Right now I'm reading Monica Ramirez Basco's book Never Good Enough, about dealing with perfectionism. She is a cognitive behavioral therapist(CBT), and describes common thought patterns for people who are perfectionists, including "two basket thinking," where everything either falls into good or bad, right or wrong, safe or dangerous, done or undone, all or nothing, one basket or the other. Basco offers a continuum as the alternative, rating experiences, feelings or events on a scale of 0 to 100%.
Two basket thinking causes me a lot of distress, especially in relation to my OCD treatment, where I assumed I would go from having OCD to not having OCD, jumping from one basket to the other in a single leap, and anything inbetween was failure, hopelessness and despair.
Basco argues that most victories in life are small ones and if we discount those, we are missing much of our progress in pursuit of making the big jump. Paradoxically the harder I try to skip all the middle stuff and just make OCD go away, the more likely I will get stuck in an OCD flare-up, trying to accomplish something that is impossible. When I encourage myself, I gain more energy to fight my OCD and make that journey inbetween the two baskets.