• Sara & Colin Taylor

Perfectionism - Part 1

Are you weighed down by perfectionism? If you are in medicine, chances are you have some of these tendencies. It may not be glaring, like wanting that project to be perfect before releasing it into the world, but could be more silent, like the fear of being wrong or judged.

Brené Brown talks a lot about perfectionism, or as she describes ‘a twenty-ton shield’, where she points out two very relatable concepts:

  1. Perfectionism is not the same as healthy achievement, but rather “if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame”. 

  2. Perfectionism “at its core is about trying to earn approval and acceptance”. 

These concepts can lead us into dangerous territory, where we constantly look over our shoulder for fear of failure and mistakes, ready for battle with our twenty-ton shield. If we continue to live in this place of unhealthy striving and caring so much about what people think, what happens when things go wrong?

We believe that if we dig deeper into our perfectionistic beliefs, we can reimagine an ‘imperfect’ culture, and ultimately, one that may be a step closer to addressing physician burnout.


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