Have you ever struggled to meet a deadline? Are things piling up on your table and you don’t get anything off the table? Are people giving you feedback that you could be more collaborative or you could share more? Have you ever not spoken up in a meeting, thinking your idea may not be “quite there yet”, just to witness that ten minutes later somebody raised their hand and said exactly the same thing getting all the recognition and the applause.
This list could go on and on and on, and if perfectionism is not an exclusive factor, it certainly is a big contributor. Perfectionism is a source of big problems in people’s lives and it’s a major reason why people don’t get ahead, something that holds them back.
Here is a thought that hopefully will help you overcome perfectionism: We rarely do something on our own, we depend on other people. At the end of the day, all we do is to create snippets of information that ultimately help others to do their work. Confront your ego and your nagging thinking around “this is not enough”, and “what are they going to think about me”. Your creation only has a chance to do what it is meant to do, even to change the world, when it gets out of your head, when it’s shared with the world. Allow for people to play with it, interact with it and make it better. It’s not about what YOU think is right. It’s not about what THEY think is right. There’s no right or wrong. There just is.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT AND QUOTES:
Hi everybody, it’s Tasso. Today we are going to tackle a rather big topic and clean up with a misconception.
I’m not sure it is still like this, but back in the days when I used to go on job interviews and HR asked you the typical question about your weaknesses, the number one reply that people gave was, “I’m a perfectionist.” And the reason why they did that was because they said, “How can I possibly tell HR my weaknesses? They are going to use it against me. They are not going to hire me.” So they chose to say something that also has a positive spin, you know “I’m a perfectionist, I do quality work”. This can also mean “I’m doing good job.”
We were used to wear perfectionism as a badge. But there’s nothing further from the truth. Perfectionism is a source of big problems in people’s lives and it’s a major reason why people don’t get ahead, something that holds them back.
Here’s what I mean by that.
Have you ever struggled to meet a deadline? Sure, there are many competing projects that need prioritization and there are so many distractions now in the world but perfectionism, so basically YOU, is one of the big contributors.
Are things piling up on your table and you don’t get anything off the table to basically create a flow and not have anything stack up?
Are people giving you feedback that you could be more collaborative or you could share more?
Have you ever not spoken up in a meeting, thinking your idea may not be quite there yet, not sure you should say it this time or with this audience? Just to find out that ten minutes later somebody raised their hand and said exactly the same thing and gets all the recognition and the applause.
This list could go on and on and on, and if perfectionism is not an exclusive factor, it certainly is a big contributor.
So you are sitting there on your desk writing on your report, not quite there yet to share. Maybe want to add another paragraph here. Maybe to eliminate something here. Maybe to polish a little bit here. Wanting to get it right, the final version that you can share. Get all the recognition, even promotion. Save the company and the world.
See, here is the big insight for you: If you think that you are going to get ahead on the corporate ladder by doing quality work, I’m sorry to say that you are wrong. What is important -at least in a big corporation- is the flow of information. We rarely do something on our own, we depend on other people. What we do, and you have to get comfortable with this idea, all you do is you create snippets of information that ultimately help others to do their work. So everybody in the organization is actually doing the same thing. They are putting information together which helps others do their thing.
Information is like money. Information is a currency. It loses its value when it’s hoarded and when it’s stored but it exhibits its value and it maximizes its value when it flows and when it reaches the right people.
So all you have to do in order to get ahead in your corporation is to understand how to share the right information with the right people at the right time. This will help you succeed yourself, it will help you help others, and the “only thing” you have to do is confront your ego and your nagging thinking around “this is not enough”, “what are they going to think about me”.
How are you going to do this? That is not as easy as it sounds, is it? Here’s a thought for you that might help you. Take mother nature. It takes mother nature nine months to create a new life. Now this little life can only do anything – it’s useless in the womb of the mother- it can only do anything if it gets out and if it interacts with other people and it grows and builds its own character and uniqueness.
And let’s look at the timing when the baby comes out. Who would consider a baby ready? The baby is going to die if you leave it for a day outside. It’s absolutely not ready, it’s not even at 80%, it’s 20 or 10% ready. But still, mother nature puts it out there because it needs to grow through interacting with others through getting the experience with the outer world.
So, mother nature is doing this successfully maybe for a couple of billion years and you’re struggling to give yourself some permission to say, “You know what? I’m going to use the same thing. I can share something. I can share an idea. I can share a report. I can share a thought that is not ready yet and I can allow others to play a little bit around with this and make it better just like with a human being.”
You are a creator and your brain is an amazing instrument that nature gave us to create and brainstorm and come up with things. The brain is not made to remember things and to store things. You know the story, anytime that the police are trying get the right information out of witnesses on how they remember an accident, they don’t manage. People don’t remember well what happened. That’s not what the brain is made for. The brain is made to create. However, this creation only has a chance to do what it is meant to do, even to change the world, when it gets out of your head, when it’s shared with the world.
Now, if you are still struggling and say, “Yes, but you know I’m still not sure. It still puzzles me, it still bothers me what people will think about me and also that it’s not really quality work. I don’t want to share something that is not there yet.”
I have two thoughts for you that hopefully might help you out with this.
Number one: who are YOU to judge? You are the creator here, you are biased, you can’t possibly judge the idea. In entrepreneurship this is what people call the “minimum viable product”. You need to get something out there. A minimum viable product, something that is just about working, to allow for people to play with it, interact with it and make it better. It’s the same thing with your idea.
Number two: If you share it of course one of the fears you will have, because you don’t think you deliver your best work is, “What will other people say?” But here is the thing, who are THEY to judge? Are they the right experts? Maybe they are not the right audience. Maybe the idea or the thought or the report didn’t come at the right time.
It’s not about what YOU think is right. It’s not about what THEY think is right. There’s no right or wrong. There just is. And even if it sounds a little bit esoteric, this is what it is. What we are meant to do is, we are meant to create, to be prolific and at some point of time, the right idea will hit the world at the right time to make a big difference, the difference that you are meant to make.
I hope with this I could help a little bit change your mind set about perfectionism and about delivering the quality work that you never think is quite there yet.
I hope you enjoyed this, I hope you liked it. If you did please, subscribe for more. Until next time have a great and wonderful day.