It has definitely been some time since I’ve blogged, and for that I apologize. I think a lot of me gets held back by the need to be perfect; to have the perfectly researched blog with the perfect topic, and the perfect grammar. To be totally honest, I had this blog post written for an ENTIRE MONTH before posting because I was waiting for the perfect timing…whatever that means.
Does anyone else get held back by their own perfectionism?
Do you find that you can’t adopt healthier ways of eating because you feel like you don’t have the time to go to the store, do all the planning, and make all the food?
Do you feel like you can’t start going to the gym until you have the perfect workout plan, clothes, body…?
So many times in our life we are held back by our own desire to have everything put together before we feel comfortable starting. In a way, that’s actually a really silly thought, the one that starts with, “I will do this when _____”. If we are always waiting until some magical when, then how will we ever actually start to do anything.
Every successful person has one thing in common, they started somewhere. Whether launching a business, beginning an athletic career, health routine, or pursuing a relationship, everything begins by just starting. Had Steve Jobs waited until the iPhone was perfect before launching, I promise we would not have had this revolutionary technology. Without daring to start even with the chance of failure, we will never be able to succeed at anything.
I think that the need for things to be perfect holds a lot of people back, especially in today’s world of instant gratification. Instant gratification makes us believe that we should succeed immediately, and when we don’t, we hold ourselves back from anything in the future that can’t give us that instant gratification, aka anything outside of Google.
Why am I even sharing this? Well for one, I am definitely using this an excuse for why I haven’t blogged in a while, but I am also writing it as a way to encourage someone who is holding themselves back from accomplishing something based on this irrational need to be perfect ALL the time.
Social media does a lot to perpetuate this image of perfection. The Instagram algorithm actually elevates people who look like they have it all together because they have thousands of followers and every picture is just their highlight real. So remember this, YOU ARE NOT TO BE BLAMED FOR YOUR DESIRE TO BE PERFECT. It’s like all of those sci-fi movies where we are all just robots being controlled by ‘the man’, you are being programed to feel like you have to be perfect all of the time.
So are you a hopeless case? No, you just need to recognize what is happening, and use that awareness to just stop. What else can you do if you have a goal or something you want to accomplish and are being held back by perfection?
- Stop trying to be perfect at everything. I promise you, there is no such thing as a perfect person. Even someone who looks like they are perfect most likely hasn’t always been that way. Everyone has failures, setbacks, and challenges. They may not share them, but know that they exist because no one is God.
- When that fails, think about past successes, were you perfect? Sometimes, we get so hung up in the present moment that we are blind to all of the success we have had in the past. I am fairly confident that every single person has had SOMETHING they were successful at, no matter how small. Most likely, to get there, they had to fail a little bit, and it is using those moments we can remember that every success is built on top of failure.
- Stop comparing yourself. Our constant need to be perfect is often because we are comparing ourselves to others. We use words like “if only” I looked like her, or had his connections, or knew a bit more. I will repeat this again, NO ONE IS PERFECT. You cannot compare your journey to someone’s highlight reel, so just stop!
- Take one small step. Instead of trying to completely change your life by eating better, working out, and changing a bad habit all at once, start small and master a tinier goal that will give you a sense of perfection. So instead of completely changing everything in your health life, start by just drinking more water. Do that for a week, and once you’ve accomplished it, take on a new goal like eating a better breakfast, etc. Starting small allows you to have wins without feeling like the goals are completely unachievable.
Hopefully you can use some of these methods to remove your need to be perfect, I know I can use them. On that note, don’t try to be perfect about stopping trying to be perfect…. Just live your life with gratitude, growing and improving at whatever opportunity you can!
Health & Happiness, Taylor