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In today’s show I want to tackle another myth.
Possibly it’s held you back so far as your body gain goal… perhaps if you’ve been waiting for the right time, the right program, the right mentor or the right anything.
Today let’s cover: the Myth of Perfection.
In my teens and early twenties I used to really struggle with the myth of perfection. The main problem was, I thought it existed!
No, I’m not about to launch into yet another dating episode from my early twenties and the boys I would meet. I actually seemed SUPER ok with imperfect in that sense… I’m actually referring to my love:hate relationship with painting and drawing.
My teachers at school and later at Uni would ask if I was painting with my nose. I’d get that close to the canvas… with thattiny a brush… and at times even a toothpick because I wanted it to be perfect.
Seeking perfection is actually really gruelling.
You’re always disappointed… because you’re chasing something unattainable. Even though my fav artist: the great Salvador Dali said: “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
I still put myself through misery trying to reach perfect.
I guess at least I was chasing. Perhaps chasing and getting constantly disappointed is better than not even starting and that is the other danger of perfection. It can trick you into waiting for something that does not exist.
It’s funny that my obsession with art led me to the lesson that started my journey to embracing imperfection.
I now believe: Perfection Is The Enemy Of Progress.
You see one of the best decisions I made in life: and that is to move to Sydney and study Fine Art sprang from very imperfect timing.
Let me paint the picture… I’d applied on a bit of a whim to UNSW in Sydney. It took a while to learn if my application was accepted and during that time I decided that actually life in Wellington was pretty damn good.
My friends and social life rocked AND I’d just met a new boy I was really into.
Life was really fun, though in hindsight – as made unequivocally clear by my father in one particular rant which included the word “Loser” at least half a dozen times… in hindsight I likely wasn’t on the path to much progress.
Here’s my point – and then I will make it applicable to your body gain goal (in 3 steps!) – that point, is that I left Wellington at a really imperfect time.
Actually, I arrived in Sydney at a pretty imperfect time too… as it was a couple of days before Mardi Gras and accommodation was near non-existent.
In fact, I enrolled in a pretty imperfect Uni Degree too… because a Bachelor Of Fine Arts is exactly what you need to excel in the fitness industry right?
The important thing to remember and the lesson I learnt is that: First you need to take ACTION and then you get to improve on implementation.
Basically you get to choose PROGRESS OR you can hold out waiting on perfection… and you’ll be waiting indefinitely.
Perfection Is The Enemy Of Progress.
Do you know what’s really awesome about realising perfection doesn’t exist?
It’s actually incredibly FREEING. It’s freeing to know you won’t ‘get it right’ the first time… or likely ever. Whether we’re talking about your website, a presentation or your food plan. They are not going to be perfect.
The thing that counts is not perfection in contrast it’s constant improvement. Of course you can’t hope to improve something you haven’t started.
So, to my fellow perfectionists here are 3 steps to help you break free of the perfectionist myth:
One: Set a DEADLINE.
It sounds so simple. It can be though. First up you need to acknowledge that there will never be the perfect time. In that case, there’s really no need to wait. If something needs to be done and there’s not ever going to be a perfect time… then NOW is the time!
Two: Set up some ACCOUNTABILITY.
Now YOU know what you best respond to. There needs to be some checks in place however it’s up to you to set them up as internal or external dependant on which of the two is more compelling to you. Personally I’m not so big with a check-in with someone else. It’s my inner expectations that drive me more.
So once I have my deadline I need to track my own adherence and progress myself. To make that happen habitually I need to set up an easy to follow system.
Three: Check in with YOU in the past or others earlier in their journey.
This step is all about out-smarting the tendency to compare. Specifically to compare the highlight reel of someone else’s life with your current unedited-no-frills-reality.
It’s also about acknowledging the progress you are making. Rather than disregarding it as you push forward with an admirable yet potentially detrimentally relentless need to achieve more. You know I’m speaking from experience!
In closing I guess the thing with perfection is that although I do believe it doesn’t exist – what CAN exist – and at this point perhaps we could return to the earlier link I drew to dating (!)… although there is no Perfect there can be Perfect for YOU.
The key is that Perfect isn’t static.
It’s a work in progress. It’s a constant and never ending improvement.
To get actionable today, what is one thing you’ve been stalling on? Something that is going to help you so far as achieving your body gain goal and yet you’ve been choosing to subscribe to the myth of perfection rather than choosing action?
Take ONE imperfect action today. You can always improve on it tomorrow.
That’s it for me today. In the Wednesday weigh-in show I cover: REGRET. I hope you can join me.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Smart Simple Weight Loss: Most Effective Strategies
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