Being Perfect Is Hard Work!

A few simple steps you can take to bring more accountability to your work life.

So you didn’t meet your goals last year. That really stinks, but sometimes it happens. As a responsible team player, you take the time to understand what happened, so you can ensure it doesn’t happen again. After all, you want to be successful this year. What do you discover? Well, it was your manager who didn’t provide you with the support you needed. You also haven’t had training with your trainer in a year, so it must be his fault. The Human Resources department was too strict with its standards, so that made things impossible for you. Let’s not forget all those customers and how annoying they were! No wonder you weren’t perfect when everyone around you had so many faults! 

Hmmm…what is wrong with this picture? Living in a fantasy world can be fun, but it doesn’t help you achieve your goals. I hate to burst the bubble you are living in, but I am here to tell you that when you fail, the only person responsible for that failure is you! Learning to take accountability for your actions is the first step in changing your reality and meeting your goals. Here are a couple of tips to help you forgo your “perfectness” and come back down to Earth with the rest of us. 

1. Admit that failure is not a bad thing!

We have to remember that admitting to failure is not as bad as it seems. No one can get it right 100 percent of the time. There are times you will fail; we all will! Admitting to failure is just admitting you need to do something differently. So in a way, it is not failing at all, it just means that change is needed.

2. Look at what you could have done differently.

It is easy to blame those around you for the reason you failed, but you need to examine what YOU could have done differently. There is only one person who makes you act the way you do, and that would be YOU! We all are in control of what we do and say, and we cannot make positive changes if we are living in la-la land. Take a long hard look at what you have done(or not done) to contribute to the problem and what you can do to help move your goals forward. Yes, other people could have contributed to the situation, but you also need to be responsible yourself.

3. Ask how the people around you can assist you.

Instead of blaming those around you, why not ask them for help? Teams are composed of different individuals with a variety of talents, so use your co-workers, contractors, and vendors to help you achieve your goals. Discover the skills others have that can benefit you, and use that knowledge to your advantage. Don’t overlook valuable resources you have right in front of you—your teammates! If you work together with those around you, it not only motivates you, but can motivate others to do better!

4. Set your yearly goals and hold yourself accountable to achieve them.

You know what you need to do, so create a plan on how you are going to do it. Include regular milestones to ensure you stay on track. You don’t want to get to the end of the year only to discover you haven’t reached your goals once more.

These are just a few simple steps you can take to bring more accountability to your work life, and how you can contribute to the success of your organization. Now that you have discovered you are not the perfect employee, we can talk about your sense of style. Well, that’s another conversation…

Kevin James Saunders is a trainer and the Chief Company Culture Director for Oculus Training, a British Columbia-based corporate training and mystery shopping company offering sales management, reservations, sensitivity, and customer service training programs for a variety of service-based industries throughout Canada, the U.S., and the world. For more information, call 888.OCULUS4 or visit You also can connect with Oculus on Twitter @oculustraining, via e-mail at or visit it on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.