My life there and afterwards

I think something we should all be aware of, not only with groups of high control, but in our daily lives, is the dividing live between reaching for excellence, and the pathology of perfection.
In the group I was in, I think it is pretty obvious that PoP is overwhelming in the daily life. It is preached, and we were shamed all the time because we did not reach perfection. The perfection was defined by the leaders, and their cooperating subordinates.

Below is a paragraph taken from the following website:

Perfection vs. Excellence
A perfectionist can be defined as someone who is driven by fear of failure to strive compulsively toward goals beyond reach and reason. This can be contrasted with someone who is motivated by the desire for success to strive for excellence (Hamachek, 1978). One of the characteristics that distinguish the pathological form of perfectionism from the nonpathological striving for excellence is how the person reacts to a less-than-perfect performance. Perfectionists not only derive no satisfaction from a less-than-perfect performance, they even experience a sense of humiliating defeat (Sorotzkin, 1985). In contrast, people who strive for excellence take pride in their effort, and derive a sense of pleasure from their superior performance even if it is less than perfect, because they accept both personal and environmental limitations (Pacht, 1984).

I cannot remember one incident where we were encouraged for having done a good job. According to the teaching, that would have encouraged our pride and self-love. We were always “corrected” for where the effort fell short. This was supposed to spur us on to greater effort, and if any praise came our way from outsiders, the credit was given to the leaders for having persevered to push us to the effort, never to us for having given the effort. This was particularly blaring in the Spirit of America Band.


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