1871 – Dr. David Livingstone found by Henry Stanley On this day in 1871, according to his journal, explorer Henry Stanley greeted David Livingstone, the fellow explorer in search of the source of the Nile River, with the famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
2019 – Bolivian labour leader Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, resigned under pressure after monitors claimed that the election—for his fourth term in office—had irregularities, a claim later challenged.
The Programme Manager, National Onchocerciasis Elimination Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Michael Igbe, said about 50 million Nigerians are at risk of getting infected with onchocerciasis, also called River Blindness.
Mr Igbe said this in Ibadan during a media dialogue organised by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
The manager, who spoke on “Overview on Onchocerciasis Elimination in Nigeria”, said “treatment with ivermectin started in 1989, and in 1997, the Community Directed Treatment with Ivermectin (CDTI) strategy was adopted as the main strategy of programme implementation.
“At inception, Nigeria had interventions covering 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Now, 27 states and the FCT, with about 50 million persons in Nigeria are at risk of onchocerciasis.”
In Philippians 1:28-30 Paul wraps up this first chapter by pressing the believers to stay strong and be bold in the midst of their adversaries. “….and not frightened in anything by your opponents.” In the ancient Greek language, Martin explains that frightened “is a vivid term, unique in the Greek Bible and denoting the uncontrollable stampede of startled horses.” In the face of this kind of opposition, Paul wanted the Philippian Christians to have the same kind of boldness he had. And while we cannot stand firm on our own accord, God has provided us the needed armor to do exactly that and to not have any reason to be afraid.
When a believer is unafraid of their adversaries, it is a clear sign that they have the upper hand and can destroy those very adversaries. “This is a clear sign to them of their destruction…
At the beginning, U.S. President Donald J. Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, which Iran never signed and which paves the way for Iran to have nuclear weapons. Tehran’s
Have you ever been labeled a “perfectionist”? Or do you consider yourself to be one?
It’s tempting to see perfectionism as a desirable or positive quality – it shows that we pay close attention to detail and get things right! In fact, obsessive perfectionism can do more harm than good. It can damage self-esteem, put a strain on our relationships, and, in extreme cases, it may even lead to serious health problems.
Research suggests that perfectionism is growing, with a rising number of people striving to perfect their lifestyles and themselves.
What Is Perfectionism?
Perfectionism is a set of self-defeating thought patterns that push you to achieve unrealistic goals.
In his book, “The Pursuit of Perfect,” Dr Tal Ben-Shahar explains that there are two types of perfectionism: adaptive and maladaptive.
Adaptive perfectionists want to develop their skills continually. Their standards are always rising, and they approach work with optimism, pleasure and a desire to improve. This is the healthier type of perfectionism – but, as we’ll see later, it’s not without its problems.
Maladaptive perfectionists, however, are never satisfied with what they achieve and, if something isn’t perfect, they dismiss it. They may experience fear of failure, anxiety
, unhappiness, and other painful emotions. In general, maladaptive perfectionists tend to exhibit the following actions and behaviors:
They have high, unrealistic goals.
They give up on tasks if they feel that they can’t be the best or “win.”
They view mistakes as failures and conceal them from others.
They spend an excessive amount of time planning or redoing work to make it “perfect.”
They don’t like taking risks unless a successful outcome is guaranteed.
They are overly concerned with what other people think about them and believe that, if their flaws are exposed, they will be rejected.
They don’t handle criticism or feedback well.
They apply unrealistic standards to colleagues and are over-critical of their work.
If things don’t go to plan, they can feel stressed and anxious.
They find it difficult to delegate tasks to others.
A 2018 Harvard Business Review article described adaptive perfectionism as “excellence seeking” and maladaptive perfectionism as “failure avoiding.”
It also suggested that the latter has many more negative effects than excellence-seeking perfectionism, though research showed that neither forms improved performance. It concluded that perfectionism isn’t a useful approach, period!
Is Perfectionism a Weakness or a Strength?
