I was watching a Gary Vee interview this week, and he said that “perfection is hiding insecurity.” The quote struck me because perfectionism, at least in my head, has a positive connotation. So what does a negative take on perfectionism look like?
As a young professional, I’ve run into plenty of complex situations that I don’t know how to untangle. Should I be expected to know the right answers in an instant, right off the top of my head? Of course not! Unfortunately, the only one who puts that pressure on me is, well, myself. We are our toughest critics.
A few times in the past, I’ve allowed those situations to stymie me. Situation blows up, I get flustered, confidence wavers because there is a chance that I may head in the direction of the “wrong answer,” so I spend ten minutes carefully crafting my next move, when I could’ve solved the issue in five if I just gave it a shot. Is that ten minute delay caused by self doubt the most efficient way to operate? No. Is it human? Sure.
The workplace isn’t the only environment that makes us feel the pressure to be perfect. We live in a time where sharing our voices is more possible than it ever has been; however, so many stay silent for fear of saying the wrong thing. “That’s because you’re beating yourself up,” Gary Vee would say.
Here’s the thing – none of us know everything. None of us have read every book, taken every class, or interviewed every expert. There is such thing as making mistakes in the right direction, and it’s better to show up imperfect than to not show up at all.
How much progress could you make, how much could you learn, how many opportunities could you capitalize on if you let go of perfectionism? If you trusted that you’re not an idiot, you’re trying your best, and the worst that happens is you mess up and try again? Let go, and hey, maybe you’ll learn something!