You Are Perfect in Your Imperfection

Last night, my fabulous coach, Kendra Thornbury, and I diagnosed some lurking perfectionitis.

This is the need to do everything perfectly.

Not only has perfectionitis been a significant contributor to my past struggles with my weight, but I see the majority of the women I work with suffering from it, as well.

It often shows up as the need to do a diet and exercise program perfectly, or you might as well give up. Not only is that unrealistic, it’s exhausting. And it means that one mistake can sabotage months’ worth of progress.

In my case, it’s showing up as the feeling that I need to be perfect in order to be successful at business—and be credible to you fabulous clients and readers.

And my reaction to this diagnosis was pretty text-book. “Seriously? I thought I had gotten rid of all that!”

Not very tolerant or supportive of myself, eh?

Ah, the self-development work never ends! And you know what? It’s not supposed to.

Because we are all perfect in our imperfection.

So for the record:

I’m totally and completely imperfect AND I’m awesome.

My body is imperfect AND I’m beautiful.

My eating is imperfect AND I’m healthy and slim.

I’m self-critical AND I love and appreciate myself.

I’ve created a life that I love AND there’s room to make it even better.

Once again, I remind myself of what I know.

There is no “one right way” to do anything. By being more tolerant and supportive of yourself, you help lift the “all or nothing” requirement for success—for any goal.

By giving yourself some relief from perfectionitis, you more easily and consistently move towards the best possible version of you—which is an every changing mark.

I’m reinstating my personal “No Regrets” policy. This gives me the ability to start each day with a fresh opportunity to do the very best I can.

And I encourage you to implement your own “No Regrets” policy.

All it requires is for you to shift your focus from all the things you didn’t do “right” to all the things that you did do that are moving you towards your goals. To give yourself credit for those things. To celebrate those things. And to start each day with a fresh opportunity to do the very best you can, and to celebrate those actions.

It does take practice, but fortunately you don’t have to be perfect!

Together we can do it!


What A Gift

My thoughts are with several friends who have recently had close family members transition after dealing with serious illness.

It is reminding me of the importance of living in the moment.

Each of my friends has been an amazing example of giving and being present. They have stepped up and fully expressed their love and support in time, words, and actions.

How many of us are able to say goodbye without the regret of having left anything unsaid or undone?

Life is precious and we are not always able to consciously be present with the people we love, or to remember to live our own lives as fully as possible. Too often we are worried about the future or are stewing about the past.

Only when you are present can you fully experience the moment-to-moment opportunity to learn, grow, and expand—and reach for more joy and fulfillment.

The key is to not wait for “bad” things to happen to learn these lessons, but to take it upon yourself to practice being present right now.

Here are some ways to practice being in the moment:

  • Notice each bite of your next meal. How does the food feel on your tongue? What are the flavors? How slowly can you finish it?
  • Breathe. Take three slow, deep breaths. Pay attention to how the air feels as it’s moving in and out of your lungs. What sensation follows your breaths?
  • Listen. The next conversation you have with the person you love the most, listen more than you talk. Look at their body language. Listen to the words they are using. Watch their facial expressions. What’s going on with them beneath the surface?
  • Tell someone how much they mean to you. If this was your last conversation, what would you want to leave them knowing? Do they know how much you love them?
  • Totally focus on a task. Whether it’s finishing up a project at work or doing the dishes, pay attention to the sensation of your hands, the colors you are seeing, the sequence of actions. Notice what you are doing as you are doing it.

Today is the only August 2, 2012, that you get. How can you be present and fully experience it?

This moment is a gift that you cannot barter, return, or exchange. No matter what is going on in your life, fully experience right now. What difference does that make in how you think, feel, and live your life?

Together we can do it!

Create A “No Regrets” Policy

I haven’t been perfect this weekend. While I got all my workouts in, my eating has been a little on the high-calorie side, as is apt to happen when family gathers and we celebrate a birthday—in this instance, my husband’s.

In the past, a splurge like I experienced this weekend would have been enough to derail me. I used to suffer from a severe case of perfectionitis where if I didn’t do my diet and exercise perfectly, I would be so hard on myself that I would give up.

Fortunately, I now have a personal “No Regrets” policy. This gives me the ability to start each day with a fresh opportunity to do the very best I can, and to celebrate those actions that are moving me towards my goal.

Being more tolerant and supportive of myself has helped me lift the “all or nothing” requirement that I used to have for success.

This feeling that you have to do your diet and exercise program perfectly or you’ve “blown it” is very common amongst dieters and is one of the primary reasons that people fail to meet their weight-loss goals.

The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect. If you eat a cookie or two, it’s not the end of your diet. But if you give up then and down a pint of ice cream on top of it—well that’s going to be much harder to recover from and your progress for the week will likely be stymied. Too many weeks with no progress and the motivation to continue seeps away and dies.

If you slip, it’s much better to pick back up right where you are.

One way to do this is to let go of regrets. Those cookies might not have been on your eating plan, but hopefully you enjoyed it, and now it’s over and done. Focus on getting back on track with your next meal.

By creating a personal “No Regrets Policy,” you more easily and consistently move towards the best possible version of you.

What do you need to tell yourself to get back on track immediately after you have been less than perfect? What can you do to be more tolerant and supportive of yourself? What difference does that make in helping you meet your goals?

Together we can do it!