“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” — Vince Lombardi
In the fast-paced world of engineering and technology, the pursuit of excellence is often accompanied by the burden of perfectionism. Many find themselves entangled in a web of self-imposed standards, leading to feelings of inadequacy and shame when those standards are not met. We’ll explore the pitfalls of perfectionism and advocate for a shift towards progress and healthy striving.
The Power of Progress
There are moments when the weight of unaccomplished goals and unmet standards feels debilitating. The quest for perfection can become a paralyzing force, hindering personal and professional growth. It’s essential to recognize that, rather than fixating on perfection, the key lies in embracing progress. Progress is not about achieving flawlessness in every endeavor but is instead a continuous journey of improvement, marked by bumps, bruises, and valuable lessons.
Brené Brown’s Insights on Perfectionism
Brené Brown, in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, says this, “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best Perfection is not about healthy achievement and growth perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect look perfect and act perfect we can minimize or avoid the pain or blame judgment and shame it’s a shield perfectionism is a 20-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when in fact it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from Taking Flight”.
So perfectionism is a weight that is unhelpful.The emphasis should shift from living, looking, and acting perfectly to healthy striving—constantly seeking improvement without the burden of unattainable perfection.
Striving for Healthy Achievement and Growth
Striving for healthy achievement and growth involves striking a balance between having high expectations for oneself and practicing self-compassion. It is an acknowledgment that the best effort each day may vary based on external factors. Engineers and tech professionals should understand the importance of patience and grace in the pursuit of their goals, recognizing that progress is a gradual process.
The imperfections and setbacks that inevitably accompany professional journeys should be viewed as opportunities for learning and growth. Rather than dwelling on mistakes, individuals should use them as stepping stones toward becoming the person they aspire to be. Each day presents a new chance to learn, improve, and overcome challenges.
The Process of Becoming
The process of becoming is not an instant transformation but a continuous journey. While one can decide to change in an instant, the realization of those changes takes time. We should find joy in this ongoing process, enjoying the journey through the challenges and opportunities that come their way.
The pursuit of progress over perfection is a liberating mindset shift for us. By letting go of the weight of perfectionism, redirecting focus toward healthy striving, and embracing the imperfect process of becoming, individuals can unlock their true potential. The call to action is clear: Choose progress, savor the journey, and relish the growth that comes from the pursuit of excellence.
Watch more in the video below: