Do You Have to Act Perfectly?

This month I’m sharing with you the common pitfalls that keep us from getting happy with our body. A pitfall can be a single step or a series of missteps that take us off our current path and into a new, less favorable direction.

Pitfall #1 Perfectionism Syndromehaving to be perfect all the time. 

Perfectionism thinking can derail us from building an understanding and compassionate relationship with our body. When we are stuck in a Perfectionism Pitfall, our thought process sounds something like this: 

I had a good day (or a bad day) solely based on_______ (usually: what I ate, didn’t eat, exercised or not).  

 Perfectionism Syndrome is a “win or else,” high standard where we judge ourselves against unrealistic expectations. Just imagine expecting your spouse, friend or even housemate to fold the laundry, refill toilet paper, empty the dishwasher, or make the bed perfectly, all the time. Then imagine yourself berating them or thinking they are “worthless and never do anything right.”  Sound a little like how you might talk to your body?

Relationships don’t live and thrive in perfection. We don’t have perfect relationships with our friends and family. In our most loving relationships, there is a give-and-take that allows us to be human, with human failures and missteps.  We have a relationship with our body already. The question is, are you always expecting yourself to act perfectly? 

The PracticeDig deeper Into Your History. So, for this first pitfall a little journaling can go a long way to understanding more about your need to be perfect. 

  •  In the context of your body, what is your idea of perfect and what’s the matter with not being perfect? What’s not okay with being less than? 
  • What do you expect from you and your body? And what’s the prize for winning? 
  • If you are really in the mood to dig, where else does this perfectionism show up in your life? 
  • And one step deeper….where did all this drive or pressure to be perfect come from (hint, hint, take a look at your upbringing, childhood, and family influences)?   
  • And lastly, when you fall short and don’t achieve what you want with your body, what do you tell yourself? Do you sound like anyone you know (coach, parent, sibling) when you talk to yourself? 

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