A recent experience working in a dental office has tought me some very valuable life lessons. Most dentists tend to be perfectionists at heart. I guess this personality trait is necessary in order to be successful in this particular occupation. Dentists need to be able to perform their jobs just right. Otherwise, they stand the chance of being sued and losing their license.
Perfectionism has it’s value in the professional world. Striving for perfection allows us to focus on the flaws in any process and make the necessary improvements. However, the down side of perfectionism is that it is not very practical. People are not perfect and they make mistakes. Perfectionists often have unrealistic expectations for themselves and for other people. They expect perfection no matter what. Perfectionists often set themselves up for failier because they are not able to tolerate mistakes.
Failier is inevitable. It is a necessary part in any learning process. We do not judge success by the number of times that we fail. We judge success by the number of times that we are able to success as a result of failing initially. If we are not allowed to make those mistakes and learn through practice, learning cannot take place.
The irony is that most perfectionists cannot really live up to the high standards that they set for others. They seem to tolerate imprfections about themselves. However, they cannot live with the mistakes of others. Some perfectionists begin to hate themselves for being human. It is really a sad situation.
Perfectionists need to get off their high horse and realize that perfection does not exist in the roam of humanity. People are not perfect by nature. Mistakes will happen inevitably. We should get comfortable with a certain amount of imperfections in order to learn and grow successfully.