Task perfection vs. self-perfection.

Posted by Rex Alexander on Sun 4 Feb 24 in David Burns, Demanding, Perfectionism, Task Perfection vs. Self Perfection |


Dare to be average!

One of the most amazing and provocative chapter titles in all the annals of Chapterdom is Dr. Burns’s antidote to perfectionism “Dare To Be Average!” from the now-classic “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.” One of Dr. Burns’s many important contributions to CBT is teaching us to distinguish between what he calls “task perfection” and “self-perfection.” We may try very hard to achieve task perfection, and naturally be disappointed when if our performance fails to live up to our expectations. However, success or failure at a task does not make us a success or failure (or any other abstraction) as a person. In other words, our essence (whatever that is), our self is unaffected by our performance.


   Strive for progress,

      . . . not perfection.”

                                            ~source unknown



Possibly a more interesting questions for CBTers, is CBT good for “high-performance” individuals such as Olympic athletes? Can Olympic athletes succeed as well by transforming “I absolutely MUST win the gold” into “Although I STRONGLY prefer to win the gold, it is not the end of the world if I do not.”

However, short of Olympians, for the rest of us, the later is certainly a more rational, healthy and helpful way to approach performance and achievement.

What do you think?



From Chapter 14, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy:

Chapter 14

Dare to Be Average: Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

I dare you to try to be “average.” Does the prospect seem blah and boring? Very well—I dare you to try it for just one day.”




How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Originally posted 2016-08-22 20:50:01.

Follow me
Latest posts by Rex Alexander (see all)
Please share the love . . .

Tags: , , , , , ,

Join discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2018-2024 All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored Child Child-Theme, v2., on top of
the Parent-Theme Desk Mess Mirrored, v2.5, from BuyNowShop.com

Never miss a post!

Don't let this happen you you!
Get FREE weekly Newsletter Digest of New Posts

We respect your privacy.