The Yearning for Perfection for Success

One cannot live with the fear of not always being perfect.

There is a metaphor that stigmatizes human imperfection: the human being (who often seeks perfection for success) travels like a sailor who is forced to repair his ship in the middle of the sea, without being able to stop in a port. No repair will ever be perfect, ideal. It will always be a patch!

That is, we are imperfect, fragile, imprecise. Above all, we often have a distorted idea of life and we believe that to “be someone” it is necessary to make memorable things and choices. Unfortunately, this distorted idea of success progressively distances us from our authenticity, leading us to chase after winning models, or considered as such, in order not to appear banal, normal, ordinary people. We have built castles in the air, objectives that do not belong to us, false desires, in order to meet the expectations of an obviously bizarre society.

But let’s try to change perspective and consider the usefulness of making peace with our imperfection.

How much energy is wasted to be flawless? At work or at home. If, on the other hand, we resist the temptation to ask too much of our abilities, if we bear the discomfort of doing things inaccurately, we free ourselves from an unnecessary burden of anxiety.

In any case, it is always better to do something than nothing, blocked by the fear of not being ten, children of “all or nothing” absolutism. It is our continuous attempts to discard what has negative overtones that make us insecure: uncertainty, failure, melancholy. While accepting failure makes us feel better.

Perfectionism often arises from insecurity, because we believe we can be loved and welcomed only if we do not make mistakes or if we are in extraordinary health. And, then, we fill ourselves with rules and regulations, ending up stiff between a thousand stakes.

We cannot control everything. Every day we are bombarded with explicit or subliminal images and messages that tell us who and how we should be, otherwise we will be inadequate. What if instead, we started praising our simply imperfect life? Embracing it with everything is inside it, without being conditioned, not looking for an ideal that we will never reach.

As the metaphor recalls, we go around like ships patched up to the best. But those flaws represent the traces of our difference, uniqueness. It is us, with the defects, the scars, our pains, our evils.

Psychologists invite us to adopt self-compassion: respect for our arched body, the sweet look towards the memory that misfires or towards the wrinkle on the face. Self-compassion, when we feel discouraged in the face of uncertainty.

In the East, there is praise for the ability to appreciate the beauty of broken objects, to accept the transitory nature of all things.

A scholar and writer has indicated ten guidelines for accepting one’s vulnerability and living more free from conditioning. For the scholar, we live better if we leave behind what others think, perfectionism, the sense of helplessness, the feeling of inadequacy, the need for certainty, comparison, productivity as an absolute value, anxiety as a lifestyle. , insecurity, the idea of always being self-controlled.

As I have written in the past, perfection is complete, absolute, certain, and unchangeable……but it is, therefore “boring”, always the same, saturated and saturating! In many years of work and research, I have not found a single individual and organizational behavior rule that would work anywhere and would rule over time and space. Perfection (especially managerial) does not exist and, if it is described in the books, does not work in reality, does not produce success. What is needed is the imperfection: an act brave, tenacious, practical, humble, flexible, confident, hard, that can be corrected at any time, that can be improved. We win by trying and trying again, fixing, patching, correcting, and, above all, do not give up, but continuing to try solutions.

Let’s rehabilitate imperfection, therefore, because this makes us more human too.


Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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