Show Notes

Episode 237: Flawless vs Ideal

Prior to recording this episode, Shannon and Janine listened to a podcast discussing the new book “The Perfectionist’s Guide To Losing Control: A Path To Peace And Power.” The podcast sparked this week’s discussion of aiming for ideal rather than flawless, the more commonly used definition of perfectionism. To us, ideal feels much more attainable and healthy than flawless.

Discussion topics include:

  • The inspiration for this topic: a Life Kit podcast episode called “What Kind of Perfectionist Are You?” featuring Katherine Morgan Schafler, the author of the new book, “The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control: A Path To Peace and Power.”
  • The Latin root of the word perfect: “Completely done” not “flawless”
  • Shifting away from thinking that perfect means flawless
  • The author’s take that perfectionism can be powerful if it is approached in a healthy way
  • The interesting idea that there is a constructive, rather than destructive, side to perfectionism
  • According to the author, people who are perfectionists are people who see the gap between reality and the ideal and want to bridge that gap
  • The problem becomes when the reasons behind bridging the gap are unhealthy
  • How Janine’s husband is happy to be a perfectionist and uses his drive in a way that serves him (and her)
  • How the word “ideal” is more subjective and therefore more attainable than “flawless”
  • The relief in pursuing an ideal rather than striving for perfection
  • How this is one of the least flawless recordings we’ve done, but we’re embracing it!
  • Thinking about what parts of perfectionism can be useful
  • Letting go of the idea that perfectionists are striving for flawless
  • Getting in touch with your why to identify whether your perfectionistic drive is healthy or not


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