Posted July 23, 2021 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: The Impossible Quest for Perfection
The quest for perfection will never succeed—so why are so many young people trying to reach it? Let’s talk about it, coming up next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 250 show:
Welcome to The Perna Syndicate! As we talk about connecting with young people this week, I want to address the area of perfection. I don’t know where kids are getting this idea, but from school counselors across America I keep hearing the same thing. Many students think they have to be perfect to succeed, and if they fall short, they give up. Many even start self-harming or other destructive behaviors. It’s sad, it’s tragic, and it’s something we need to combat.
The students at risk for this behavior are overwhelmed and stressed. As we connect with them, we must show them they can reach their goals without being perfect. They don’t have to achieve a 4.6 GPA to succeed. They can take a breath. It’s going to be okay.
We’re not encouraging them to put forth anything less than their best effort. But they need to know that their best effort is enough. We can’t approach this by comparing them, even favorably, with others because then other people become their standard.
No—they need to measure their success by their own abilities. If they did their best work, if they showed up and gave it their all, then they succeeded. Telling them “you are successful” is a powerful affirmation that can resonate with their deepest longings for success and achievement.
Young people don’t have to go on an impossible quest for perfection to attain the career and lifestyle they want to live. And when we connect with them at a meaningful level, we can influence their outlook on what it really means to succeed.
Thanks for being part of The Perna Syndicate this week! Next week, it’s all about engaging young people so we can make a bigger difference in their education and career journey. We’ll see you then!