Perfectionism and the Gifts of Imperfection

This clip 0f Brene Brown from the past PBS program The Gifts of Imperfection: Living with Courage, Compassion and Connection relates to an article in this week’s New York Times by Jessica Lahey.  Her article “Helping a Perfectionist Child” speaks to all of us who know a child or adult who finds it difficult to set boundaries and accept anything less than perfection.  Among the article’s suggestions psychology professor Mark Anthony advises to help the perfectionist “View Failure More Broadly.”  To that I would add the need to help children and young adults appreciate their failures as essential to growth and that transforming mistakes into something from which they can use and learn is a high art. 

In addition to reading this NY Times article, you can also view David Foster Wallace on Ambition | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios at PBS Learning MediaBlank on Blank has transformed the vintage interview tape, previously unheard, by pairing it with a new animation.  Among his insights, he says about perfection:  “If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything.”

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