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Integrity and Ethical Development
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Background

Students pursuing college degrees today seem to have a heighten sense of obligation to perform at a level that is an ideal but not achievable. With this sense of obligation comes pressures to be the best and self-talk starts to sound like…

  • “I must be the best.”
  • “Anything less than an 'A' is unacceptable.”
  • “Only 4.00 students are accepted into graduate school.”
  • “I was a straight 'A' student in high school so I have to be a straight 'A' student in college.”
  • “Students with high GPA's are guaranteed a successful life.”
  • “If I don't do well my parents will kill me.”
  • “All of my friends are going to be Doctors and Lawyers so I need to succeed in a major which will lead to a high status career.”

While having drive, determination, and motivation to achieve one's academic goals are necessary, the down fall is succumbing to a belief that being perfect means one will be successful.

For example, if a student's current belief is:

  • “I was a straight 'A' student in high school so I have to be a straight 'A' student in college.”

Better messages (belief) could be:

  • “It is unfair to price and compare academic work I did in high school to the work I'm currently doing at UCF.” “These are two completely separate academic worlds.”
  • “I need to analyze my work as it progresses throughout the semester and not just think the worse based on one grade.”
  • “If I start with a 'C' and progress to an 'A', I will be proud of my accomplishment.”

There are some beliefs and thoughts, such as the idea of perfectionism, that students feel the need to uphold. While these thoughts and beliefs come from a place of good intentions, they can cause inner turmoil when attempting to stay true to them. It is the need to uphold these beliefs even when it is impossible and improbable to do so that categorizes them as irrational beliefs.

Albert Ellis, the creator of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), identified 12 Irrational Beliefs that people feel the need to uphold. Complete the following exercises on perfectionism.

  1. View the “How to be a perfect non perfectionist” lecture. We recommend having the discussion questions which follow the video open. You can complete the discussion questions as you listen to the lecture.

    Click here to listen to Albert Ellis recorded lecture.

    Click here to complete associated discussion questions.

  2. Next, complete the following exercise in an attempt to develop new language to reframe such thoughts into productive and positive messages.

    Click here to complete this exercise.

To Schedule a One-On-One Coaching Session

  • Complete and submit these two exercises prior to scheduling an appointment.
  • Call our office at 407-823-3477. The person who answers the phone has access to staff calendars and can schedule an appointment.
  • You will receive an email confirmation prior to your scheduled coaching session with a reminder of the date and time, list of things to bring to the session, and directions to our office.
  • We cannot accommodate same day appointments. We need to have at least one day to prepare for the session.
  • Please do not be concerned if you are unable to schedule your coaching session by the deadline outlined in your letter. As long as your work is completed prior to the deadline, you will not be penalized.