Perfectionism is often viewed as a strength that helps people to produce high-quality work. But, while conscientiousness and attention to detail
are valuable attributes, they can also influence the way that you’re seen by others. You may, for instance, be viewed as over-critical, or as a procrastinator who spends too long on the detail rather than on the end result.
Of course, there are times when getting everything right is essential. If lives are at risk or if failure has grave implications, it’s vital that you test and check your work thoroughly. In these high-stakes situations, ensure that your organization’s business processes
are fit for purpose and that it is committed to creating systems that work flawlessly.
When the consequences of imperfection are small, however, it can be wasteful or counterproductive to seek or expect perfection. Learning to recognize when “good enough” really is good enough can save time and energy for when they’re really needed.
Why Is Perfectionism a Problem?
When perfectionism gets out of control or becomes obsessive, it can harm you both professionally and personally. Let’s look at some of the most common problem areas you might experience if you are a maladaptive perfectionist:
According to 2011 research from the Journal of Counseling and Development, perfectionism is linked to health issues such as eating disorders, depression, migraines, anxiety, burnout
, and personality disorders. The quest for perfection can also result in decreased energy, increased stress, and relationship problems.
. This is because self-worth is often tied to achievement. You believe that other people judge you on your achievements. But, because you’re rarely satisfied with what you do achieve due to your unrealistic high standards, you tend to believe that others think little of you and your ability.
This can lead to a downward spiral of self-criticism, blame and self-sabotage. It can also trigger Impostor Syndrome, as you often find “evidence” that you’re not up to the job. You also risk harming other people’s self-esteem by trying to control colleagues’ behavior and being over-critical of their performance.
Contrary to popular opinion, perfectionism can damage your productivity, as it often makes you more liable to procrastinate
If you’re a perfectionist, you may find that you avoid starting a new project until you’ve found the absolute best way to approach it. You might also get caught up in minor details or make others repeat tasks that have already been completed because they aren’t exactly right.
Ultimately, however, this wastes time that could have been spent on other, more important tasks. It can also damage your relationships with others because of the knock-on effect that it has on team workflow. As writer and leadership expert Simon Sinek puts it, in almost every situation, “progress is more important than perfection.”
Perfectionism can prevent you from leaving your comfort zone
and taking risks. If you’re afraid to make mistakes, it’s difficult to generate new ideas and seize opportunities, and your creativity can suffer as a result.
Seek advice from suitably qualified health professionals if you have any concerns over your health, or if you’re experiencing significant or persistent unhappiness.
Strategies for Dealing With Perfectionism
The following seven strategies can help you to mitigate the negative effects of perfectionism:
1. Challenge Your Behavior
If you think that you have a problem with perfectionism, start by challenging your behavior and beliefs. List some of the things that you do that must be “perfect.” Perhaps you feel that you need to check your work multiple times before turning it in, or you like to create overly detailed plans before you start a new project.
Next to each behavior that you’ve listed, write down why you believe that this activity must be perfect. Perhaps you resist delegating tasks to a co-worker because you don’t trust their ability. Or you stay late at the office to check their work when you could be relaxing at home or spending time on other projects.
Finally, think about how you might overcome these behaviors or beliefs. For example, could you delegate one task a day, then review it just once to make sure that it’s been done correctly?
Only challenge one perfectionist behavior at a time. Otherwise, you may feel overwhelmed. Evaluate the impact of every change that you make to assess the positive or negative effects that it has on your life and work.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Perfectionists often set their objectives so high that there’s little hope of ever achieving them. Instead, learn how to set realistic goals
Think about your most important life and career goals. Then, break them down into smaller monthly or yearly steps. Not only will this make it easier to reach your objectives, but you’ll also experience the thrill of achieving these smaller goals.
3. Listen to Your Emotions
If you’re feeling anxious or unhappy about a task, your instincts may be telling you that you’re trying to achieve the impossible. Listen to them and adjust your targets accordingly!
Perfectionists are often prone to negative self-talk. If you catch yourself doing this, stop! Otherwise your thoughts may become self-fulfilling prophecies. Remember, positive thinking is often associated with positive action and outcomes. Try using affirmations or thought awareness
to question your negative thoughts and inject some positivity!
