Reducing Perfectionism Part II of III


Give the student an assignment. Have him explain the following aphorism, “You cannot be perfect and learn at the same time.”

A few examples may help. (1) Have him assume that he is playing the piano and makes a false note. Ask him if he will conclude that he has no musical talent? (2) Have him assume he is playing baseball and strikes out. Ask him if he will assume that he has no athletic skills? (3) Have him assume that he misspells a word on a spelling test. Ask him if he will assume he has no writing skills?

Let him know that PERFECTIONISM is a burden no one is strong enough to carry without permanent damage to the body, mind, and spirit. Many young girls make themselves victims of anorexia nervosa because they think they have to be perfect in order to be accepted.

Aiming at EXCELLENCE is worthwhile. Make the point that a WISE person decides WHEN the QUALITY is excellent enough to move on. When a person does not make such decisions, the person becomes a victim. Only the person who responds in advantageous ways is in control—and thereby remains the victor. ASK him which he prefers to be—the victim or the victor.

(to be continued)