Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Perfection.

  • It sounds great and it looks great.

  • And now, more than ever, we're flooded with it in our Instagram feeds, in ads, and even while watching TED Talks.

  • But what we see is often just an illusion.

  • Instagram shows only the moments, angles, and outfits that their creators choose to showcase.

  • Ads are created by teams of experts that are paid to get us to want what they're offering.

  • And even the sacred TED Talk is given by the most gifted communicators who have often put years and years of research into the work they are presenting.

  • And if you were to ask those Instagramers, advertisers, and TED Talkers if they feel like their latest post, billboard, or presentation was perfect, they most likely would say no.

  • Even when Isaac Newton saw the first edition of his book "Opticks", a book often to be considered one of the greatest works in modern science,

  • he had his name removed from the title page due to the imperfections he believed to be in it.

  • He didn't want to be part of something that wasn't perfect.

  • Perfectionism is when a person refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.

  • So, as a perfectionist, if you're a runner and you qualify for the Olympics and make second place, you don't think of yourself as the second-best runner in the world, you think of yourself as a failure.

  • Voltaire said that "perfect is the enemy of the good".

  • Meaning that if you strive for perfection, you are destined to fail, because perfection simply doesn't exist.

  • Even when you write a sentence you find perfect today, you might hate it tomorrow.

  • Perfection leads to an endless and impossible cycle of reworking sentences, photographs, ideas, or whatever it is you want to be perfect.

  • Individually, this often causes anxiety and a non-acceptance of yourself and your imperfections.

  • And it has even been linked to suicide.

  • In a 2013 study of 33 young men who committed suicide, more than 70 percent of them had parents that said they placed exceedingly high expectations on themselves.

  • It also causes insecurity.

  • One young woman said that growing up and seeing women on Instagram with perfect hair, bodies, and outfits instilled this need in her to look just like them.

  • She says that it made it incredibly hard for her to accept herself as is.

  • But what she and many of us often don't realize is that what we see is mostly an illusion.

  • Professional Instagramers spend hours upon hours setting up their photoshoots, going to the gym and the tan salon, all so they can present their most perfect self to the world.

  • But we don't see this.

  • Instead, we only look at their perfection and say to ourselves, "Why don't I look like that?"

  • But it gets worse.

  • Politically, a culture of perfection causes stagnation.

  • Perfectionists have a hard time letting go of their ideas because, in order to believe an idea in the first place, a perfectionist must think it is perfect.

  • So, when you have a perfectionist politician or activist who believes climate change doesn't exist, they devote themselves to ending policies that are trying to protect us.

  • And when you have two opposing groups of perfectionists in power, progress comes to a screeching halt.

  • The good news is that many psychologists believe that perfectionism isn't all bad.

  • Perfectionists are driven, motivated, and meticulous.

  • But when they fail, they see themselves as failures.

  • But if a perfectionist simply becomes an "excellentist", many of her or his self-hurting behaviors will go away.

  • For example, when an excellentist fails, it becomes an opportunity for learning and reflection, and perhaps saying,

  • "Eh, I did my best, and that's good enough for me.”

  • Thank you for watching, and don't forget to like, subscribe, and share this video.

  • It helps a lot!


Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it