Winner Richard on Top Chef & Perfectionism

Top Chef is the only reality show I watch because it doesn’t promote bad behavior. My daughter introduced us to it & it’s now a family activity that includes her husband. It’s about people with skills competing. Like baseball, highly skilled people still get things wrong and make mistakes. The winner of the all-star season has been hard to watch because he is such an expert in torturing himself.Top Chef Richard exhausting himself Perfectionism

Richard works himself up into such a frenzy with his exacting standards that misery is his constant companion. Even Mike, the runner-up says “I would not want to live in Richard’s head.” It is extremely sad, that Richard is so worked up that when he tastes his food he doesn’t even know whether it tastes good or bad.

Perfectionism is a perfect example of the duality that is present in all things. Perfectionism is also the driving force that has been the fuel to propel Richard to win. Perfectionism leaves him exhausted with worry about whether it’s good enough.

Perfectionism is difficult mistress. She is born in anxiety and exacts a huge price. She also creates people with magnificent skills.

Richard was draining to watch because his worry was so pervasive. It was clear he has an unusual level of talent and was he going to sabotage himself again, as he had in the season he didn’t win? Everyone breathed a sigh of relief that he didn’t repeat that this season.

I’d suggest to Richard that he find a copy of Brenee Brown’s The Gift of Imperfections to try to provide his head with a little relief. His ability to worry made me want to take a few extra breaths…….

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2 thoughts on “Winner Richard on Top Chef & Perfectionism

  1. Anonymous says:

    There have been sociological studies that compared American and Japanese high school students in mathematics and self-worth. American students averaged in the B-C ranges but felt that they did well on the tests and were smart individuals. The Japanese kids routinely scored above 95% and yet none of these kids thought they did well enough, worked hard enough, and were probably disappointing to their parents. Japan is ranked #9 in the world for suicide with the US at #43.

    On a similar note, Newsweek rated Cornell the 17th most stressful school in the nation. Cornell year in and year out is the school with the most suicides every year.

    I figure more fodder for perfectionism.

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