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Transcript of Perfectionism
The Gifts of Imperfection
Connection Brene Brown Give yourself credit for trying, learning, and persisting- not just for succeeding.
Set realistic goals. Ask several people you trust to help you evaluate what is realistic. Practical Tips Denial: Unrealistic about ourselves, others, and the world The Thought Patterns of Perfectionism While guilt is about our behaviors, shame is about who we are.
Shame Trigger: Who I am in relation to who I think I ought to be. Shame & Guilt High standards/strive for excellence
Full of energy and enthusiasm
Realistic about their own strengths and weaknesses
When they make mistakes, they do not endlessly ruminate about how they should have done better
"How can I improve?"
Driven more by a positive motivation to do their best than by a negative fear of failure. Persons of Excellence Is there anything wrong with trying to be the best we can be, in every area of life? Affirm: Normal, healthy, adaptive pursuits of high standards and excellence
Perfectionism: move beyond the legitimate pursuit of excellence to live under the tyranny of believing that perfection is possible and failures are unacceptable. Self-worth and self-respect depend on reaching those standards and failure is responded to with self-criticism and depression. Interpersonal
Have very set ideas about the way things should be done, tending to make relationships difficult
Critical and demanding of others
Difficulty delegating Types of Perfectionism Performance:
Sense of value is highly dependent on how they perform (I.e. academics, athletics, music, ministry, etc.).
“I achieve, therefore I am.”
If they are unable to produce or perform at peak levels, they become depressed and anxious. Types of Perfectionism Identifying, evaluating, and overcoming perfectionism
By: Ashley Anderson
Based on "Perfecting Ourselves to Death" by Richard Winter An Imperfect Look at Overcoming Perfectionism How does perfectionism play out spiritually? How can what we talked about today apply to our spiritual lives? Take-Home Discussion "A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life."
-Christopher K. Germer Summary Quotes Change takes time and practice.
Change thoughts first, and emotions and actions will follow after.
It is very difficult to change old habits of thinking and feeling alone. We need a variety of caring relationships, such as family, friends, a counselor, or other groups.
Books that can help:
"Never Good Enough" by Monica Ramirez Basco
"When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough" by Antony and Swinson
"I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't)" by Brene Brown
"The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown Words About Cognitive/Behavioral Change Develop a sense of humor! Be able to laugh at some of your mistakes.
Try new things like a child would. You don’t have to do things perfectly the first time you try.
Distinguish between who you are and what you do. You are much more than a number on a scale. Don’t criticize yourself and don’t criticize other people.
Develop a healthy attitude towards your mistakes. Acknowledge them, fix them if you can, and then go on with life without obsessing about your inadequacies. Practical Tips Tell yourself once each hour that you are an imperfect, flawed human being-- just like everyone else.
Listen to your thoughts and inner dialogue. Identify cognitive distortions as soon as you notice it.
Stop discounting your accomplishments. Accept compliments from other people and from yourself. Practical Tips for
Overcoming Perfectionism Keep a thought journal
Record situation, emotions, perfectionist thoughts, alternative thoughts, and conclusions
Situation: I received a B on my paper.
Emotions: Frustration, anger, self-loathing, depression
Thoughts: I failed. This paper is no good at all. I am worthless.
Alternative Thoughts: Even though I feel like I failed, I did not get an F, I got a B.
I did not get an A, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t parts of my paper that were good.
I can be proud of myself that I worked diligently and responsibly on this paper.
I did not achieve my goal of an A, but I shouldn’t let a B ruin my day. I came really close!
I can see that there are many valuable things about who I am and even the work I did, even though I didn’t get an A on this paper. Changing Thought Patterns Situation
Physical sensations Cognitive Lesson Four Elements Shared by Men and Women with High Levels of Shame Resilience:
They understand shame and recognize what messages and expectations trigger shame for them.
They practice critical awareness by reality-checking messages and expectations that tell us that being imperfect means being inadequate.
They reach out and share their stories with people they trust.
They speak shame-- they use the word shame, they talk about how they’re feeling, and they ask for what they need. Shame Resiliency,
Brene Brown Depression
Life paralysis Serious Problems Associated with Perfectionism False church expectations and teaching
Lack of resiliency to rejection, failure, or criticism
Beliefs about the nature of reality
Pride: the desire to be superior or the best in relation to others Genes & temperament
Cultural models/ideals, advertising, images
Demanding, critical, & shaming parents
Inappropriate pressure from peers/teachers/ coaches/bosses “Why Do I Do This to Myself?” Realistic
Strives for the doable
Wants to do their best
Views life as challenge
Learns from mistakes
Values self for who he/she is Idealistic
Strives for the impossible
Has to be the best
Views life as a threat
Dwells on mistakes
Values self by what he/she does Perfectionist
Person of Excellence Set unrealistically high standards
Excessive concerns over mistakes in performance
Exhausted and exhausting
Worth is dependent on reaching goals
"What will they think?"
Motivated by the fear of failure, rejection, shame, or punishment Perfectionism Perfectionism Defined Socially prescribed perfectionists
Driven not so much by their own high standards but by the belief that other significant people (parents, peers, professors, God) hold very high standards for them.
In order to be accepted they must meet these standards at all costs. All-around
Concerned with high standards and excellence in all areas of life, esp. performance, appearance, and morality.
Merges into an obsessive personality where there is great concern about order, organization, rules and lists, and great attention to detail.
“I am perfectly in control, therefore I am.” Types of Perfectionism Perfectionism: A disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable. Appearance
Most concerned about how they look
A lot of time, money, mental/emotional energy on image (i.e. weight loss, body sculpting, diet, make-up, clothes)
Standard likely heavily influenced by perfected media images.
“I am how I look.” Moral/Spiritual
Concerned that they and all those around them should keep the rules or laws exactly and meticulously
“I behave perfectly, therefore I am.” Guilt= I did something bad.
Shame= I am bad. This is a particular problem for perfectionists, as they cannot live up to their expectation of perfection, leaving them feeling weak, inferior, worthless, and shamed. Polarizing: Black and white thinking Filtering: Success is minimized and failure is maximized Global Labeling: Instead of describing an error in context of a specific situation, a person will attach an unhealthy label to themselves, usually with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. Shoulds: Tyranny of inflexible oughts and shoulds "The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
-Anna Quindlen RA Leadership Seminar, March 27, 2013