4. Don’t Fear Mistakes
Mistakes are part of life. They show that you’re not afraid to push yourself and try new things.
In fact, novelist James Joyce called mistakes “the portals of discovery.” That’s because they can provide rich learning experiences that teach you far more than a flawless performance. So, next time you make one, accept it, learn from it, and move on!
5. Readjust Your Personal Rules
Perfectionists often live by a rigid set of rules. Your rules might be to check every email at least three times before you send it, or to never leave a crumb on the kitchen counter. But, while it’s great to have high personal standards, they must be flexible and helpful, rather than unrelenting and unrealistic.
Identify one rule that you live by that’s too rigid, and reword it to be more forgiving. For example, maybe you could reread only the most important emails before you send them.
6. Focus on the Bigger Picture
Perfectionism can cause “tunnel vision” – when you focus on one small part of something but ignore the rest. You might, for instance, obsess about getting a minor part of a presentation right, like the fonts or special effects, instead of concentrating on the substance and meaning that you are trying to convey.
Remember to keep your focus on the bigger picture. Your failings will seem much less significant and you’ll reduce the urge to be perfect.
7. Relax – and Go With the Flow
The pursuit of perfection can make it extremely difficult to relax and be spontaneous. Instead, perfectionists prefer to maintain focus and to stick rigidly to their carefully laid plans.
But relaxation and spontaneity aren’t just necessary for a healthy life. They can also improve your productivity and well-being. And you’ll be better at keeping perfectionism under control if you’re feeling rested, clear-headed and happy. So, take regular breaks at work. Get outside, be open to new experiences and new people, make use of relaxation techniques, and recognize when you need to switch off
Most of all, don’t allow perfectionism or fear of failure to stop you from experiencing new things. Be open to new ways of thinking, new people, and new experiences. You might just find that letting go actually boosts your well-being, your relationships, and your performance.
Every day it seems to get harder and harder to find a topic or subject that hasn’t turned into a divisive issue, separating people into the proverbial us vs. them camps. Whether it’s on the news or even in our various social media channels, there seems to be more emphasis on what’s divides us than on what we share in common.
While it’s easy for us to dismiss this tendency as being the norm around issues pertaining to politics, social issues, or even sports, the truth is this growing tendency to narrow our perspective in terms of who we share a sense of alignment and belonging with is something leaders in all industries should be paying attention to. After all, most of us are familiar with the ease with which organizational silos can take hold within our workplaces, where teams and departments avoid sharing information and resources, mirroring that very us vs. them mindset mentioned above.
So with this growing tendency for people to self-select who belongs in their in-group and who doesn’t, it’s important for leaders to ensure what their communicating and demonstrating through their leadership evokes collaboration instead of conflict, especially as many of us continue to work remotely and consequently are relying on virtual communication channels to stay connected and invested.
With this in mind, here are 3 steps you can take to ensure your leadership inspires collaboration instead of conflict between the various teams and departments in your organization.
1. Emphasize your organization’s shared purpose or vision
One of the many conflicts we’ve seen surface in various European countries and the US over the COVID-19 pandemic is the growing division over wearing masks and following various restrictions meant to stem the growing tide of infections in these countries.
By reminding her fellow Kiwis of their shared purpose, of who they are and what they can accomplish, she was able to get that much needed collaboration from her constituents to not only accept these restrictions, but to stay the course until their country was completely free of the virus.
Her success compared to the failures of so many other leaders dealing with the exact same predicament illustrates an important lesson about how leaders can ensure they’re creating conditions that avoid this divisive us vs. them mentality.
Namely, that one of the critical roles for today’s leader is to communicate and exemplify an idea or purpose that unites people to dedicate their best efforts to make that vision a reality
2. Communicate often, but also on a personal level
With many of us now working from home and the realization that this will be the new way of work for the majority of your employees going forward, leaders need to ensure they’re creating a virtual environment that promotes and nurtures a personal connection amongst employees that will remind them we’re all in this together.
One of the ways you can accomplish this is to make sure that your virtual meetings do not simply revolve around work-related matters, but are also used to touch base with your employees.
