"Done is better than perfect" - are you 100% sure?

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Have you ever been called perfectionist? Or... have you ever been accused of perfectionism?

Just a few days ago I heard that I was a perfectionist. I am not sure if my friend (for the purpose of this article let's call her Kate) wanted to praise me or warn me. To understand what she meant, I decided to explore what is wrong with the infamous perfectionism in recent years. What does it actually mean to be perfectionist and if this is a bad quality or not?

Searching for information...

I started by searching for the definition in google 💻.

According to Wikipedia: 

"Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by a person's striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others' evaluations."

Wikipedia treated this topic quite kindly. Article is quite long, but ... I decided to search for more.

I was quite amazed with the results of my search.

Results in a nutshell:

  • The perfectionist strives to achieve extremely high standards to avoid criticism.¬†
  • You never feel¬†good enough at what you do.¬†
  • You become obsessed that everything you¬†do¬†is not enough.¬†
  • It takes¬†joy from your¬†life.¬†
  • Your success is measured by the approval of others.
  • Paradoxically, perfectionism causes you¬†to do little or no and the plan still remains a plan, simply because you¬†want¬†it to be perfect.
  • It is a kind of defense system that starts when you do not have the courage to show yourself and what you have¬†created.

Now I realized something¬†🙂

I realized that Kate didn't mean everything I listed above, when she told me that I am a perfectionist.

But my stubborn nature wanted to continue the searching... for more infomation in this area. I started to searching¬†the less frequented corners of the internet (don't worry, I didn't go "underground", everything was legal 🙂) . I just browse other pages from google search, not only the first one.

I found something interesting.

perfekcjonizm vs profesjonalizm

Perfectionism vs Professionalism

When projects and tasks bring joy and motivate to train their own skills we are dealing with healthy perfectionism otherwise known as professionalism.

A professional thinks:

  • I will raise the standard.
  • I will take care of certain area of my work.
  • I will broaden my competences.
  • I haven't done it well enough, but now there is no time for corrections, I am learning.
  • I improve¬†work by training, constantly developing.

It is a healthy and productive approach to your work.¬†‚úĒ

The professional knows that we are different and he does not have to please everyone in what he does.


A few years ago ...

A few years ago I started to learn programming. I picked Java as my first programming language. I failed, because I gave up after few months of struggling. The progress was too slow for me and I made too much mistakes along the way (yes, I know, that was only my opinion). 

Back then, if I set the bar a little lower, I would try to reach the goal in smaller steps, probably I would be a solid developer now. Fortunately, I draw conclusions from stumbles accurately and thanks to this my career is gaining momentum.

I'd like to share with you a sentence that my coding mentor once said:

It's not about creating poor quality code, the best results are achieved by programmers who know where and when quality is needed and when it is not.

Questions for you

I have two questions for you:

  • What do you think,¬†are you closer to a perfectionist or a professional?
  • Have you ever had a problem with the bar set too high?
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