The Perfection Trap: Why Perfectionism Is Your Enemy – World Expert Professor Thomas Curran

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πŸŽ™ About The Episode

Most of us know perfectionism as the relentless pursuit of flawlessness, our fatal flaw of having a constant need to meet impossibly high standards. It’s a trait that many of us strive for, believing that it will lead to success and happiness. But what if I told you that this concept of perfectionism as we know it isn’t the full picture? And the badge of honour we think perfectionists wear is one big misconception. Today I’m joined by Professor Thomas Curran, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics. With over a decade of experience, Professor Curran is a world leading expert on perfectionism. He’s written for the Harvard Business Review, New Scientist, The Guardian, Telegraph and Wall Street Journal. In 2018, he gave a TEDMED talk which has over 3 million views and earlier this month he published his book The Perfection Trap: The Power of Good Enough in a world that always wants more’. In the conversation we talk about the paradoxical effects of perfectionism, how our perfectionistic traits stem from a cultural obsession rather than a personal flaw and shows what we can do as individuals to resist the modern-day pressure to be perfect – and how we can create a culture that celebrates the joys of imperfection.

00:00 Intro
01:27 What is the definition of perfectionism?
04:07 How do you measure perfectionism?
05:39 Why is perfectionism bad?
10:21 Is perfectionism genetic, cultural or gendered?
20:28 If their data around childhood and perfectionism?
21:58 Healthy striving vs perfectionism
28:02 Your experience and strategies
36:42 The multidimensional model of perfectionism
42:52 Perfectionism and narcissism
45:08 How does perfectionism contribute to lower productivity?
50:02 Self sabotage
53:00 Action points to get over perfectionism
01:11:06 What’s your take on social media?
01:17:23 Why don’t you believe in the growth mindset?
01:22:24 The tyranny of should
01:27:28 Your take on goals
01:32:01 Helpful ways to break through procrastination
01:35:08 Parting thoughts

πŸ”— Connect with Thomas

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πŸ”Š Episode Transcript

Download the episode transcript

🧰 Resources mentioned

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