How many of you are paralyzed by perfection? The perfect weight? The perfect size? The perfect business? The perfect house? Being the perfect mom? I have been there and some days still am….Perfection is all about playing the comparison game thinking of what we “should be” instead of focusing on the positives of who we are….
As I walk through recover this time, I am AGAIN learning it is progress not perfection which makes us better. Here is a post I saw which made me realize on most days despite my best efforts, I am “stuck” worrying about perfection….
I would tell you I wasn’t staring at him, but I’d be lying. He immediately caught my attention as he wheeled himself down the aisle. Stopping beside me, he said, “Hello.” I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He lifted himself up in his wheelchair. Unabashed, he balanced on his knees where his lower legs used to be. Unable to move, I watched him stretch, reaching for something on the store’s upper shelf.
What if he fell?
He wobbled as he grabbed his item, and then sat back down in his chair. Before I could offer to help, he’d completed his task. He nodded at me and continued his shopping. I stood there immobilized by my thoughts. What empowered him to be so, whole? His exterior shell broken, but inside—something beautifully different.
WOW! This made me realize how crippled I am on a daily basis. I battle the inner gremlins of perfection which are often paired with the comparison game gremlins. Yes, they love to tag team me until I am left battered and bruised. On the inside I’m left feeling less than while on the outside, things look great. Check out some milestones in my life….
- 16 months in recovery after a relapse
- Maintaining a 100+ pound weight loss
- Doing what I love ever day in my own business
- MS does not define in
- A loving husband and supportive family
I don’t say these to brag but so I can appreciate the journey I am on to become a better me every da. The list could probably be longer but the gremlins start to rear their heads when I think about the positives in my life. They want me to stay stuck in the negatives. The addictive thinking which kept me feeling less than everyone else. What about you, what are some major milestones in your life? Do you focus on them or do you focus on your failed attempts?
Does your idea of perfection cripple you into believing everything you do has to be impeccable? Does your worth ride on your success? Think about the gentleman described above…. He elevated his viewpoint, lived outside the lines, and appeared content—all signs of living imperfectly. Definitely not someone who is handicapped, right?
Here are three ways to become unparalyzed by perfection:
#1 Straighten Up
Believe it or not, standing up straight and changing our body alignment, can make a difference. How often when we fail at perfectionism do we feel unworthy? As a result, we walk hunched over or eyes cast to the ground, not enjoying the world around us. Why not practice your “supergirl pose”? It is time to change your perspective. Maybe it is with positive mantras to change your mindset, Maybe it is seeking your Higher Power. Maybe it is blessing and releasing those fears. Whatever it is get busy!
#2 Live Outside the Lines
You are NOW standing up straight, so let’s step out of your comfort zone — live outside the lines. This can be tough especially when those gremlins are in the midst of a battle. It doesn’t have to be something HUGE, just something simple. How about:
~Driving with the windows down and let your hair get incredibly messy. Toss the hair tie which will keep your hair neat.
~Get a cake and take a spoonful right from the center. Go ahead, eat from the middle.
~Color outside the lines in a coloring book—make the tree trunk bright orange, the leaves purple, and paint the sky green instead of blue.
“You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make it…” Albert Einstein
Just do something to push yourself outside the lines of perfection which keep you restrained.
#3 Love your life
Make the decision to love your life. Despite the challenges you may have, proclaim contentment. Remember the man I shared the story about, despite being a differently-abled person, he oozed contentment, even though he had every right to feel otherwise. You could tell he made a choice to love his life.
Perfection doesn’t validate us, it makes us invalid.
Will you challenge yourself in a new way? Will you claim to love your life so you are unconfined from the handicap of perfectionism? Share your story with us.
Have a blessed day!
1. Know your “why” and be specific.
We talk about this ALL of the time. The truth is purpose will fuel perseverance. When you have a strong “why” behind your goal; you are more likely to stick with it when the going gets tough. The more specific you are, the more obvious your action steps become. Vague goals will produce vague results.
2. Plan it on your calendar.
Have a realistic plan to achieve your goals. Pull out your calendar. Block time (whether 15 minutes for a small goal or a whole day for a big goal) to brainstorm how you will achieve the goal and plan your timeline. You schedule medical appointments, maybe even gym time and other activities – why not schedule time to plan and implement the steps to reach your goal. Identify potential obstacles and figure out a plan to help you avoid them. Identify and put in place the things you will need to reach your goal. Is it a healthier grocery shopping list? An automatic withdrawal from your paycheck so you can boost your savings by 25%? No matter what it is, plan for it so it will happen.
