I like to think of myself as a perfectionist. I have OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder - so I like to have everything a certain way and I like whatever I do to be perfect. However, I also realize that there are times when something is not going to be perfect and that is okay too. Sure, it takes me getting used to and that is a frustrating road for me to drive down, but life is not meant to be perfect. The imperfections are what make life interesting; they make jobs and events interesting. If everything was perfect, there would be nothing to fix or bring to your attention. Ultimately, if everything was perfect. . . everything would be boring.
It is okay to be a perfectionist but it is also okay to make mistakes. Not everything will be done perfectly the first time no matter how perfect you think you are or how perfect you think you did something. I learned this the hard way just recently. I have always done a great job at every job I have had. To simply put it, I was practically perfect at every job I've had, because I am a perfectionist so I made it a point to be perfect.
However, I recently started working as a broista – yes, we call ourselves broistas – at Dutch Bros Coffee and it has to be the hardest job I have ever had. You are probably reading this like "It is just coffee; how hard could it be?"
Well, I had that same exact thought process and I am struggling a bit. I am still going through the training process, so I have a lot to learn and it would make sense that I am making mistakes. However, that doesn't mean that I like making the mistakes, in fact, it infuriates me. I don't like making mistakes, but mistakes are essential to the learning process!
You get something wrong, you learn, and you do it better the next time. When you are learning how to do something, it does not and should not be perfect the first time. Perfectionists, if your task results are not perfect, do not beat yourself up about it! No one is perfect; nothing is perfect. The only thing you can do is take a step back, breathe, and try again. Our job, as perfectionists, is to get something as close to perfection as possible but there will always be a fault.
This fault could be so little that you don't notice it or it could be so big that you know for sure that your result was a failure. Either way, there will always be time for you to have another chance. Think about that. There will always be time for you to have another chance. This is why absolute perfection is not needed.
In a world where people have the time to learn and grow, no one needs to be perfect and no task needs to be perfectly done because you have the time to improve. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for excellence and give yourself the time to be excellent. You might get better results.