How Comfortable are You with 80% Perfect?

perfectionism‘Get comfortable with 80% perfect.’ That was the advice given by a male head of HR at a Microsoft event at which I spoke several years ago. His advice to the largely female audience resonated with me, particularly since so many of our coaching clients at Female Breadwinners are ‘recovering perfectionists’.

Perfectionism is a hard trait to give up, as it largely serves us early in our career. Being known as the woman who dots the i’s and crosses the t’s makes many rely on us. However, after a certain point, smart women recognise they have to delegate more and trust others to do elements of their job.

The truth is that no matter where you are in your career at this moment, you will not get to the next level without more delegation and getting comfortable with being 80% perfect. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I know how stressful it can be to relinquish control. But I also know how many people I’ve discovered can do large elements of what I perceived to be my job, far better than me. Very humbling, trust me. In fact, the more I give up, the more my business grows. And better yet, most people don’t even notice the 20% I think I’m missing.

Research by CNN recently showed that wasting time and energy trying to be “perfect” only leads to unhappiness. The article stated “We get sucked into perfection for one very simple reason: We believe perfection will protect us. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimise or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.”

Holding yourself to an unattainable perfect ideal will only create bottlenecks and distrust at work and dampen your your mental health.

If you are a recovering perfectionist, what 20% did you give up?

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