3. Clarify what needs to change AND be honest with yourself.
Do you know why most people fail to reach a goal? They underestimate what it takes to reach it. The bigger the goal, the bigger the commitment. “I want to work out three time a week” is a good start, but when? What will need to change to make time for this goal? Most of all be honest with what has held you back from reaching this goal in the past. Fill in the blank of this statement, “I hate to admit it, but ….” Now, make a goal to address the BUT! For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight,” the goal becomes, “I’m going to find healthy ways to cope with my stress/insecurity/anxiety other than eating.”
4. Make it fun.
Have you ever noticed when you have positive emotions, you feel better? Research shows positive emotions have lots of health benefits. Positive emotion can help you set better goals, see more options to get to the goal and persevere in the face of adversity. Why not ask a friend to join you, take a class or join a group focused on the goal, and brainstorm ideas for making it fun or creating a game out of it. When you work together, you can encourage each other on those tough days.
5. Give yourself permission to be imperfect.
Okay, this is probably the hardest thing for me to do! What about you? Perfectionism is actually rooted in fear – fear we’re not good enough, fear mistakes are the end of the world, and falling down means never getting back up. Does this sound like you? Buying into fear means you are less likely to ever get started. Give yourself a break! It is okay to make mistakes and stumble on the way to your goal. Then when it happens, simply ask: What is the lesson for me to learn? What will I do differently next time? Use your failures and mistakes as learning tools.
6. Pinpoint the milestones and how you’ll celebrate.
Anticipation is a happiness trigger. It produces positive emotion which keeps you moving forward. Rather than having just one big milestone – the finish line – create multiple milestones along your journey to the goal. Plan for them along the way. Treat yourself when you hit one. Most of all, be sure to share the milestones with people who will celebrate along with you.
7. Fear is inevitable, but it’s not a stop sign.
The biggest obstacle to creating meaningful goals and taking consistent steps forward is fear. Refuse to stop just because fear rears its ugly head. Instead, question your fear. Ask, “Well, what if that happens? What will I do then?” Push through your fear by being brave enough to face it, imagine it and make a plan to handle it.
Whether you are trying to finish off the year by reaching one of your New Year’s Resolutions or are already planning for the New Year, these steps will help you to reach your goal. Share you goal with us, let us celebrate your milestones and encourage you when you hit the bump in the road.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Today is all about helping you to reach the goals (or resolutions) you set on January 1st. To become successful, may not mean adding more things to your life, it may mean you need to give some things.
1. Give Up On The Unhealthy Lifestyle
If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here. First, you should take care of your health, and there are only three things you need to keep in mind:
- Quality Sleep
- Healthy Diet
- Physical Activity
Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day.
2. Give Up On Playing Small
If you never try and take chances or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never unleash your true potential. As a result, the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.
3. Give Up Your Excuses
Successful people are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, and past failures. Realizing you are responsible for what happens in your life is both frightening and exciting. The truth is excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally.
4. Give Up The Fixed Mindset
Change your mindset – change your life! Successful people invest a lot of of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so it can benefit their lives.
5. Give Up Believing In The “Magic Wand.”
There is no such thing as “overnight success”. Successful people make small consistent improvements every day which compound over time and give their desired results. Plan for the future, but focus on the day ahead of you, and improve just 1% every day.
6. Give Up Your Perfectionism
Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much you try. Fear of failure (or even fear of success) prevents you from taking action and putting your creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if you wait for things to be right.
7. Give Up Multi-tasking
Successful people know this. They choose one thing and beat it into submission. No matter what it is — a business idea, a conversation, or a workout. Being fully present and committed to one task is indispensable.
8. Give Up On Saying YES To Things If They Don’t Support Your Goals
Successful people know in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say NO to certain tasks, activities, and demands from their friends, family, and colleagues. It is a short-term sacrifice, but when you achieve your goals, it will all be worth it.
9. Give Up The Toxic People
The people you spend the most time with add up to who you become. If you spend time with those who refuse to take responsibility for their life, always find excuses and blame others for the situation they are in, your average will go down, and with it your opportunity to succeed.
However, if you spend time with people who are trying to increase their standard of living, and grow personally and professionally, your average will go up, and you will become more successful.
Take a look at around you, and see if you need to make any changes.
10. Give Up Your Need To Be Liked
Think of yourself as a market niche. There will be a lot of people who like the niche, and there will be individuals who don’t. And no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make everyone like you. This is completely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself. The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day, and know that the growing number of “haters” means that you are doing remarkable things.
I’m not going to say it will be easy… some of these I struggle with every day BUT I am determined to reach my goals and MY definition success in 2018. What about you?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!