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Taming the perfectionist streak

« Perfection obsesses over what could have been, while Excellence recognizes and reinforces what works.»
— Coach Davender

Are you your own worst boss, your most shrill critic? How can you tame this perfectionist streak that can stop you cold, and transform it into an energy that powers you towards excellence?

Perfectionism is really a state of high anxiety. In this state, you are focusing on the process, constantly worrying about making a mistake. Perfectionism shows up as a constant stream of self-criticism, and causes one to play it safe, to not take risks, to not step out of one’s comfort zone. However, you can do everything “right” and still fail. When you are in this state of perfectionism, you can rarely live to your full potential because of the internal judgemental chatter of the “monkey-mind” that freezes you in your tracks like a deer in the headlights.

Excellence, on the other hand, is about focusing on the outcome, being willing to learn, adapt, experiment and be bold in pursuit of creating a result that is the true projection of one’s original intention.

A person who strives for excellence does not give up when a mistake is made, and does not avoid tasks for fear of failure. Sometimes you will fall flat on your face, and then you pick yourself up, figure out what worked, let go of what did not, and try again. And often you may find that the “mistake” opened the door to an outcome even better and truer to your original intention, giving yourself the opportunity to create a result that is even more remarkable.

To overcome a perfectionist tendency, go beyond the missed opportunity, or the error, or the loss, and, instead of trying to find someone or something to blame, look for a greater truth or source behind the situation, as well as the link between the outcome you wanted and the outcome you created. Instead of obsessing over what could have been, recognize and reinforce what works.

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