Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Perfectionism Sucks!

I used to be a perfectionist. It was hard for me to let go of things I was working on because I always felt they could be better. When I became a communications officer for a major bank, my perfectionism kicked into high gear. Everything I wrote and produced had to be "perfect," or I couldn't release it. Unfortunately, I had legally required distribution deadlines I had to meet. The internal conflict I felt was incredibly stressful.

Despite my work to make everything perfect and meet my deadlines, one mistake saw its way into print. There was a missing word in an employee benefits document going to retirees. The sentence read, "Cosmetic surgery is covered" when it should have read "Cosmetic surgery is not covered." I was sure I would lose my job, but my manager said, "Do what is necessary to fix it and make sure it doesn't happen again."

Lessons learned:

  • Everything doesn't have to be perfect. 
  • Mistakes can be fixed.
  • Be a perfectionist only when absolute accuracy is required.

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