Confessions of a Perfectionist

Hello, I’m Laurian and I’m a perfectionist.

We have this insane desire to be better than everyone around us; great is not enough. We’re born with this fire to always do more. That fire keeps us up all night until the job is done. That fire is what delivers the highest quality of work. Every little detail is important. Every extra step sets you apart. And although this is why your business has successfully grown, it is also freaking EXHAUSTING! 

Exhausting like I wish I could turn my brain off. Like I wish I could just sleep at night. It’s what causes us to burn out. 

In one of our early start-up meetings, Erin jokingly said, “You are the perfectionist, then Mel is in the middle, then there’s me.” And even though that order will probably never change, I’ve purposely made it my goal less “perfect”. 

This doesn’t mean that I was any near to being perfect! It just meant that I needed to decide what was worth stressing about. Instead of looking for the best, perfectionists are often focused on what is wrong and what needs to be fixed. The Portal is in the business of being the BEST at helping our clients be their BEST, and that is not always perfect (or easy). 

Here’s what I’ve learned:

As your team begins to grow, it’s no longer just about you. You also have to realize the impact that your “nit-pickiness” has on each person. You can unintentionally create a culture of constant anxiety. Your team is worried that you’re going to find something wrong with the work they have delivered or they are always going to feel that what they do is never good enough.

So, here are some ways you (we) can try to be “less perfect”

  1. Decide what you have control over. We try to control everything or blame ourselves when things don’t work out the way we want it to be. Except, no matter what we did or how we did it, the result would’ve been the same. Let go of things you have no control over. 
  2. Find the positive first. Get out of the habit of looking for the flaws. You have to be intentional about celebrating your wins, no matter how small they seem. 
  3. Re-evaluate your goals and make them reasonable and attainable. Things won’t fall apart if you re-prioritize. In fact, reviewing and adjusting your priorities is a critical part of delegating your resources and energy efficiently.  
  4. Be open about your mistakes and allow others to make mistakes. Laugh about them, learn from them and prove to yourself that the world won’t end. 

My anxiety still takes over, sometimes more often than I’d like, but I try my best to be very intentional on how I deal with “less than perfect”. 

At The Portal, we are very intent on creating a culture where people love coming to work every day. We strive to create a culture where our team isn’t afraid to suggest new ideas, find creative solutions to problems and collaborate. It’s what allows us to think creatively and out of the box. It’s what makes our team more than great. Embrace imperfectionism. Stuff happens, and that’s fine.