Why You Never Feel Good Enough As A Perfectionist | Thomas Curran

Conscientiousness, perseverance and meticulousness are all words associated with perfectionism. But perfectionism comes from a deeper sense of inadequacy, of not feeling good enough. Constantly striving to prove yourself leads to anxiety, depression and burnout. Researcher Thomas Curran describes perfectionism in detail, why it’s getting worse and what we can do about it.

Thomas Curran is a professor of psychology and behavioral science at the esteemed London School of Economics and author of “The Perfection Trap: Embracing the Power of Good Enough“, just released on August 8, 2023. In the book he explores the roots of perfectionism in wider society and explains how it affects our mental health and productivity.

Perfectionism has risen sharply since the mid-2000s, which Thomas attributes to societal pressures like social media, smartphones, economic instability, and an emphasis on educational and career achievement. Collectively, these factors have led to increased feelings of not measuring up. Thomas argues that perfectionism is as much a cultural issue as a personal one, influenced by an economic model that demands constant growth and consumption.



(5:18) Welcome to Thomas Curran.

(7:30) What exactly is perfectionism?

(9:46) How growing the economy feeds into perfectionism.

(13:38) The hustle of “successful” people and why we need to look beyond it.

(17:47) How perfectionism can sabotage your own success.

(21:10) What parents can do to help minimize perfectionism in their children.

(24:05) How we can be encumbered with a growth mindset.

(26:01) The 3 types of perfectionism.

(27:50) Does perfectionism self correct with age?

(29:58) Why perfectionism has risen since 2007.

(38:56) How society could change to minimize perfectionism.

(47:52) What music would Thomas take to a desert island?

(51:54) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on perfectionism.


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AIRDATE: September 24, 2023 EPISODE 375

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Why You Never Feel Good Enough As A Perfectionist | Thomas Curran