For example, arrange virtual gatherings with employees from different teams/departments so employees can hear about how each of them is coping under the current conditions, what challenges they’ve recently encountered and hopefully overcame, and what fears and concerns they have about what’s going to happen next in light of recent developments both within and outside your organization.
Encouraging these kinds of honest and frank conversations not only allows employees from different teams/departments to better understand the unique challenges different groups have in your organization, but to also find that common ground that’s necessary to ensure they see one another as partners and not competitors.
3. Create opportunities for shared learning
One of the biggest drivers behind the growing polarization we’re seeing on so many issues is a lack of interest to listen to one another, as well as seek opportunities where we might learn and understand about people’s unique experiences.
A major challenge that’s arisen from the current need for remote working is that it limits our exposure to people who can provide us with insights and even a challenging perspective that can help us better understand how others view a problem.
Perhaps one of the best known and most successful organizations that understands the importance of this is Pixar Animation. The leaders at Pixar understand that what drives creativity and innovation is not to limit people’s contributions based on what team, department or even title they hold. On the contrary, they firmly believe that encouraging people to share their insights and experiences has been critical to their unparalleled success.
Similarly, it’s important that you create a psychologically safe environment where people not only feel included and welcomed, but where they’re encouraged to share their expertise and experiences with other employees to help them gain better insights on what’s really needed to address a current problem or successfully explore an untapped opportunity.
While writing this piece, I was reminded of this quote from Nelson Mandela:
“A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious and sensitive, to ensure that at the end of the debate we should emerge stronger and more united than ever before.”
Without question, one of the most damaging aspects of this growing us vs. them mindset is that it leads people to assign blame on others for whatever problems stand before us. And yet as this quote from Mandela points out, it’s a leader’s responsibility to ensure that every problem, every issue is treated as an opportunity not to highlight our differences, but to emphasize our commonalities
If you truly want to encourage all of your employees to deliver their best, then you need to ensure your leadership inspires collaboration instead of conflict by making sure this us vs. them mindset doesn’t take hold within your organization. It’s not only what’s required to ensure your organization’s long term growth and success, but it’s what we need from those in leadership positions if we are to overcome the challenges we collectively face today.
Why do so many kids act entitled? No matter what they get—clothes, sneakers, toys, gadgets—they seem to want more and don’t understand why they can’t have it immediately.
It can be incredibly frustrating when your child reacts with a bad attitude or acting-out behavior when you say ‘no’ to a request. You think to yourself: “I wasn’t this way when I was a kid. What happened?”
If you find your child isn’t appreciating what you’re giving them or doing for them and are acting increasingly spoiled, it’s important to realize that you can change this pattern at any time.
At first, this is hard to do, but you will get more comfortable with it over time—it just takes practice.
Sometimes we look at our kids, see their behavior, and realize we don’t like it very much. You love your children as people, but you might not like how they’re acting.
But remember, nobody wakes up saying, ‘I’m going to spoil my child today.’ We want to raise grateful children. If you’ve played a part in your child’s sense of entitlement, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t beat yourself up. You can start changing right now, even if you have a demanding teen in the house.
Here are eight things you can do to end your child’s sense of entitlement.
1. Set Clear Expectations With Your Child
Make the statement that things will be different. Let your child know that things will need to change and to expect a different response from mom and dad. Tell your child that they’re going to hear ‘no’ more often.
This is a commitment that you’re making to change your behavior, too. By saying that you’re going to behave differently, you begin to make that change as a parent.
Sometimes these changes are due to the family situation changing—there’s been a divorce, or someone’s lost a job and the financial realities are different. Or maybe you simply realize that you can’t or shouldn’t give your child all that they ask for—that you’re creating a monster.
Be clear with your kids about what’s going to change, and let them know that everyone’s expectations will have to change because of that. In the moment, you can start by saying to your child:
“I don’t like how you responded when I said no to you just now.”
Then walk away, and do not engage in a fight. Understand that things may get worse before they get better. Indeed, your child might not accept hearing you set those limits at first, which is really what you’re doing.
