Excellence as a remedy to the tyranny of perfection and procrastination


Possibly one of the most given answers in a job interview after the question “tell me your defects” will be that “I am too perfectionist”. And what to say about those that hide behind the excuse “pardon my exigency, but I am very perfectionist”? This is a diplomatic way to express your disagreement with the result of your work.

This response allows us to hide our defect under a pseudo-virtue. We accept it as something bad but not too bad, because the connotation is still positive: That person always works to get the best results, he/she is very perfectionist.

This simple difference is the source of the many frustrations and limitations that we set to ourselves so as to avoid performing tasks that involve a greater effort –also known as procrastination. Why start this task if the results won’t be good for my partner, director, father, or mother?  Him or her, they are that so perfectionist and for me is so hard to start it.

It is just a matter of responsibility before the action in question. Where do we look when doing a task? We look outside: if the development of this world will remain happy? Or, on the contrary, we work with an eye toward our interior: Am I looking for the best solution to the problem?

Basically, in this stands the difference of radical perspective and the principle of frustration and the consequent loss of my freedom; or the beginning of my responsibility and the liberty of action. In other words, subjective perfection and, by definition impossible to achieve without being its slave or the objective excellence over my action: I have given the best of me, I have tried to offer the best solution.

Decide the prism from which you act, part of a cognitive state that lies on being able to assume our own responsibility. The tyranny of being evaluated in the eyes of the other person “superior” by hierarchy or by own will (conscious or unconscious) makes us start from a comfortable premise. Well, it allows us to remain seated on our sofa without requiring any action from our part. Getting out from this comfort will force us to use energy to argue our performance.

In many cases we act in this way because we feel disconnected from our own actions. We have worked in an automatic way and this transforms us in slaves of the subject opinion of the perfectionist, cancelling our creativity and capacity to solve. A vitiated wheel of action versus reaction in which we have “domesticated” our brain to a toxic efficiency of energy of our freedom of action, knowing that any action that will follow without the touch of perfection, we’ll just do it as we will. It is better to avoid this energy expenditure and transfer our basal state to a contained rage against that person that we have placed above us; sometimes inevitably due to hierarchy and in most cases from our own will. In this way, we return from the “exam” telling ourselves:  “Nothing from what I do is good for him/her, always so perfect. Let him/her do it!”.

Apart from the rage, this scene only causes an erosion of our motivation. If you are sure that the tyrant is the perfectionist, then we have converted in his/her slaves.

In other articles, we have discussed about what brings a person to be trapped in the tyrannical behavior of perfection. In these lines, we ask you to take responsibility for your own actions and start to act with excellence.

Excellence allows you to start being free in your field of action. It allows you to gain confidence since you are using the energy of your act towards what better responds to your way of being. You have to feel the effort. This can be translated –in business terms- in the cost of the product. In this stage, you will be in the position to defend your action with solid and certain arguments. You bring arguments, if necessary, from the tranquility of having worked with all the resources that you have.  Often, we will lack of knowledge and technique, even though we really act with the belief of offering the best quality to those asking us, we will never be forced to do more.

This attitude centered on offering the best of us is antagonistic to the mediocrity of conforming ourselves with the standard of subjective perfection. In most cases we will overcome this pattern, in others, we will surpass ourselves. We will always act in favor of offering our best version. As a difference of these considerations, plurality and natural competitiveness are born. Excellence forces us to collaborate within the liberty of a person and in this way to reach everything that exceeds the individual. Although firstly we have to meet this individuality, but this will be the theme of another article.

 To sum up, sensing the value of excellence in each of your actions will give your behavior a security difficult to break. A freedom of action that arises from the certainty with which you operate and project your reasons for your actions when arguing.