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Overcoming Perfectionism: My Journey with the Binary Mindset

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Student Division Technical Session 7

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Haleh Barmaki Brotherton Clemson University Orcid 16x16

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Haleh Barmaki Brotherton is a graduate student in the Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. Her research interests include perfectionism, self-regulation, and decision-making. She earned her BS and MS from Middle East Technical University and Istanbul Technical University in Industrial Design respectively. She earned her second MS in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

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Marisa K. Orr Clemson University Orcid 16x16

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Marisa K. Orr is an Assistant Professor in Engineering and Science Education with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. Her research interests include student persistence and pathways in engineering, gender equity, diversity, and academic policy. Dr. Orr is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award for her research entitled, “Empowering Students to be Adaptive Decision-Makers.”

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As graduate students, we are all aware of procrastination, overthinking, and anxiety. Even though we might not have gathered these concepts under perfectionism, there is a high chance that we might be seeking perfection and being perfect in our roles. In this paper, I am going to look at the concept of perfectionism, research methods and findings of it, and a method to cope with it that can simplify our life. Perfectionism has played a key role during my 17 years of higher education life. My experiences range from being in multiple universities around the world and in different majors. I have experienced perfectionism and its impacts as an engineering student. Looking at this matter closely, I reviewed the literature to better understand my experience. Thanks to the research behind perfectionism, there are multiple tools developed to overcome perfectionism. Such tools include creating mini habits to achieve the big goal and breaking down the goals into “bite-size” tasks. Binary Mindset suggests breaking down the big goal to as small as possible or until it is undividable and then start implementing them. The main focus of this paper is to showcase how I am learning to overcome my perfectionism through the Binary Mindset.

Brotherton, H. B., & Orr, M. K. (2021, July), Overcoming Perfectionism: My Journey with the Binary Mindset Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37553

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