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Quote about Perfectionism from Eric Sherman

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    "So you are telling me I lack perspective."

    That was pretty much my initial reaction to reading this, but after sitting on it for awhile, I saw so much truth in it. When we are at our most perfectionistic, we tend to think in terms of extremes. There are only two options having it done perfectly or having something be a massive failure. Everything we do is either do or die, black or white. There is no middle ground or grey, because we simply lack the perspective to see all of the other possibilities.

    The good news, as Dr. Sherman points out, once we gain perspective the power this personality trait has on us fades away.
     
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  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perfectionism has a lot in common with 'victory or death'. All or nothing, no room for compromise or shades of gray.
     
  3. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    What do you mean by perspective? And how can it be achieved?
     
  4. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Gray.....YUCK! It's nice for animals or rocks, but not for life. The perspective lacking I can totally relate to and I find that my perfectionism is loosening it's grasp as I open my eyes a little wider. I am definitely guilty of not having much before - for me it translates into impulsiveness.
     
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I view perspective as seeing all of the potential options. I know that when I am at my most perfectionistic the only options available are, as MorComm stated, either "victory or death." Essentially, its feeling like if something is not done absolutely perfect in every possible way, then it is a complete and utter failure. It is thinking like Ricky Bobby, "If you ain't first, you're last." Of course our fear if something is perfect, or if we are not first, is that people will think we are worthless and reject both our work and ourselves. This is acting with a lack of perspective as we see no other possible reactions, like you can't finish a race in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place.

    In terms of gaining perspective, that is a good question. I know there are a lot of times I have difficulty with it. Does anyone have any suggestions on this?
     
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  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Many years ago I had a friend in Colorado whose motto was: "If you're not the best, you're the worst".

    Only problem is that he's dead now. Keep all your options open as long as possible!
     
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  7. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    Ahhh, thank you Forest.
     
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, I found the YouTube clip from Talladega Nights where Ricky Bobby's dad says the "if you ain't first, you're last" quote the first time:


    While there may have been plenty of buffoonery in that movie, I think the writers were pretty perceptive. From the way that Ricky Bobby is drawing the victory flag on his desk at the beginning of the clip, we can see the tremendous impact that parents can have on us and how much damage it can do to us when we are neglected. Parental neglect is a huge factor in a great deal of TMS.

    Later on, the 10 years of neglect by his father comes home to roost in a dysfunctional way of dealing with the world when he has to confront his first failure. His first crash as a race car driver is too overwhelming for him to handle, so his unconscious mind creates a TMS equivalent to distract him from the pain of his perceived failure. (I'm only half joking here. This is actually in the movie,to some degree.) It isn't TMS itself, but rather what Dr. Sarno calls a hysterical disorder in The Divided Mind:
    MorComm knows all about these from reading From Paralysis to Fatigue, but I couldn't bear to make it all of the way through that tome. ;)

    Anyway, the way it plays out in the movie is that Ricky Bobby gets in a crash and then thinks that he is paralyzed. He actually isn't paralyzed, but he doesn't know this. It's actually, as Dr. Sarno characterizes hysterical disorders, (but not TMS, which is psychophysiological, meaning that it involves both the psyche and the physiology), "all in his head." The way he finds this out always cracks me up: (he's talking about his wife at the beginning)

    I can't believe I just did such a serious posts about Talladega Nights....​
     
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  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    And, no, Forest, I didn't get all the way through Edward Shorter's From Paralysis to Fatigue. Only about half-way and the conclusion about modern complaints. It was too dense, even for my hyper-vigilant, perfectionist, over-achieving traits. Shorter's syntax is so mid-Victorian, like a history of Mesopotamia penned at Oxford U. in the 1850s!
     
  10. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    LOL, well I can't blame you. I hope to read it eventually, but I'm sure it will take a while.
     
  11. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary


    I keep coming across great threads on this forum. I didn't identify so much with the perfectionism until I began reading more. I am quite a lazy person in ways but I think its due to all or nothing thinking.
    When I first had back pain I put my athletic career on ice until such time as i was 100% fit and able to give the absolute best of myself. haven't played much sport since then.

    I agree that parental neglect is a huge aspect and Jonice Webb has an interesting book on Childhood Emotional Neglect.
    personally, I think its about forgiveness. if your parent neglected you it is likely because they themselves where neglected and never learned how to show love/compassion.
     
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  12. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Parental neglect or abandonment is such a big cause of TMS pain. I agree that the solution is forgiveness.

    There is a wonderful episode of the old tv series "Wings" about it, in season 2, episode 20, called "Mother Wore Stripes," 1991.
    The two brothers, owners of a one-airplane transport business, were abandoned by their mother when they were boys.
    She returns years later for forgiveness and the younger son does, but not the older son, until he finally relents.

    It's free to watch on YouTube if you post asking about that episode by its title.

    That's a very entertaining series about relationships. They often get a serious message across with a little humor.
     
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