Friday, April 19, 2013


"Atelophobia." This is an interesting word which I encountered while browsing through Facebook. According to Wikipedia, it is the fear of imperfection. On the lighter side, it's the fear of not being good enough. To be honest, I believe I have this fear. :)

After almost a year in the workforce, I can compare working for a company with working on a school project. There are drastic differences of course, but in their core, I think they're similar in so many respects. 

One, you usually work with a team or a group.
Two, you brainstorm ideas for the project at hand.
Three, you talk to key stakeholders that need to be involved in the project.
Four, you do a study on ways to go about the project.
Five, you present your recommendations.
Six, you get ready for execution and implementation.
Seven, you execute and implement your project, or in the case of a school project, you provide your output.
Eight, you see results.

I guess the main difference here is the magnitude of the project's impact. Sure, if you're not good enough in school, you'll receive a bad grade for your output. At the worst, you'll get a failing mark and you would have to re-do or re-take the class. In the workplace, if you're not good enough and you screw up a project, you'll risk losses - tangible and intangible. There are no do-overs.

So, is having a light atelophobia bad? Maybe. It is perfectly capable of crippling us if not addressed or controlled. Fear, based on real or perceived risks or consequences, has the power to stop us. But if used to one's advantage, I think this fear can be good.

The fear of not being good enough can propel us to work harder than our peers, to strive to make ourselves good enough. Having a mindset of being great can make us feel entitled - like we know everything. There's no more room left to grow. Not being good enough can make us more open to learning, change, and growth - which is a good thing! Also, it is humbling to listen, observe, and learn from the people around you. :)

So, have that fear and work on it. Always strive to be better! :)

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