For the most part of my young adult life there was no grey. It was really pretty simple….. black or white.

Do it 100% perfect or not at all!

When I look back on my life I can now recognise why I was always feeling so unfulfilled and frustrated.

I wanted to achieve so much and reach the best possible standard I had set for myself. That ‘need’ crossed all areas of my life. It was a need to prove myself.

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Fitness, physique, studies, work, environment, hobbies, relationships. The expectations I had set for all areas of my life were set so high that it was impossible to achieve goals and therefore I was never satisfied. I ‘failed’ at everything in my eyes.

When it came to diets I had a simple approach. Do it 100% and not at all. Feast or famine. All or nothing.

I put in everything I had and more to over achieve. If I was tired or my body ached, I wouldn’t allow myself the chance to rest. I saw this as weakness.

If the weight didn’t drop off overnight then I would quit that one and try another.

If I couldn’t stick to the plan to the letter, I would quit and look for a different, more perfect way.

If I couldn’t exercise for 2 hours a day I would quit.

The result? Endlessly dieting and exercising in pursuit of the ‘perfect’ plan and body. Endlessly beating myself up.

Does this resonate?

Fast forward a good few years (OK about 20!!) and here I am today feeling pretty balanced, accepting and OK with the world. I don’t have the perfect relationship that I always dreamed of and I don’t have the six pack I thought I ‘should’ have but what I do have is a sense of ‘it’s all OK’ and ‘it’s all going to be OK’. 

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No longer do I pursue perfection. I tirelessly pursue progress. And I feel completely at peace with this.

I no longer feel a sense of urgency to achieve or push myself. I don’t compare myself to others or wonder why I don’t have the ‘perfect life’. Here’s 7 practices I use to stop myself being sucked into the vortex of perfection:

  1. I remind myself…..perfection is a myth. It is a completely impossible standard and the word is misused. What is perfect to one person is a million miles away for another. Instead I use the word progress. #PerfectionMyth
  2. I don’t compare myself to others. I no longer worry about what other people think and instead focus on how I can be more for myself.
  3. I celebrate ANY progress I make. I focus on feeling fulfilled everyday because I made some progress. I no longer focus on all I haven’t achieved. My life now feels enriched because I focus on the feelings of progress, no matter how small they seem to me.
  4. I practice gratitude. Being grateful for baby steps forward shifts the focus on any ‘perceived’ failings or imperfections. I continually remind myself I have opportunity to make progress and it’s up to me to make the most of it. I am only ever one choice away from progress.
  5. I practice compassion. Not everyday do I make masses of progress. Some days I feel like I haven’t achieved any but I always look for bright spots and no matter how small, I can recognise something I did that was a positive move forwards. Even if that is getting under the duvet for a day to allow my body and mind some much needed rest.
  6. I practice courage. Often it’s FEAR that holds me back. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of success! By reaching deep into my gut, I can find the courage to question ‘what is stopping me?’ Having the guts to take the brakes off and go for it is a feed forward approach. The more I do it, the more courage I will find, the more progress I will make, the more I want to do it.
  7. I practice creativity. At times when I feel I am stuck and I ‘feel’ I am not making any progress, I ask myself creatively, ‘where have I made progress today?’ Where can I make progress today? This can take a moment of deep reflection, but have the belief that it is there! Just simply asking the question instead of stating the problem can allow the mind to think creatively.

Not everyday do I get this right, and it’s OK and the ‘acceptance’ muscle is getting stronger. I am on the right path and that’s the main thing.

I would love to hear how you deal with the ‘#PerfectionMyth’ and how it effects you. Tweet or post on Facebook.

Big love, small tummies!

Jill – The Fat Controller

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#HateitChangeit #PerfectionMyth 

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