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Don’t Be Perfect this Holiday Season

The holiday pressure is on. The pressure to be perfect. To have that perfect Christmas tree with the perfect lights. To cook that perfect holiday feast for your guests. To keep that perfect holiday cheer.
Carl Jung, the most famous psychologist this side of Sigmund Freud, once declared, “Perfection belongs to the gods: the most that we can hope for is excellence.” Carl Jung is right: Trying to be perfect during the holidays is impossible, but most importantly, such thinking causes us to suffer instead of feeling joy to the world.
Albert Ellis took this principle one step further and developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). The main premise is that our irrational beliefs, such as perfectionism, cause us to feel overwhelming anxiety. But most importantly, to reduce our neuroses, we must change our irrational beliefs into realistic ones.
Do you have an irrational beliefs in your life? In your business world?
Here are a few that are pervasive:
I must be liked by everyone at work
I can’t get rejected.
I must meet my goals this year.
I must appear competent at all times.
It is a catastrophe when things don’t work out as planned.
If you fall into any of this irrational thinking, here is a simple three-step procedure (based in REBT) to become more rational:
1. Make a list of all the beliefs that cause you pressure in your life.
2. Go through the list and analyze whether these beliefs are grounded in reality. Ask yourself why this belief is true. In many occasions, your beliefs are only based on opinion and not fact.
3. Ask yourself whether these beliefs are hurting your performance. Are they causing you to be unhappy? If they are, then it is time to change them into more rational ones.
Centuries ago, William Shakespeare acknowledged this timeless theme in Macbeth when he devised the famous line, “Present fears are less than horrible imaginings”. The human condition is to allow our irrational beliefs to get the best of us. It is time to break the cycle. Eliminate your irrational thinking, and instead of pressure, you will have peace of mind, for all seasons.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at Austin Peay State University. He is author of the Washington Post bestselling business book “Full Throttle” and he is a motivational and inspirational speaker who speaks to businesses about improving attitude and performance. E-mail him at mentalrules24@msn.com and learn more at www.drgreggsteinberg.com

About Gregg Steinberg

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a performance psychology expert, best selling author, and inspirational keynote speaker on the various topics relating to individual and team performance. Google+ Profile Get in touch with Dr. Gregg

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