It’s time for “Guest Post Friday!” On Fridays, I feature tips from other individuals who have helpful input about the mental side of fitness, training or life. All of the other posts on this site are my thoughts, so I like to share different perspectives (especially so that you don’t get too tired of my ramblings).
Enjoy this post from TheFeelGoodLifestyle.com, written by editor Pia Savoie
Simple Tips To Free Yourself From Perfectionism
“The Crippling Effect of Perfectionism
How good is good enough?
For some, good enough doesn’t even figure. There are only two options: perfection or total and complete failure.
Although it’s essential to dream big, perfection is an unrealistic standard that keeps dreams forever out of reach.
As the old saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. A perfectionist might say instead, if at first you don’t succeed, don’t bother, you failed.
This kind of thinking can turn even simple tasks into sources of extreme anxiety.
Burnt the toast? You failed.
Missed the bus? You failed.
Tripped on the stairs? You guessed it, failed.
The opportunities for failure become endless.
Mentally, you’re beating down on yourself for never getting anything perfectly right.
Emotionally, stress and anxiety are constant. You procrastinate because you’re scared to start anything when you know it won’t end well.
Physically, you recoil. You hunch, you hide, the weight of your failure crushing you down.
And what about your health? All this negativity takes a toll on your self-esteem and stress levels. The consequences can be quite serious, leading to panic attacks, depression, low immune system functioning and more.
So how do we break free from this downward spiral?
If your high standards are holding you back, or if you have trouble giving yourself full credit for your accomplishments, perfection is likely an issue for you.
Read on for tips that you can implement right now to reshape your standards and help you go further.
1) Make Room for Success
When your only options are perfection or failure, there’s no wiggle room for the unexpected. By broadening the spectrum of possible outcomes for any situation, an unexpected result no longer has to mean failure.
Instead of lumping an outcome into one of two polar opposites, find new ways of looking at your results.
Take aim, and know that no matter where you end up there are points to be earned.
Right now: revisit your last “failure”. Where would it land on this board? Find at least one thing about it that was right, and give yourself permission to feel good about getting that one thing spot on.
When you make room for a variety of different outcomes, there isn’t much that counts as a total failure. There is always something that went right, even if it was just about having the right intention.
Best of all, you’re now leaving room for improvement. Nadia Comăneci, the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10 at the Olympics, didn’t get there on her first try. Like anyone who wants to perfect their craft, she worked her way through trial, experience and learning to finally become her best.
2) Find the Silver Lining
Life is full of surprises and we’re all bound to get caught off guard every now and again. Instead of getting crushed by what didn’t go according to plan, find another way of looking at it.
Right now: make a list of at least five different positive ways you can look at an unexpected outcome. It can be a chance for learning, opportunity, growth; what else?
The next time something doesn’t turn out as planned, think to the different perspectives you listed and apply as many of them as possible to the situation.
When an accident left me with a fractured foot and torn ligament just two months before a big dance performance, I had every reason to lock myself up and cry until it was all over. But I didn’t.
Instead, I attended every rehearsal and found an opportunity to take part in a new way. I ended up discovering and developing a new talent. I excelled as a rehearsal director and teacher, cleaning up choreographies and helping make that year’s show the most professional yet.
Instead of reacting to the unexpected by treating it as failure, you can re-appropriate any situation by finding a silver lining.
3) Practice Imperfection
There is intense outside pressure to be perfect. From exams to interviews to social events, society emphasizes competitive comparison, rewarding only those who come out on top.
Especially in terms of our career, competition is fierce and it can feel like the tiniest detail can make or break our future.
Let’s test that notion.
Today: Be purposely imperfect, and see what happens. Arrive 10 minutes late to work. Tell a bad joke. Mismatch your socks. Go wild!
I promise the world won’t stop turning.
In fact, I bet you’ll find that your planned imperfections will go mostly unnoticed.
Allow yourself a laugh of relief as you contemplate the possibility that imperfections are not only OK, they are life enhancing.
Imperfections add character to your day. They are the basis of a great “you’ll never believe what happened” story. They are reminders to relax and let life happen, because it’s impossible to make everything perfect and it’s draining to try.”
To check out the rest of the post and the last 2 tips go HERE.
About The Author: This post was written by the editor of TheFeelGoodLifestyle.com Pia Savoie. The owner of the site is Phil Drolet who is a Peak Performance Coach, a triathlete and a lover of wisdom. You can check out the site HERE, and get connected on Twitter and Facebook.
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