The Eternal Battle of Bulls: Excellence vs. Perfectionism

Why You Should Send Perfectionism Where It Belongs – Hell.

A lot of us, especially women (yes, I am one of them) struggle to lean in. We are scared to put ourselves out there and get out of our comfort zones especially in professional lives. Why? Because very often we assume that whatever we do needs to be perfect. We believe that the world at work or home will fall apart if whatever we do is not 100%.

Those limiting beliefs lead us to perfectionism. The truth is that perfectionism is paralysing and very often is holding us back. It keeps us away from growing and blossoming into our full potential.

That is why, embracing and practicing excellence is what will help us to send perfectionism where belongs – to hell.

Here are three specific reasons why we should welcome excellence and kick perfectionism out of our lives.

1. Focus on the journey

Excellence has its source from inside of us because it is about “doing the right thing”. It is focused on the journey, the REASON for a task. The end of this journey are specific results, providing us with focus and the light in the tunnel.  

Making the journey centre of attention makes it easier to overcome set-backs, treat them as learning opportunities and move on. That is how we grow!

Perfectionism, on the other hand, makes us focus on doing the thing ‘right’. We spend time thinking about how things appear to others and if others think they are done right. This is why mistakes paralyse us and stifle our development.

Excellence stems from and propels intrinsic motivation. Such motivation is rewarding, brings joy out simple fact of doing the task, and makes us feel happy.

“Striving for excellence motives you; striving for perfection is demoralizing”
Harriet Braiker

2. Want to have more energy & deliver results at the same time? Excellence is your answer!

Perfectionism is a thief of time, draining our energy. It is often paralyzing, preventing us from completing the tasks or even worse – from achieving the goals we set for ourselves. I am sure you can feel even now the demoralizing effect it can have on us.

Perfection is always out of reach. We are humans and NO ONE is perfect. It diminishes our productivity and efficiency. And worse still, perfectionism damages out peace mind and heart.

That is why EXCELLENCE is our girl!

The pursuit of excellence on the other hand, keeps us focused on what matters. It can fill us with energy and optimism. It will foster willingness to try new things and take risks. By pursuing excellence, we focus on goals that matter and as a result become much more productive. Centering our attention on the journey allows us to complete one task after another. And you know what happens next? We find ourselves surpassing the goals we had first in mind. We deliver great results!

3. Excellence grows self-confidence

It’s no secret that when we are productive, deliver results and surpass original goals, our self-confidence gets a positive boost. With that, the behaviors that got us there are reinforced by our brains and help us develop good habits. Those good habits become ingrained in everything we do, no matter how small.

To quote Colin Powell and John W. Gardner.

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” Colin Powell

“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” John W. Gardner

Through excellence we can be proud of who we are and what we do.

It allows us to see setbacks as opportunities to learn and continually improve, creating a positive self reinforcing circle of self confidence. With excellence we meet very high standards and still leave room for mistakes because that is how we learn.

Excellence does not paralyze our minds, it helps them open and become creative, it lifts our spirits and overall well-being.

The journey from perfectionism to excellence is not easy. It’s like any journey of positive change. It’s challenging, has its set-backs but in the end, it’s sooo worth it!

The world needs your excellence, not perfection. So don’t hold back, lean into it.

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