But in a short time, if you stand firm, they will see that you mean business.
2. Don’t Get Pulled Into Fights With Your Child
The most important thing is not to get pulled into the drama and the emotionalism of your child’s response to hearing the word ‘no.’
Be specific about how you’re going to handle the situation with your child. Depending on the age of your kid, you might say:
“If you scream, yell, or curse at me, there’s going to be a consequence for your behavior.”
The bottom line is that if your child acts out when denied what they want, whether their behavior is mild, moderate, or severe, you need to acknowledge the problem and change the way you, as a parent, respond.
Remember that nothing changes if nothing changes. Make no mistake, it’s critical that you do not give in when your child acts out. If you do, it sends the message that they just need to yell and scream to get what they want.
3. Explain Consequences to Your Child Ahead of Time
Let your kids know that they can’t threaten and misbehave to get things. You can say:
“Last time I said no, you threw a tantrum and couldn’t stay at your friend’s house that night because of your behavior. So the next time I say no, what are you going to do? Are you going to act out again, or are you going to handle it better so that you’ll have a better weekend?”
In other words, explain the consequences ahead of time and follow-through consistently if they misbehave.
4. Know That Parenting Is Not a Popularity Contest
Your child is not your friend—and parenting is not a popularity contest. There will often be some anger and disappointment when children aren’t able to get what they want. But acting out behavior shouldn’t determine your response. You need to hold fast.
Try not to get caught up in the moment when your child is begging, pleading, and yelling because you will lose your perspective. You may want to step away from the situation and take some time to consider your response. Don’t get drawn into a debate with your child. Once again, stay firm, say no, and don’t engage in a discussion about it.
5. Saying ‘No’ to Your Child Takes Practice
It will feel weird at first to say ‘no’ or not give in as you have in the past. But trust me, it gets easier over time and starts to feel good and right to hold firm.
The more you can do it, the more clearly you see the situation. What’s more, it helps you gain self-respect, regain your parental authority, and recognize that you’re being a responsible parent.
It’s hard to deny your child something they ‘really, really have to have’ at first. And know that your child will try to pull you back into the old behavior. But it gets easier over time for you and your child.
Believe it or not, kids feel safer and better about themselves when you put these limits in place. When it comes right down to it, your child doesn’t want to be demanding and throw tantrums all the time. That’s not behavior that makes them proud. Eventually, when they can tolerate hearing no, they’re going to feel better about themselves.
This is the truth: entitled kids are unhappy kids. You do your child a favor by saying ‘no.’
6. Use Hypodermic Affection With Your Child
Catch your child being good. When you see your child starting to take the word ‘no’ better, say something. Give them some credit or reinforce it when they’ve thanked you for something or handled a disappointment well.
And use that as a teaching moment, too. You can say:
“Hey, I saw you deal with it really well when we couldn’t go to the movies the other day. Good job.”
In The Total Transformation® child behavior program, we refer to this as hypodermic affection because you’re picking something specific to compliment your child about. It’s a ‘shot’ of love and appreciation.
Realize that empathy is something that develops over time in children. They are not born with the ‘thankful’ or ‘grateful’ gene. We have to teach them and reinforce a sense of gratitude whenever we see it. You can model this with your affection.
7. Teach Your Child to Earn What They Want
With older kids, you can talk with them about other options for getting what they want. They can babysit, pet sit, mow lawns, or get a part-time job. You might decide to give your younger kids a small allowance if that works for your family.
When children can earn things for themselves, it gives them a dose of reality and helps with their own feelings of self-respect. And part of your role as a parent is to teach your child how to work to earn things. In this way, you’re teaching responsibility and preparing your kids for real life.
8. Reinforce Your Decision
Look at it this way, if you’re giving in all the time, you’re not teaching your kids how to be self-sufficient or responsible. It’s worth imagining what a child who grows up this way will be like as an adult. How will they be as a worker or a partner? Will they be able to take care of themselves? Thinking about what you want your child to learn as they grow up—the big picture—will reinforce your decision to do things differently.