfectionism. These perfectionists also consider it extremely important to do things the right way. The difference? They are often times paralyzed with fear that they will make a mistake or wrong choice, and that wrong decision will lead to catastrophe.
A maladaptive perfectionist stays in an endless cycle of regret and blame that makes it difficult, and many times impossible, to move on from their mistakes. They believe that a single error in judgment could lose them the respect of friends and colleagues. The result can be they do nothing.
It is interesting to note that studies of U.S. Olympic Champions have shown that the vast majority of these highly competitive athletes are positive perfectionist.
Are you a perfectionist? If so – which one are you?