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🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. Instead of striving for perfection, focus on putting in the effort and accepting mistakes as part of the process. This leads to growth and progress, while perfectionism can hinder creativity and generate fear around vulnerability.
  2. Rather than seeking external approval, people should find their worth internally by trusting themselves and embracing vulnerability. Seeking external feedback is not bad, but should not define one's self-worth. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and everyone is different.
  3. Excessive concern over making mistakes is the key factor in perfectionism. Following feedback from others rather than your high standards can help improve self-perception.
  4. Avoid striving for unrealistic perfection and find a balance between personal expectations and workplace demands to maintain physical and mental well-being. Navigating stress and anxiety in a helpful way is crucial for performance and success.
  5. While perfectionism can drive motivation, it also comes with a cost. Job flexibility and balance are crucial for individual well-being, and employers should consider the negative impacts of high expectations when hiring.
  6. Perfectionism has two sub-dimensions - excellence-seeking and failure-avoiding, and procrastination can be a variation of perfectionism. Recognizing our focus towards excellence or failure avoidance can lead to healthy striving for better outcomes.
  7. Strive for high standards in a way that is achievable and enjoyable. Practice putting in effort, setting mini-goals, bouncing back from failures, and focusing on opportunities rather than just seeking excellence.
  8. Approach mistakes as opportunities, seek feedback from those who understand your goals, and cultivate relationships to overcome challenges and find support in both personal and professional settings.
  9. Communicating your goals, constraints, and contextual factors to your bosses can give them insight into your work. Strive for high standards, but focus on effort and progress rather than perfection. Utilize tools and resources to manage your goals effectively.

📝 Podcast Summary

The Downside of Perfectionism and the Importance of Focused Effort

Perfectionism can lead to procrastination, avoiding challenges, rigidity in thinking, and a lack of creativity. Striving for healthy achievement and growth is important, but using perfectionism as a shield to protect against blame, judgment, or shame can hinder progress. Creativity is vulnerable, and when we try to do things perfectly, we're mitigating the fear around vulnerability and exposing ourselves to a potential failure. Instead of focusing on an outcome, we should focus on the effort in a direction. It's important to practice showing up and striving towards greatness while accepting that errors are part of being human and contribute to growth.

The Risks of Perfectionism and External Approval on Self-Worth

Perfectionism is often used as a shield to protect against shame, blame and judgment. But it narrows the mental framework and prevents creativity. People tend to feel external approval is necessary for self-worth, but it's risky as it often leads to feeling unacceptable or unlovable. To combat this, people should focus on finding their worth internally, derived from their own perception of themselves. Trusting oneself and embracing vulnerability is key to being more secure in who they are. Seeking external feedback is not bad, but should not be the basis of one's self-worth. Ultimately, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and everyone is different.

The Factors of Perfectionism and Their Impact on Self-Perception.

Perfectionism has six different factors, including excessive concern over making mistakes, high personal standards, doubts about the quality of actions, the perception of high parental expectations and criticism, and the preference for organization and orderliness. It's important to note that just because someone identifies with one or more of these factors doesn't mean something is wrong with them. Researchers also highlight that excessive concern over making mistakes is one of the key contributors of difficulty in people who struggle with perfectionism. It is essential to base our self-perception on feedback from people who know us and not hold ourselves or others to our own expectations solely.

The Impact of Perfectionism on Physical and Mental Health.

Perfectionism can impact physical health and lead to anxiety and other mental health issues. Socially-prescribed perfectionism, where individuals feel like others expect them to be perfect, is associated with poor physical health and lower self-rated health scores. Adherence to workplace expectations and standards can also lead to perfectionist tendencies and anxiety. Navigating one's own mind and energy in helpful ways is important for avoiding becoming a vicarious participant in one's own work challenges. The goodness of fit between personal expectations and colleagues' or bosses' expectations can impact performance and lead to stress. In order to maintain physical and mental well-being, individuals should aim for balance and avoid striving for unrealistic perfection.

The Downside of High Standards: Perfectionism and its Negative Impact on Work-Life Balance

Having high standards and perceptions of expectations at work can create conflicts, especially when they impact personal health and life. Job flexibility and expectations that blend and balance work and life are necessary for individuals. A study shows that perfectionism is not always a strength and can be a weakness. Although perfectionists tend to be more motivated and engaged, they also work longer hours and can suffer from negative impacts on their health and personal life. It's essential for job applicants and interviewers to consider these factors while looking for suitable employment.

Understanding the Complexities of Perfectionism and Procrastination

When people ask questions, there's usually another question behind the question, which can sometimes lead to unintentional manipulation. Perfectionism has two sub-dimensions - excellence-seeking and failure-avoiding. Excellence-seeking perfectionists have high standards for themselves and others, while failure-avoiding perfectionists obsess about not being good enough and fear losing respect. Procrastination can be a variation of perfectionism, where one shields themselves from negative responses. The beneficial effects of perfectionism are stronger for those who are higher in excellence-seeking. Healthy striving involves repeatedly putting effort in a direction that brings delight, joy, and positive emotion. It's important to recognize our focus - whether we're striving towards excellence or shielding ourselves from failure - to achieve better outcomes.

Balancing Standards and Fear of Failure for Healthy Perfectionism

Healthy perfectionism is about having high standards within reach and enjoying the process of moving towards the goal. It's important to balance the tendency to seek excellence with the fear of failure by asking oneself if it's worth it and focusing on effort and opportunity. Perfectionists need to practice doing the work and putting themselves out there to reach their own high standards. Mini-goals can help buffer the possibility of threat or loss. It's also important to bounce back from failures and keep showing up. Healthy striving is about setting high standards that are achievable and enjoying the process of moving towards the goals.

The importance of goal-setting, feedback, and relationships in managing anxiety and growth.

Setting goals and striving for progress often leads to tension and anxiety, but mistakes should be seen as opportunities for growth. When dealing with criticism, it's important to consider who knows you well and understands your goals, rather than allowing anyone to speak deeply into your life. Building relationships and surrounding yourself with a supportive board of advisors can help buffer against challenges and disappointments. While it may be tricky to establish deep relationships in the workplace, it's still important to consider feedback from those who know you professionally and understand your goals in that context.

How Vulnerability and Context Can Benefit Your Work

Being vulnerable with your bosses and overseers about your goals and constraints can provide necessary context for them to understand your work and give feedback. Acknowledging contextual factors that may have affected the outcome of a task, such as lacking the necessary tools, can also provide important insight. It's important to strive for high standards, but to also value effort over outcomes and focus on progress rather than perfection. Tools, whether physical or mental, are important in achieving goals and tasks, and it's important to consider what other resources may be helpful in managing your goals differently.