Overcome Perfectionism With 2 New Strategies For A Better YouJan 29, 2024
In our personal growth journey, we can struggle with perfectionism and self-criticism. In this video, I share insights and real-life experiences to guide you towards a more compassionate and realistic approach to self-improvement.
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How to Stop Perfectionist Thinking
Heya! It's just Jenny. I haven't come at you like this for a while. How are you? How have you been?
So it's now the end of January. And you know those New Year's resolutions, commitments, and goals you made to yourself? How are they coming along?
It's highly likely you've had some challenges: circumstances have changed, you've gotten busy, and/or your motivation’s waning.
And it's highly likely you've met these challenges with not a lot of compassion or self-love or grace, but rather you've been beating yourself up about it.
You've been very forceful and stern. You've probably had several choice words with yourself.
Today I want to explore the idea of beating yourself up and perfectionism as means to behavior change.
I've been talking a lot about this with a 1:1 coaching client who is very much a perfectionist. And so when things don't go to plan, their first response is to beat themselves up and then to throw the plan away.
In our session I said, "Okay - how effective is your current strategy of beating yourself up? Because I want to be clear: you are using this as a strategy for behavior change and to change things for the better in your life. How well is that strategy working for you?"
And they said "Hmmm....in short, it doesn't work. When I reflect on my beliefs and look at my #1 belief, which is love, my approach defies what I believe. Duh!
At the end of the day, I'm human. I don't have all of the answers. I'm going through life like everyone else. And I'm not perfect. I never will be. It's okay to mess something up or to fall out of line.
The true response is what actually matters: making the next best choice. I believe this will lighten my stress levels and my body and my soul. And this will allow that negative focus to translate into more positive actions."
So a few things about this...
1) "Next best choice" is what we have been working on. You should definitely have goals along with a very actionable plan. But things don't always go to plan! Circumstances shift, your feelings shift, and your motivation can wane.
And instead of perfectionism or all-or-none thinking, ask yourself "What is the next best choice I can make?" Because that's all you can do anyway! Just make your next best choice.
It's not the perfect choice. It may not be the ideal choice. It may not be the intended choice. But based on your circumstances, it is the best choice you can make in the moment, which will keep you moving forward.
It will also keep you in a positive mental and emotional state because you adapted to your circumstances and you took action. And that is success!
2) The second thing I want to talk about are the ideas of being perfect and perfectionism. In my conversation with my client I said, "Okay, perfect is OFF THE TABLE. It is no longer a descriptive word that's available to you. No one is perfect and no thing is perfect.
So what is your next best option to perfect?
Maybe what you're striving for is to be really gritty, to be resilient, to simply do the best that you possibly can."
And I could SEE the relief on their face. It opened a whole new world of possibility for them - one without so much pressure and one that feels more doable and realistic. And it decreased the amount of "failure" and stress associated with it.
My invitation to you today is to explore these two mindsets:
- What is my next best choice?
- What's my next best option to perfection?
Self-criticism and perfectionism might seem like effective motivators, but they are often counterproductive.
Excited to hear your thoughts on this! Drop a comment below and let's continue this conversation. Until next time!
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