If you are like a lot of “Type A” people I know and work with, the answer to the question, “are you a perfectionist?” is quite possibly YES! I know I have had my own perfectionistic tendencies. We sometimes wear that badge proudly, even find it motivating. It has likely been a trait that has helped all of us professionally, achieving success in our careers, even being rewarded for it. But, sometimes being a perfectionist can hurt your career. Our greatest assets can also be our greatest weaknesses too. It’s like a double edge sword.

Maybe you get bogged down in minutiae, wasting time and energy. Maybe you don’t delegate because you feel it’s easier just to do it yourself. Maybe your are working 10, 12, even 14-hours a day to try and achieve the unattainable. Or, perhaps you don’t go after a new role because you believe you have to have the “perfect experience on your resume,” all your t’s crossed and i’s dotted before taking that leap. And, if the focus is always perfection, that can wreak havoc on your psyche too because you may somehow feel you are not measuring up to some unrealistic standard you have set for yourself.

The fact is none of us is perfect. We are human. In the words of legendary coach Vince Lombardi, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” I love this quote because it speaks such truth. Yes, chase excellence, do your best, it can help you achieve great things in life, but try to let go of perfection. I say “try” because it isn’t that easy, but perfectionism is not in our DNA. It is a learned behavior…which means that it can be unlearned…with time, practice and patience. By letting go of perfection you allow your authentic self to shine through. I often say to my clients, “Sometimes being IMPERFECT is more perfect because you are being your best authentic self.” The workshops and coaching programs we offer through Brunner Communications are not about getting people to be perfect but rather, helping them become their best authentic selves with tips and tools to take their careers to the next level.

Begin by simply being self-aware of when that perfectionistic tendency starts to kick-in whether at work, or even at home. Ask yourself what might be the consequences of not achieving perfection, and can you live with them? Of course, some things need to be perfect; accounting and audit spreadsheets for example, but spend your time creating the best work you can, being your best authentic self instead of living a facade. Yes, chase excellence! There is great joy in striving toward your full potential. It’s very powerful and reflects your message.

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