Ditching the Perfect

I’ve been working on letting go of my pesky vice of perfectionism this last half of the year. I mentioned before that I started this blog to force me to hit a submit button on writing that I haven’t mulled over for a ridiculously long time that it lost its purpose. I am learning to accept whatever interpretation comes from my readers and not feel the need to explain my vision, explain my words, explain why you shouldn’t be offended or you should be offended or you should be inspired. I have no control of that. Nothing’s perfect. Everything is a mess. My house is a mess right now and I generally cannot write or think or concentrate on one sole subject while surrounded by clutter–yes, I just took a deep breath thinking about that and looking up and seeing clutter all around me. And no, I didn’t get a post up last week. But I’m learning to let go of all of that, although it’s a very, very slow process. If you only met me briefly, or maybe even if you knew me well, you may not know that I’m somewhat of a perfectionist (my perfectionism isn’t even perfect enough for me.) I’m generally pretty disheveled looking and while my clothes do match there’s most likely a stain somewhere. My car is a disaster, but I could tell you where anything is that you might need. There’s a lot in there. I strive to be perfect in my imperfect system and it is stressful, to say the least, but it’s my normal.

In November I decided to work with a Holistic Health Coach for about 6 weeks. My idea of working with Liz was just to help me focus on eating healthy and getting in a solid amount of workouts each week. She focuses on mind, body, and spirit; and when we started I told her I’m good in mind and spirit and I just need to focus on body. Everything else is good and it’ll only be better when I am the same weight I was at 19. I’m still the same height so shouldn’t be an issue, right? I’m 32. I knew I wouldn’t get there in six weeks but I would definitely get a huge head start. But right around the time I started working with Liz all kinds of things began happening that were outside of my control. Like my house went on about a month of sickness and the country just nominated who I believe to be the worst choice for president (and that’s putting it lightly, deep breaths).  There really is just so much negativity happening all over the world. I mean, do the orphans in Aleppo not make you feel at least a tiny bit of guilt as you wrap your kids’ Christmas gifts? I know that stuff doesn’t bother a lot of people, and that’s fine for them, but that fact bothers me even more and it’s another thing I cannot control.

Liz introduced the idea of journaling and meditation and how these things can help our mind and, in turn, help us in the physical sense. Journaling–I can do that. I did that, though very sporadically. Meditation was brand new to me. It was something I associated as a foo-foo–love-wins-everything type of mindset that I just wasn’t sure I was ready for. But I tried it anyway. Now, I just started doing this so in no way can I vouch for the long-standing effects of meditation, or even tell you how long I’ve been doing it consistently;  but I can tell you that it has helped me a lot this past month. There’s a definite learning curve and I’m still working on that; but somehow, this tricky little concept helps me sleep better, think  more clear and breathe better. I fell in love with it from the start. I no longer wanted my main goal of having a health coach in my life to be about losing weight. Because let’s be honest–we all know how to lose weight. We need good foods and good exercise. We’ve all tried it. Or at least I have, numerous times, far more than I would want to admit.  So I was somewhat without a goal halfway through my 6 week cycle–and I enjoyed that. And it’s not that I literally didn’t have a goal, but it was all new territory for me so I didn’t know how to pinpoint what I was working on. I didn’t know what words represented what I was after, or if I even knew. But I do know that through all the stress I’ve had as a mother to little ones during the holiday on a tight budget, along with the stress I’ve had as I’m witnessing the simmering logs slowly start a toxic fire on our earth, I never once went on a binge and emptied out my pantry. Success! I never once laid up all night trying to figure out how I was going to fix all the problems, not just mine either–all the problems. I definitely thought about it, but I was still able to sleep when my body needed to recharge. I’ve had my meals planned out ahead of time, I started working out (again), and I’ve found myself in a lot of new situations. Weight loss has become my bonus rather than my target. I’ve found myself jumping in and taking on responsibility in places I would have once felt I was inadequate. And most importantly, I’ve found myself actually enjoying me. I love what I write as flawed as it may be. I love all the new projects I’m involved with; and I’m learning to enjoy not having a clue what the hell I’m doing.

I borrowed the book, Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert from Liz; and in it Gilbert titles her section on perfectionism as “fear in high heels,” and I really appreciated that description. Perfectionism is just fear of inadequacy or fear of rejection or fear of not appeasing others. There’s no way you can be perfect in anything, unless it’s a math test and as record will show that was never my strong suit. I have too much curiosity inside of me to worry about the outside influences that drive me to want to be in control and to want me to strive toward the perfectionist ideal that isn’t even attainable. So as this year is coming to a close (finally) I can confidently say I’m entering the next one a bit more fearless, a tad more confident, and somehow not giving a shit if I fail at all. It’s incredibly freeing. I believe I owe that to Liz for giving me the proper tools and guidance, to myself for acknowledging my flaws and set backs, and to the incredible network of people I’ve been working with for letting me know we’re all in this together. It can’t be a one person show.


oh, hey! Are you interested in learning more about what a holistic health coach is, or what Liz has to offer? You can check her out here

2 thoughts on “Ditching the Perfect

  1. I really relate to and enjoy your thoughts. Thank you for sharing them. Life is far from perfect, but at the same time it is perfection. Find all the small joys, beauty, and triumphs in every moment. Your thoughts and insights are appreciated.


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