Excellence vs Perfectionism and the Cost of the Impossible
No one will argue that we must strive for excellence. After all who wouldn’t want a life, a business, a team, a ministry built on the best we can do and become. It’s the ultimate calling of a believer: to give our best to God no matter the task at hand. But those of us who are perfectionists, even the reluctant ones (and I will include myself in this group) will hide our true agenda of the pursuit of the never-attainable perfection behind the noble pursuit of excellence. This is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. Find a reason that no one can argue with…excellence…and hide underneath it a more nefarious motivation…the pursuit of the impossible.
But in my struggle with the perfect, I have learned that ultimately, perfectionism costs me not only a lot personally, but it can wreak havoc in the organizations I lead. After all…
It is demanding.
It is insatiable .
It is ungrateful.
It is selfish.
Perfectionism mocks excellence as an unfinished good. It shuts down new opportunities on the altar of incomplete business. It dismisses talent by its impossible standards. It destroys relationships by its unreasonable expectations.
Perhaps it’s time for some of us to lift the sheep skin and expose the monster underneath.
How has perfectionism, whether yours or someone else’s, impacted your life?