Perfectionism can be the lever we all need to help lift and move us to Greatness. If not for ‘Perfectionism,’ there would be few great love stories, few great film scores, and few great historical events worth celebrating. It’s no wonder that the moment we stop caring and paying attention, we lose our potential for greatness. Would it, then, be best if we “dial down” our perfectionistic tendencies or embrace them? The perks of perfectionism aren’t something that is widely talked about yet they certainly exist. Perfectionists know just how powerful perfectionism can be and, if harnessed and controlled, the advantages it can bring.
Despite the negative connotations often associated with perfectionism, it’s important to recognize that being a Perfectionist can also be a good thing. As humans, it’s perfectly natural to have standards and demand excellence of ourselves and others. It’s an important function of progress, which helps to promote excellence and be a driving force behind achievement.
After all, what success could we ever hope to achieve if we aren’t interested in doing our best, having the best, or being at our best? Sure, “perfectionism” and “perfectionists” alike have had a bad wrap over the years but, there are certainly some real advantages they hold. Research studies and real-world anecdotes highlight these as the five best perks of perfectionism.
The Perks of Perfectionism
#1 Driven to Improve their Craft
From knowledge seeking, to skill shaping, to cultivating specific techniques, perfectionists are always looking for ways to make whatever it is they’re focused on—better! They strive for what Tony Robbins calls “Constant and Never-Ending Improvement” (CANI) or what the Japanese refer to as, Kaizen. Which, in the business sense, means—Constant Improvement.
Whether the perfectionist is an athlete, a screenplay director, a chef, a public speaker, or a computer programmer, they obsess over improving their craft. They work endlessly to fine-tune their tennis swing, to capture the best scene, to create a fantastic dish, to deliver engaging speeches, and to write programs that will change the world.
It’s no accident that their obsession to continuously improve their craft is what makes them more innovative, experimental, and creative. It’s what sets perfectionists apart from others and how they become—#1.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 14, 2015
#2 Uphold High Standards
Perfectionists come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They’re from different backgrounds, different cultures, and different upbringings. One thing all Perfectionists have in common, however, is they hold high standards—particularly of themselves.
They refuse to settle for “good enough.” They take steps to avoid “mediocre.” They don’t let themselves make excuses. And, they maintain a Competitive Edge in whatever it is they do.This is because Perfectionists are driven to be their best, have the best, and get the best out others.
It’s what helps make them outstanding, exceptional, and great leaders. One the perks of perfectionism that provides an almost ‘unfair’ advantage. “The greater the challenge, the greater the reward” is a phrase many ‘high achievers’ are well-acquainted with. It’s no coincidence that people who are the best at what they do have high standards.
They work harder and longer than others to perfect their craft. It’s one of the main reasons they are the best at what they do. Perfectionists also know that to be around the “best,” you have to uphold and continuously pursue higher standards than anyone else.
The best kind of motivation is the kind that comes from within. Perfectionists don’t tend to rely on extrinsic motivation as they, instead, tend to draw from their intrinsic motivation (self-motivation). They know how to draw on their inner fire to motivate themselves and make things happen.
Perfectionists are determined and show persistence. They know what to do, and they do it. They also know that having a little ‘perfectionism streak’ in our lives can be highly beneficial. It can keep us focused and motivated towards pursuing and achieving our dreams.
#4 Excellent Organizational Skills
Perfectionists favor the use of calendars, notebooks, spreadsheets, and apps (to name just a few) as tools use to stay organized. Planning is second nature—meaning it’s a part of virtually everything they do. And, because of this, Perfectionists will seize any opportunity to plan.
Their organizational skills also mean they can be impressively good at anticipating future scenario’s and taking them into account in their planning process. Their organizational skills prepare them well, leaving little to chance.
#5 High Attention to Detail
Perfectionists have sharp analytical skills which also makes them excellent at problem-solving. They evaluate situations and objects with relative ease. This particular trait can be a real asset when applying for work as employers tend to value people who can demonstrate strong analytical abilities.
Their unwavering focus and attention to detail also suggest that they can be remarkably good at articulating and deciding upon outcomes. Lastly, their attention to detail means they leave little room for error. They operate in a way that margins for error are minimal-to-none.
See also: Imperfectly Perfect: Making Peace with Your Imperfections.
Harness Your Perfectionism
The pursuit of “perfection,” an idealistic state, is what makes perfectionists who they are. Perfectionists are everywhere—just look around. Their artistic work is on display in the world’s most visited museums. They’re the actors that entertain us in movies. They’re the musicians whose music we crank up. And, they are the athletes who win gold on the international stage.
There’s no reason why You can’t be one of them. Control the perks of perfectionism. Harness your perfectionistic ways, and channel your energy into developing your talents and pursuing your passions. Because who knows, one day, you might just surprise the world and the people around you with something amazing!