Brain Science Brain Science #20

Navigating perfectionism

High expectations for performance in both life and work are common, but what do you do when you get stuck and you’re not able to achieve the results you desire? In this episode, Mireille and Adam talk through the different aspects of perfectionism and ways in which is can be adaptive and helpful and other ways in which it poses additional challenges. What happens when we avoid the possibility of failure as opposed to simply having high standards for our performance? How can we begin to focus on healthy striving as opposed to reaching for perfection?


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2020-05-21T14:31:40Z ago

Really enjoyed the topic as someone who has done a lot of work on perfectionism, thanks! I’d love to hear you talk about perfectionism in families. How to walk along teenagers whose automatic “board of advisors” are parents who are perfectionists. Tools for kids in high performing homes.

2020-05-22T16:13:28Z ago

Thanks so much for your feedback! We’ll definitely keep this in mind for upcoming episodes-I think there are so many dimensions relative to navigating perfectionism and it’s so hard with parents, coaches and other adults who still struggle with this. One resource I’d recommend is a podcast episode by Michael Gervais (a sports psychologist) with Sue Enquist here: She was the softball coach over at UCLA and towards the end of the episode, she mentions the way in which parents respond to the their children in high level athletics, which doesn’t work well to keep kids’ love for the game. While it’s in the context of sports, I think it’s relevant for all.

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