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How to Overcome the Perils of Perfectionism

How to Overcome the Perils of Perfectionism

Published: July 1, 2011

They say practice makes perfect, but it can also lead to a bit of anxiety or even a little neurosis if not properly managed.

Anxiety, in fact, is just one of the perils associated with perfectionism.

Following are three quick tips to help you practice the positive aspects of perfectionism without the pitfalls:

Perfect Tightrope Walker1. Understand the Objective: One of the most common problems with perfection is the tendency to procrastinate. After all, if something is worth doing it must be done perfectly, right? Wrong. While it's desirable to do your best, don't allow the desire for perfection to overshadow the main objective.

2. Balance Productivity With Perfection: Perfectionists have a tendency to take on more than their fair share of work, especially when working on important projects. Instead, learn how to delegate portions of a job, then review and finalize the work yourself. Not only does this ensure that quality meets expectations, but it reduces the stress and fatigue of trying to go it alone.

3. Prioritize Expectations: It's not always possible to do everything perfectly. Family, career, exercise and other life events often require compromise that may conflict with the desire for perfection. Even if you are able to attain what you consider perfection in one area, it often results in less-than-perfect outcomes in another. Learning how to prioritize expectations reduces stress and provides the necessary rationale required to see the big picture.

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