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Dangers of perfectionism?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Sherlock77, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Found on my Firefox Pocket articles, a BBC article

    The Dangerous Downsides of Perfectionism

    Hope this link works

    I see a lot of myself in this article, I feel like I'm never good enough because of a lack of major achievements in any area of my life, and I have begun to wonder if perfectionism does hold me back sometimes, because I'm afraid of trying new things, often because I know I will inevitably fail because it's a new thing, yet... that is how we learn (so I'm told) through failure and moving forward despite that

    I thought it made many excellent points.
     
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  2. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress V.I.P Member

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    Hmmm...

    Thinking you will inevitably fail makes it really hard to find out what it's like not to. And even if you do fail, there is something of value to learn. While it may not be easy to just know you will succeed instead, you could decide to try a new thing without making success a condition.

    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.
     
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  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    You have success here. We all enjoy your eye for photos. You held a job for quite a long time. You write eloquently of your life and aspirations,(more success). You educate us on the beauty of classic cars. We learn some of the poltics of Canada in your posts. Success is surviving the pandemic. Success is reading about other people at this forum struggling yet finding a way to dredge thru the swamp and crawl, walk and run free.
     
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  4. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm a recovering perfectionist, it can be crippling.
     
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  5. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    All or nothing thinking means you never live up to your own expectations. It's common with depressive thought patterns and I remember it being brought up in my CBT sessions along with various self help books I've read.

    It's never productive to constantly live thinking like you're a failure - and yet, I'm guilty of it on a daily basis.

    Ed
     
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  6. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️

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    Here is a song that I like when I consider the possibility of failure,...
    The Roses of Success, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

     
  7. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I know it's not just me, and many NT's struggle with it too, it's society-wide

    I do know I need to learn more about being grateful for small things, and the one thing I constantly hear is how people learn from failure and move forward...
     
  8. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    You're right about being grateful. I think we're quick to focus on what we believe we need, or what isn't working. But when we take a step back and see what we should be thankful for - it probably stands to reason we have it better that millions, if not billions in this world.

    Ed
     
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  9. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I just see it in that if you're paid to harness your perfectionism, that it can be a real asset. :cool:

    And when you're not, it's closer towards being a liability more often than not. :oops:
     
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  10. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Perfect is the enemy of good.
     
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  11. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    It also relates to the ego and to existential issues. The ego demands attention and success, pretending to offer you happiness in exchange. And it comes to existentialism into wanting to have had a purpose in your life, something that mattered and will continue to matter after your death.
     
  12. MyLifeAsAnAspie

    MyLifeAsAnAspie Well-Known Member

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    I think we on the spectrum may be much better at dealing with it than others. This article is taking about people who learned mistakes are bad which resulted problems like depression, OCD as a adult. I think our perfectionism may be different. Just like our special interests look like the OC without the D, I think we can strive for perfect without a fear of failure.

    Virtue is it's own reward. But for career success "virtue is it's own punishment". This sarcastic version was on the office wall of a obviously aspie coworker who had a more successful career than I.

    I sure someone told Einstein "Stop obsessing over 'time', it's just what you can see on that clock there" :D.
     
  13. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    oh ok, I found it personally a problem because I was terrified of failure or not having a perfect outcome from any attempt at something, so I found it inhibiting.
     
  14. WildCat

    WildCat V.I.P Member

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    That's the main thing, the refusal to try anything new over fear of failure. I had this going on, the whole all-or-nothing mindset which goes something like this: "if I can't do it perfectly, it's not worth doing at all". It can be limiting for sure and I can relate to it all too well.

    I have been around a select few people with ridiculously over-the-top standards (most of them on the internet, which happens to be a good meeting place for jerks) that really don't help with that at all, but what does help is the reminder that with many things there's a learning process, it won't always be easy and it's going to take some time. Maybe a bit of luck too and some other variables.

    Yeah, some people may very well be blessed with traits that make certain things easier and grants them privileges the common peasant may never get to enjoy, but I don't believe in innate talent alone. Many, like myself, have had to or will have to work hard to achieve something.
     
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  15. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress V.I.P Member

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    I sometimes struggle to make the "perfect choice". It feels like being at a bus station where there are several buses waiting to leave. I can get on any bus, but if I get on one I can no longer get on any of the others, go in the direction they're going in, as they're all going in different directions. I have to go somewhere, so any bus will take me there, but I cannot settle on which bus to get onto. I've had the experience many times that once I choose a bus, I realise there was another bus I wanted to take and just didn't know I did until I was no longer able to. Does this come out of perfectionism or perhaps fear of failure?
     
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  16. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What you are describing is more related to information overload (not sure if that is the proper term)

    Most common situation is being in a lineup at a fast food restaurant looking at the menu board trying to figure out what you want to order... If there are a lot of choices your brain slows down and even becomes indecisive... Someone behind (likely an NT) gets impatient because they know exactly what they and their brain processed all that information much faster...
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021