Let Go of ‘Perfect’ and Enjoy the Ride

I love living an absolutely ridiculous life! I love being a dork and falling on my face and laughing at myself. If we can’t laugh at our own imperfections, what can we laugh about, right? Perfection isn’t the goal.

Perfection Isn’t the Goal

About 10 years ago I decided to try Insanity, a 60-day video workout program.  I’d made it to day 30 without missing a single workout and then, unfortunately, I was busy with rehearsals for an upcoming dance performance.  I came home so exhausted that night so…I quit.

I was 30 days away from completing the program and I quit! That is the danger of an all-or-nothing attitude. It simply doesn’t work.

Did you know that it took Thomas Edison over a thousand tries to invent the light bulb? What if he had just quit after his 988th attempt? We’d all be sitting in the dark! Steven Spielberg was rejected from USC twice. If he’d quit after that second rejection, we wouldn’t have the movies ET or Schindler’s List! What a shame that would be!

Embrace Your Imperfections

Here’s a question for you: if you’re running a 5K and your shoe comes untied, do you quit the race?

Take a step back and look at your life and goals in the context of that ridiculous question. Sure, you may not run the perfect race that day, but so what? You’re not perfect! And it’s OK! When your shoelace comes untied, you adjust. You kneel down and tie your shoe and then you keep going until you cross the finish line.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” -Marilyn Monroe

When we embrace our imperfections we go into the process knowing that we may stumble. That way, when we do make a mistake, we don’t feel the shame that leads us to want to quit. Why? Because we knew stumbles were to be expected along the path to goal.

3 Things Happen When You Release Yourself From Perfection

First, you become less obsessed and when you become less obsessed, you can more easily achieve your goals.

Next, you start making better choices. Let’s say you’re trying to eat healthier. For most of us, restrictive diets are impossible. We inevitably eat something that’s not on the plan, feel like a failure and quit the whole thing. Admit it – you’ve done that! Then we don’t start dieting again until we have another wedding coming up or lunch with a friend we haven’t seen in years or a trip to the beach. For some people, it may even take a major health scare to force change.

If you can release yourself from the need to be perfect, then you begin to realize that a cookie is just a cookie. Eating it doesn’t make you bad or mean that you deserve a life sentence of shame.  My nutritionist told me this years ago and it took me a decade to believe her.  I’m hoping you’ll learn this faster than I did.  Embrace your imperfections and make it right with the very next bite.

Lastly, you’ll free yourself up to get to an even higher standard and level of success. Instead of beating yourself up all the time because you’re not perfect, you will celebrate your small wins along the way. Small wins lead to motivation and a sense of accomplishment that will keep you going.

Stop Setting Yourself Up for Failure

We’re not perfect! So why do we keep setting ourselves up for failure by trying to be? I sent out my newsletters late a couple times last year. BFD! Obviously I don’t want to do that on a weekly basis but did that make me a bad person? No, it made me human!

Imagine a life when you can lay your head on the pillow every night and reflect back on the day feeling positive about your accomplishments instead of defeated because you didn’t do everything perfectly? I get great joy knowing I had a B+ score at the end of the day for whatever behaviors and accomplishments I’m tracking.

My goal is no longer an A because that requires a mentality that would make me an uptight bitch that nobody would want to deal with. Trust me, I’ve been that A-Type Personality in the past. It’s never pretty, even on YOU!

So instead of saying, “Practice makes Perfect”, I say “Practice makes Progress.” 

Join me on Facebook and let’s celebrate wins, work through barriers, and stay motivated on this lifelong health journey.  We may have to social distance but we can still stay virtually social!

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