Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about perfectionism, and how so many of us use perfectionism to guard ourselves from getting hurt.
A Finally Free member recently emailed me and shared:
“I tend to fall back to this mentality that a diet will help me feel in control or get it together…when I know what I really need to do is let go of control so I can be free.” She then followed with: “Did you ever feel this way on your intuitive eating journey?”
This just shows me that there are SO MANY THINGS that we feel alone in, so we don’t talk about them. Instead, we patch ourselves up and act like everything is fine.
We tend to have this mentality of “if I have it all together, I’ll be fine, and I’ll be safe. If everything else falls apart, AT LEAST I’ll have x together.” I’ve so been there, and my mind STILL goes there sometimes – I just have the tools to deal with this now.
Here’s what Brene Brown (I adore her!) has to say about perfectionism and our bodies in her book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are:
“I’ve started to work on my perfectionism, one messy piece at a time. In doing so, I finally understand the difference between perfectionism and healthy achieving. Exploring our fears and changing our self talk are two critical steps in overcoming perfectionism.
Here’s my example:
Like most women, I struggle with body image, self-confidence, and the always complicated relationship between food and emotions. Here’s the difference between perfectionism diets and healthy goals.
Perfectionism self-talk: ‘Ugh. Nothing fits. I’m fat and ugly. I’m ashamed of how I look. I need to be different than I am right now to be worthy of love and belonging.’
Healthy-striving self-talk: ‘I want this for me. I want to feel better and be healthier. The scale doesn’t dictate if I’m loved and accepted. If I believe that I’m worthy of love and respect now, I will invite courage, compassion, and connection into my life. I want to figure this out for me. I can do this.'”
Isn’t that amazing? SO GOOD. She then follows with my favorite part, which reminds me why we should never wait until we’re perfect to do anything:
“Perfectionism didn’t lead to results. It led to peanut butter.”
HA! How TRUE is this?
Ever notice how when you pressure yourself to be perfect (or to lose those last 5 pounds) you head straight for the cabinets? It’s all too much pressure to handle – we hate it. I HATE IT!
If you can relate to this, and feel you might be struggling with perfectionism, or you feel alone… I have a story to share.
This story is from a client who, for the longest time, felt like she needed to be perfect before reaching out to work with me, yet slowly learned that this could not have been further from the truth:
“I’ve been following Paige’s blog regularly for years. When I found out that she became a Health Coach, I was so excited for her. I immediately wanted to sign up, but I didn’t because I felt like I wasn’t good enough.
Although Paige has always been so welcoming and non-judgmental on her blog, I listened to my fears. How could I be in an intuitive eating program when I am so overweight, ate a lot of “junk food” and hardly exercised?
Now that I’ve been through TWO six-month sessions with Paige, this sounds so silly! The program is for people who want to make changes to their health and life. Paige works with people who are all in different places with their health.
I’m so glad that I eventually had the courage to speak with Paige. During my initial call with Paige, I instantly felt comfortable talking to her and although I felt nervous, I knew I was in the right place.
Paige met me where I was in life and we worked on goals that I chose. To anyone who is thinking about working with Paige but feel that they’re not ‘good enough’ yet, please know that you are wonderful and deserve to be good to yourself with this program.“
Isn’t that encouraging? You do NOT need to be perfect to start something new. I expect exactly ZERO of my clients to be perfect at the beginning, during, or the end of our program. We’re ALL imperfect. Perfect does not exist. I’m not perfect, either. Welcome!
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Thank you all for being here with me today. Believe it or not, you are enough just as you are. I want to hear from you – What did you relate to most in this post? Comment below!