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完美主义为何让你远离成功

Sarah Kauss 2016年06月10日

追求完美不仅会让人心力憔悴,还会打击自信心。

“透视领导力”(The Leadership Insider)是一个在线社区,最睿智、最有影响力的商界大佬会在此回答一些有关职业生涯和领导力的问题。今天的问题是:职业发展中如何正确对待自身不完美之处?回答者是时尚保温瓶制造商S’well的创始人兼首席执行官莎拉•考斯。

我是完美主义者。为了精确表达意思,我会反复遣词造句;为了符合特定场合,我会不厌其烦地布置房间,谁也没有我能折腾。可是,近几年我明白了,完美主义其实是个坏习惯。事事追求完美占用了大量时间,而且脑子经常会不自觉地困在小框框里。要承认这点很不容易,我以前还觉得完美主义挺不错的。从小到大,我接受的教育都是要努力表现自己,追求卓越。可这些年我发现:每次一陷入追求完美的状态,最后都会心力憔悴。

最近就有个例子,我要出席一个很棒的商务晚宴,之前很兴奋很期待,可当天我特别忙,根本没时间考虑为晚宴打扮。出席晚宴的有一些大牌设计师、企业的首席执行官,甚至还有普利策新闻奖得主。我觉得出席那种晚宴一定要留足时间换衣服,可能去做个美甲,或是调整调整自己振奋精神(我向来会这么安排)。但当电脑上弹出日程表提醒事项的对话框时,我还坐在办公桌前,身上穿着职业装,指甲已经久未打理。

那一刻,完美主义的小魔鬼冒头了,我差一点就想临阵逃脱。然而事实证明,如果我没去参加晚宴才真是犯了大错。晚宴上我不但感到轻松自在,还获得了此生难得的宝贵经历,千金难换。

每个人的完美主义倾向表现各不相同。但在我身上,就是实实在在的挣扎。完美主义已经侵入了我生活中的各个角落,固然有积极的一面,但对自我的限制更大。完美主义者如我总是行动迟缓,自信心不足。这些还不是最严重的,完美主义者还会不敢追求梦想、目标落空,也没有勇气经历真正脱胎换骨的体验。

自从成立S’well起,我开始醒悟,不再苛求完美。虽然每周至少有几次我还是会察觉到自己在追求尽善尽美,但我发现,只要注意避免完美倾向,做事会顺利得多(也感觉更加充实)。

如果一位企业领导者信心不足,无法迅速行动起来,在新奇有趣的体验来临时又不能参与,长此以往如何保持效率?完美主义还会继续流淌在我的血液中,不过我已经意识到,这种倾向会怎样影响我的事业、影响我聘用的员工、教导过的人,以及人生道路上的个人机遇。明白这些之后,我已经能够把握何时何地,什么情况下应该容忍自己的不完美。

与完美主义的战争也许永无休止。但如果通过大小战役我能逐渐掌控局势(或者能帮到他人),获得理想中的成就,这场仗我就愿意打下去。

请别误会我的意思:接受不完美确实是很大胆的一步,但人生的历险中需要勇敢闯关的事很多,这可能只是其中一件而已。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

The Leadership Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you embrace imperfection as part of professional development? is written by Sarah Kauss, founder and CEO of S’well.

I’m a perfectionist. I can beat the best at noodling sentences or setting up rooms until they are just perfect for the occasion. But what I’ve come to learn over the last few years is that being a perfectionist is basically a bad habit—a habit that eats up my day and pigeonholes me in ways I sometimes fail to recognize. This isn’t an easy admission—I used to pride myself on being a perfectionist. I was always taught to strive to present and be my best self. But over the years, I’ve learned how truly draining it can be to strive for perfection at every turn.

Recently, I was scheduled to attend a pretty amazing business dinner. I was excited and looking forward to going, but it was a super hectic day and I’d had zero time to think about getting changed for the occasion, which included major designers, corporate CEOs, and even a Pulitzer Prize winner. I’d imagine that anyone going to an event like this would want to find time to change clothes, possibly get a fresh manicure, or do something that would make them feel a little more pulled together (which had been my plan all along). But when the calendar reminder popped up on my computer, I was still at my desk, in my work clothes, and without a fresh coat of polish on my nails.

In that moment, the perfectionist in me reared its ugly head, almost convincing me to skip the event. What a mistake that would’ve been. Not only did I end up feeling comfortable as I was, but the event offered a one-of-a-kind experience—one that I wouldn’t have traded in for anything.

Perfectionism is different for everyone, but for me, the struggle is real. It’s a part of who I am, and while there are positive aspects to it, I’ve recognized that it creates major limitations. It can keep me, and those like me, from moving fast enough, and without the right amount of confidence. Not to mention that it can keep us from reaching for our dreams, achieving our goals, or partaking in those truly transformative experiences.

Since starting S’well, I’ve had an imperfection awakening. While I catch myself at least a couple of times a week reaching for perfection, I find myself accomplishing more (and feeling more complete) when I remember to throw it out the window.

Imagine a business leader who lacks confidence, doesn’t move quickly, or doesn’t participate in new and interesting experiences. How could that leader truly be effective in the long run? While perfectionism will always run through my blood, I’ve become aware of how this tendency can impact the business I’ve created, the employees I’ve hired, the mentees I coach, and the personal opportunities that come my way. This awareness has allowed me to truly understand when and how to let go.

The battle may never end. But it’s a battle I’m willing to fight if it means I’m empowered (or empowering others) and achieving what I’ve set out to accomplish.

Don’t get me wrong: Embracing imperfection is a bold move, but it may just be one of the bravest things you will ever do.

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