Binod Shankar

HomeThe Perfection Trap By Thomas CurranBook SummaryThe Perfection Trap By Thomas Curran

The Perfection Trap By Thomas Curran

The Perfection Trap By Thomas Curran

The Perfection Trap By Thomas Curran

My top 20 points:

1. Perfectionism is a form of deficit thinking.

2. Perfectionism is not the same as high standards. The deeper question is why perfectionistic people need to set those standards in the first place. They’re doing so for validation from other people—validation that tells them they’re good enough.

3. Perfectionism is—can only ever be—a relational trait. It is a self-esteem issue.

4. Perfectionism has many faces. Self-oriented, perfectionism is an intense need to be perfect and nothing but perfect. Socially-imposed perfectionism is a sense that everyone around me expects me to be perfect. Other-oriented perfectionism is turned outwards onto other people.

5. Perfectionism is not the secret to success. Studies find that perfectionism has negligible to non-existent correlations with performance

6. There are two reasons for this. The first is that perfectionistic people work hard & burn out. The second is that perfectionists are world champion self-saboteurs- they procrastinate or simply give up to save face and ward off immobilizing fears of failure.

7. We hold perfectionism so close and dear because we believe that it was perfectionism that propelled us to the top when perhaps there were other important factors like being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people at the right time etc.

8. This is classic survivor bias. This is why we think perfectionism is the root secret to success but it’s only because we are only ever talking to the winners. If we talk to the people who didn’t quite make it, they would tell us a very different story.

9. Having a child is probably the biggest sledgehammer you can take to perfectionism because you soon realize in very short order that you are reduced to nothing more than a helpless spectator in their show.

10. I grew up poor. Every time I saw my friends with the latest trainers or the newest phones and gadgets, I was ashamed. I felt so embarrassed because if you don’t have those things, there must be something wrong with you. The overcompensation in later life to try to make up for those feelings of lack was part of the perfectionist treadmill that I started to get myself entrenched on.

11. Perfectionism is a hidden epidemic. The trend for socially-prescribed perfectionism is following an exponential trajectory upwards

12. There’s a very strong relationship between perfectionism and mental health outcomes, anxiety, depression, self-presentational concerns, and all the rest of it.

13. Perfectionism is a cultural phenomenon. Something is going wrong within our society. From pushy parents, to high expectations in schools and colleges, to intense workplace pressures, to the comparative lens of social media, perfection is inescapable these days

14. Society’s expectations are well beyond the capacity of most people to meet

15. Everything you feel that you should be is a set of ideas conditioned by our culture

16. The first thing we need to realize is that it’s not us that needs transforming.

17. This idea that progress is way better than perfection is a cliché but it is the most important thing to bear in mind when you’re trying to break through your imperfection.

18. Perfectionists are inefficient over strivers. They will put in way more effort than most people to attain the same outcomes because they can’t help themselves. Get it out. Find that minimum threshold. Stick to it. Let it go. Move on to the next thing. Keep moving.

19. Perfectionism is less of an internal trait passed on from generation to generation, but more a trait that has been shaped by our external environment & broken society at large. The culprit is culture.

20. Societal change is needed to counter the rise of perfectionism. Ultimately, it will require policy changes and huge collective action, such as stricter regulations for advertising and social media platforms, fewer mandatory tests in schools and colleges alongside a greater focus on development and learning, and the creation of a more level playing field through policies such as basic income.

Tags: #careercoach #executivecoaching #corporatecoaching #businesscoaching

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