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Understand Your Own Perfectionism

If you do 99% of one thing right but mess up the other 1% and this keeps you awake at night then you are a perfectionist! In more general terms, whenever you participate in an action and something, no matter how small, goes wrong, you will feel responsible for the negative element. There are several reasons why this happens and also a few tips on how to make your perfectionism work for you.
Society teaches us to “do our best” even from early on in out lives. In school we are expected to have high grades and do well in sports. The same pattern follows us through high school and college. We are constantly aware that people around us expect results… good results from us. We are trained to think that anything less then perfect is unacceptable and when something goes wrong we take the blame upon ourselves and aggravate it. Living up to our expectations is difficult and we often act with the fear of failing, of not being perfect.
Let’s see how these negative characteristics of perfectionism can be turned to fight in our corner. The first thing would be to let your emotions surface. Perfectionism doesn’t allow any mistakes or hesitations. However, people around you are just like yourself – not perfect. They will get closer to you if you show your real self than if you show them a perfect mask. Stumbling on a word, dropping a paper or forgetting a name won’t make you fail in the eyes of others. On the contrary, a human approach to things will always attract more supporters than a cold, robotic approach. You can always turn a small mistake into a good joke that will instantly break the ice between you and an audience, for example.
Surrender your quest for perfection for something that works even better: authenticity. You cannot fool everyone all the time and you cannot constantly play a role in your business and social life. Of course, a mistake should be acknowledged and you should try to correct it the next time an opportunity arises. Improving yourself by learning from your own mistakes is essential, but don’t fall into the extreme where no success is satisfactory. The ambition to get everything right lowers your possibilities of enjoying life itself. You can never achieve perfection, thus you will never be completely happy.
Another problem with perfectionism is that it is, in its essence, demoralizing. If you’re in a middle of an important presentation and one of your slides falls off, you will, as a perfectionist, get overwhelmed by an acute sentiment of failure. The rest of the presentation will degrade itself because you will no longer be able to concentrate, as the pressure you are putting on yourself is clouding your judgment. Let go of your emotions and accept the small incident. There are always ways to turn it into something positive. Make a little joke with your audience or ignore the problem completely and go on with your speech. An honest response to any of your personal mistakes will always be more valuable and appreciated than a perfectionist frustration that ruins your entire day.

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About The Author:
Peter Dobler successfully operates several web sites on the topic of internet marketing and web site optimization. Visit his main web site at:

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