Dr Harry Barry is speaking now at Leitrim's Health Is Wealth in Carrick-on-Shannon
Acclaimed author and doctor, Dr Harry Barry is encouraging people to stop seeking perfection, to stop judging or rating themselves and to try and build greater resilience in a bid to reduce anxiety.
Speaking at tonight's free seminar, Leitrim's Health is Wealth in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Dr Barry said: "We are all playing this game of perfection... at the heart of perfectionism, if I start to demand 100 percent perfectionism, then I will become anxious. The critical part of perfectionism is the belief that I'm a failure if I don't achieve it.
He pointed out that perfectionism a pointless exercise in the face of the reality of our lives noting: "Life is messy, disordered, difficult and imperfect.
"We need to get our young people not to increase their self esteem, but to increase their self control," he said, rather the ability of people to control their response to failure and to be resilient enough to come back and keep trying again.
"Failure is the great modern illness .We cannot handle failure, we all want to be successful.....but we have to accept that failure is a part of life we all fail regularly," he said.
"Failure is part of life and there is only one failure in life and that failure is not getting back up again," he said noting there will be many times that each and every one of us will fall down and fall down again.
"The way you develop resilience is accepting that in none of those instances am I a failure.
He recalled the Dublin GAA team who gathered after they lost a final and referred to their approach to that loss. They were able to say,"we failed in our task at this moment in time" rather than, "we are failures".
"It is through this kind of resilience that you will reduce anxiety."
Have you been affected by any of the issues raised in this article?
Please avail of the following support services.
The Samaritans Freephone: 116 123; Text: 087 2 60 90 90
Family Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service - Leitrim, 087 926 6788
Childline 1800 66 66 66 or text Talk to 50101