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