Stop being so good

SummerBehaviours, Weight Loss3 Comments

Confession: I am a recovering perfectionist.

 

I still suffer from relapses. The other day I set aside time to do something that was important to my baby {known as my business} and I felt so much resistance towards doing the task. I felt like I was not good enough to do it, so why even bother. I was getting stuck on the fact that I wasn’t perfectly equipped to see it through. I kept procrastinating and finding reasons not to do what I needed to do.

 

This was paralysis by perfectionism.

 

How many times have you decided not to workout because you don’t feel you are good enough? Or perhaps you skip it because you can’t commit to the full hour?

 

How many times have you decided to ‘blow your diet’ at the restaurant because you can’t find anything that is ‘100% gluten-dairy-soy-vegetable oil-free?’ Or because you already had one bite of a brownie so now the weekend is a write-off?

 

How many times have you ditched a new habit because you can’t do it as well as you intended?

 

Perhaps your need to be perfect is getting in the way of you succeeding.

 

Perfectionism

 

Perfectionism can make you procrastinate because you fear you’re going to fail or not be good enough before you’ve even started. We base our self-worth on ‘what other people think’ and let that get in the way of our own self-improvement.

 

It’s really easy for us to avoid something when we get caught up in what other people think and neglect to see that our effort is for our own self-improvement. You skip the gym because you are afraid of people looking at you and thinking you are fat (newsflash: no one cares and if they do, they have their own issues to sort out…most people will think you are a rockstar for being there).

 

You fail to see any positives in a situation because the outcome doesn’t live up to your unrealistic, hyper-perfect standards. You think you were ‘bad’ today because your salad had some sugar in the dressing (true story) and neglect to give yourself credit for eating all those vegetables and skipping the whopper. You beat yourself up and feel like a failure.

 

Perfectionism can also make you see slips as monumental failures. You already had bread with dinner, so you might as well throw your yourself into a self-loathing sabotage – usually involving chocolate, cupcakes and wine.

 

If you hold your standards too high and let your self-worth be dictated by what other’s think, you will never be satisfied and that is a nasty place to exist.

 

Despite your efforts to do everything perfectly, you end up hindering your confidence and are unable to move forward.

 

It’s important to let go of your perfectionist tendencies (unless you are a heart surgeon, in which case, perfectionism is probably important) and start to be happy with good enough.

 

Letting go of being a perfectionist can take some time and practice. Here 5 ways to start:

 

#1) Cultivate awareness by asking yourself if your actions or feelings for a particular situation are dictated by your need to be a perfectionist.

 

For example, are you choosing to skip your workout because you can’t commit to an hour or because you won’t be the best person in the class? Or are you choosing to not wear shorts because you care about what other people might think of your legs even though it’s 105 degrees? Once you can identify the situations in your life that are being dictated by your perfectionist tendencies, start to change them.

 

#2) Ask yourself if your resistance comes from your fear of someone else judging you.

 

If so, shift your focus towards your own self-improvement and remember that this is the reason you are doing it. You should also do some self-lovin’ homework. I also recommend the book, “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene Brown.

 

#3) Flex your ego muscles.

 

This is something I do with my clients. You must give yourself credit every single day for all of the good things that you do for your health (i.e. making a good breakfast choice, sitting down to eat, going to bed 15 minutes earlier, taking the stairs at work etc. etc.).

 

We are far too hard on ourselves and have this ‘glass half-empty’ mentality that ends up weakening your ego muscles (a.k.a. your confidence). We end up seeing everything through ‘failure’ goggles and decide to give up because we think we suck at life. When you start to see how incredible you already are, you will feel more inspired to continue to make changes and be less likely to question your abilities.

 

#4) Get accountable.

 

Being accountable to someone (ahem) will push you out of your paralysis and you can also rely on them for support.

 

#5) Embrace imperfections by adopting the mentality of ‘oh well!’

 

When things don’t go your way, literally say aloud, ‘oh well!’ Challenge yourself to be satisfied with good enough…force yourself to achieve good enough and give yourself credit for doing it. Let it go and laugh it off when things don’t go exactly as planned.

 

How did I get through my paralysis by perfectionism? I ended up stumbling upon the statement ‘remember your “why”’ (my ‘why’ has a little something to do with empowering women to ditch diets, eats whatever she wants and feels like a rockstar in her body) and quickly gave myself a smack in the face to stop letting my perfectionist tendencies get in the way. I remembered that the purpose of my task was self-improvement and that any effort would reap a positive outcome for me.

 

Do you suffer from paralysis by perfectionism? I want to know! Sound off in the comments below.

 

Be Smashing!

SummerSignature

3 Comments on “Stop being so good”

  1. Love love love love! Diving into research about a more holistic, natural lifestyle and being a part of the really supportive paleo community has made WORLDS of difference in my mindset. Perfectionism was my enemy for years, and it’s still something I struggle with, but I’m so glad to have found the resources to try to beat it down when it rears its ugly head :)

  2. Pingback: Tuesday Turnout #2 - Jess Does Paleo

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