What is Perfectionism And Where Does It Come From?

As an educator, mom and guidance Counsellor, I’ve always strived to help others realize that mistakes are for learning. I have taught this for years when I was teaching Restitution to hundreds of adults and students. However, perfectionism and fear of failure are very well and alive in our society. I am loving reading Brene’ Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection because she writes what many of us are thinking. Our society rewards us whenever we do well and punishes and/or shames us whenever we fail or are not perfect. If we get good marks at school, use good manners, do what others want us to do, win in contests or sports, obey orders, we get rewarded and praised. If however, on the other hand, we try to learn new things and make mistakes as we’re learning, we get criticized, shamed, punished, excluded, or made to pay a fine. I think mindfulness and leadership training as I’ve been posting on my website can make a difference in our mind set. Help me spread the news that failure is just one attempt to gain a skill. How else can we be creative, learn and enjoy each of our unique talents?
Brown states it well in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection,
“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, its often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life-paralysis. Life-paralysis refers to all the opportunities we miss because we’re too afraid to put anything out in the world that could be imperfect. It’s also all of the dreams we don’t follow because of our deep fear of failing, making mistakes, and disappointing others…”

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