Paying attention to details and completing tasks in a timely manner are both important for success. Trying to achieve perfection while completing these tasks, however, can be detrimental. Some of the negative aspects of trying to achieve perfection in the workplace include:

  • Decreased confidence in the ability to complete daily work tasks. Perfectionists tend to base their value on the approval of others. Therefore, they tend to be more sensitive to criticisms, whether constructive or not, and tend to lack confidence in their ability to be successful within their position.
  • Developing a fear of making mistakes or becoming a failure. Perfectionists tend to occupy much of their time worrying about making a mistake or becoming a failure. This can lead to lower productivity and anxiety when asked to provide their ideas.
  • Focusing more on what “should” be done, instead of focusing on what “could” be done. Perfectionists are apt to ignore their own opinions and desires because they value what they believe should be done over potential outcomes.
  • Being fiercely competitive. While a sense of competitiveness can be healthy for one’s career and productivity, being overly competitive can actually be harmful. Perfectionists have a tendency to be competitive in all situations, even those which require teamwork.

The drive to be successful and efficient can be an important tool within the workplace, but remember that always striving for perfection can be both stressful and detrimental to one’s career.