Are you a Diliginist?Apr 23, 2021
Yep, Diliginist is a made-up word ……but I like it!
I come across this a lot is when I ask someone “Are you a perfectionist?” and like wearing a badge of honour they answer proudly “yes, I am a perfectionist”.
The problem with perfectionists is that they don't want to make mistakes, and therefore they are very slow learners.
They hesitate to experiment and are risk averse because it often means there is a strong possibility of failure. It is rare to do anything well first time.
So, perfectionists often shy away from learning and miss out on the fun of ‘looking stupid’ or amazing experiences because they hate looking bad.
Some of our biggest laughs come from failed attempts!
When I explain this often the story changes to “no, no, no I am not like that.”
I then suggest they might in fact be a ‘diligentist’
There is a difference between diligence and perfectionism. Diligence means that a person will do what they can to get good at something and keep at it until they get good at it.
Perfectionists play it safe and only take on projects that they are confident they will be good at and succeed. This is a disaster for growth and one of the base causes of a closed mindset.
Perfectionists often don’t realise the effect that their pretend perfectionism is having on them because if they don't get things right very quickly, they get very discouraged.
- There is no such thing as perfectionism. We can perfect certain things and create perfect machines, but even perfect machines become outdated.
- We can master skills and have perfect performances, but as with machines these too will be surpassed.
- The key is that diligence, a will and drive to keep improving, will lead to some perfect performances for the moment.
- Chasing perfectionism is a myth and a shadow. Chase never ending improvement and enjoy the few times we transcend into perfect.
- The pressure of always trying to present as someone in perfect control and perfect at their job is exhausting, fruitless and pretending to have cracked the code to something none of us can achieve.
Diliginists know that if you keep working at something it is impossible not to get better at it, so keep going until you will master a skill.
This is a far healthier attitude.
Written by David Sammel
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