Insights

Why You Should Choose Mastery over Perfection


Are you a Master or are you a Perfectionist?
Not quite sure? Well, let me give you the definition of both and see what you think.

Mastery means having great skill and knowledge in a subject area or total dominance over something. For example, if you are fluent in French, you have mastered the language.  Or if you are an expert in your field, you are considered a master of it. 

Perfectionism, on the other hand, means you have extremely high – even impossible – standards. You expect everything to be flawless. This means any outcome less than 100% leaves you feeling disappointed and ‘not good enough’. You may also hold others to these high standards and are often disappointed and frustrated when your expectations aren’t met.

You may often get Mastery And Perfectionism confused as both require endurance and to strive for excellence. However, Perfectionism assumes that there is only one or a limited way of doing things and you must be rigid in pursuing it. This doesn’t allow you to take risks and pivot when you need to because you believe that you must ‘stay the course’ even when it’s not working for you. Perfectionists tend to have a scarcity mindset.

Developing Mastery is unlimited because there is always something new to learn no matter how much you already know about your area of expertise. This makes you open to take risks, pivot and do things differently to guarantee that you are learning and growing as much as possible. Because of this, masters tend to have an abundance mindset.

Here some ways you can give up Perfectionism Cons and adopt Mastery Pros:

  1. Take Risks
    When you are striving for perfection, you are afraid to take risks because you don’t want to make mistakes and fail.
    On the road to Mastery, you know that failure is one of the best ways to learn because it gives you the opportunity to get it right next time.

  2. Continuous Learning
    Perfectionists often believe that there is a peak to their learning and say things like “when I know this, I will have that”.
    On the road to Mastery, you know that learning is never-ending. You will never have all the answers because there’s always something new to learn. This is why it is so important to have an abundance Mindset.

  3. Share Knowledge
    As a perfectionist, you are less likely to share your knowledge and ideas because you don’t want to give someone else the upperhand.
    On the road to Mastery, you know that being open and sharing your ideas  gives others the opportunity to do the same and you can compound your knowledge. You become even more of an expert in your subject area.

As Sarah Lewis says

“Mastery requires endurance. Mastery, a word we don’t use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate – perfectionism – an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us.
Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit.”

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