Strive for progress, not perfection
This is something I struggle with daily since I’m a chronic perfectionist.
Recently, however, I’ve realised that there is no point in time where I will reach ‘perfect’ and then just cruise into the future in that state of eternal perfection. That’s not how life works. That’s not how humans work.
We change. Our bodies change. Our goals change. Even our idea of perfection changes. So we might as well take the focus off perfection, and choose to focus on progress instead.
What's the difference between Progress and Perfection?
Perfection is an external standard – set by society (who even knows who sets the standards?!) and without us questioning it, we accept it as our own and beat ourselves up when we don’t reach it
Progress is more personal. It’s about measuring yourself against yourself. The self you were yesterday, last week or last year. Think – are you getting better as a person, a business, a family? Then you’re making progress.
Studying at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition I realised there’s no such thing as perfect when it comes to nutrition or lifestyle. The perfect diet/workout/whatever for you, might not work for me. We all have different body types, genes, preferences, schedules, stress levels, menstrual cycles, digestive systems… Therefore we can’t possibly have the same ‘perfect’.
When you focus on progress you can look back at where you were and celebrate the small steps you’ve taken to change who you are.
Of course, we all have setbacks. We all make mistakes. We shouldn’t even see them as mistakes, but as ‘feedback’. Feedback allows you to learn what works for you and what doesn’t. The more you ‘fail’ and receive feedback to work with, the more you are learning and thus progressing
Nowadays we have so much pressure to show off how perfect we are at all times. We take enough photos to choose the best from. Then pick the best filter to hide what’s left of our imperfections. There’s constant stress to appear like we have everything together
Well, let me tell you – I’m a Health Coach who struggles with pms, unbalanced hormones, IBS & acne.
Am I perfect? No. Is it getting better? Yes.
Which means I’m making progress.
Now I’ve written myself a long motivational letter! Hope you find it helpful!