by Amanda LeBlanc
I know that I traditionally write about tips and tricks to organize your life while showing some great before and after pictures of dream closets and other areas of the home, but this article is one that must be read. There is an issue that is affecting the very core of how we live, and it’s one that we can absolutely change today. It’s time to take a stand.
Perfectionism is dying and millions are jumping up to shout, “Hurray!” But should they? During the filming of my show, I took a lot of criticism for how much of a perfectionist I am. Notice that I say I am a perfectionist. That’s because I am still a perfectionist. I didn’t change. It is part of who I am as a person, and quite frankly, I’m not interested in being anybody else.
I also have to say that the word perfectionist is often overused and misused. It seems to be used for any and every person who is a leader, for anyone who wants to be successful or isn’t satisfied with just being mediocre. But I don’t think that’s always the right definition, and I don’t always think it’s a bad thing.
I realize that anything in the extreme can be bad, and that goes for perfectionism. However, I have to say that as millions welcome the age of not wanting to strive for excellence, it saddens me. I see it in almost everything I am involved in. People are doing a half-ass job and they think it’s OK. I am in no way encouraging anyone to believe they have to be perfect to be successful or that perfection is even attainable. I just think that we are trying so hard to kill and stigmatize perfectionism that we have done a 180. There is a balance, as there is with anything, and we desperately need to find it.
I have read articles that say that all people who are perfectionists are prisoners of their lives, they are never satisfied, and nothing is good enough. Well, from one perfectionist’s point of view, I have to say that’s not always the truth. I would tell you that there are periods of discontentment in my life for sure, but that right now, at this very moment, I am very content. My perfectionism has given me drive and ambition to be the very best I can be. I’m more puzzled by those who don’t want that! I don’t care if you are a stay-at-home mom, the pizza delivery boy, or the CEO of a major corporation. Don’t you want to be your best? Don’t the members of your family or your clients deserve that from you?
I have a client who hired a painter to work in her home. He didn’t tape off the molding and of course had spots of paint on the trim. Not only did he not even attempt to clean it up, he left an empty drink bottle and his plastic drop cloth for the client to deal with. I was interested in hiring a builder; three builders were called and not one followed up. I even have a client who has hired us to follow behind his cleaning crew to make sure they do what they were hired to do! Seriously? Why in the world do we think this is OK?
Too many times these days I see employers and customers settling for less, believing that mediocrity is somehow the new norm. I say no way! I realize that none of us is perfect, and I am by no means saying that we should expect or teach our children that they should be perfect, but they should be striving for excellence. We should all be doing what it takes to learn how to do the things we do daily even better.
I have had hundreds of people reach out to me and applaud me for going out and starting my own business. They want to know how they can follow their dreams and be successful. My advice has always been to go above and beyond. Learn more, do more, and give more than others expect, and it will set you apart. My perfectionism taught me that, and if my happy, healthy life is the result, then I say screw all the naysayers; long live perfectionism!