Last week’s blog was pretty much a straight-up railing against perfectionism. #sorrynotsorry Check it here if you haven’t read it yet.
Honestly, perfectionism sucks.
Not only does it keep us from feeling good enough, but it actually doesn’t work effectively as a productivity system. Perfectionists are really bad at taking action because they are so scared of failure. I don’t know about you, but the times I make the biggest strides in my personal growth is when I take action, despite not knowing entirely what’s going to happen.
Like Jade says, “It’s not ‘Jump and the net will appear,’ it’s ‘Jump and then create the net.’” In other words, if you want to be successful in any endeavor, you have to learn to trust YOU fully.
We can never predict outcomes with 100% certainty, and betting on results can be a tricky business. But you know what you can bet on? Yourself. To handle whatever comes up.
And that’s the anti-perfectionist — the person who says, “I got this. And if I don’t, then I’ll find that out eventually and at that point, I’ll do what I need to do.”
And so, perfectionism can go throw itself off a bridge.
In 2015, I want to learn to embrace an anti-perfectionist attitude. And that is … wait for it … authenticity!
Authenticity is what turns who we are into enough if we are brave enough to try it.
Authenticity is the courage to show up as-is in the world and let the chips fall. Owning 100% who you are, no apologies, excuses or justifications. You, as you are right now, are enough.
And so, my anti-perfectionism practices for 2015. Ready? Here we go:
1) Don’t take things personally.
When someone makes an off-hand comment or passive-aggressive remark or takes a cheap shot, shake it off. Defending anything you do or anything you are, sends a subtle message to your higher self that something is wrong with what you are doing or who you are. And in the spirit of authenticity, defending is kind of apologizing for being you. Let it go, and instead, fully own what you’re doing.
2) Be an example of confidence to those around you.
The kind of person who makes an impact or makes a difference in the lives of others is not the leanest person, but the most confident in their abilities and their contribution. I learned this from one of my mentors, who is a powerhouse business woman and an incredible success. I never, ever saw her sweat about her physique or cower away like there was something wrong. She walked into a room and her energy demanded attention. People follow conviction, not body fat percentages. When you show up confident and ready to kill it, it gives those around you permission to do the same.
3) Never explain your physique.
Resist the temptation to defend your body to people. You’re amazing, perfect, whole and valuable regardless of your size; you don’t ever have to defend your physique to anyone. This can be hard when we feel like we should be thinner, smaller, leaner, more muscular, whatever. But the second you start preempting other people’s judgments by explaining “why you look the way you do” is the second you relinquish your power.
4) Play to your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.
Instead of focusing on things that are tough for you and then as a result, berating yourself for still not being able to do them well, could you start playing to your strengths? You have unique contributions that the world needs. Put those forward. As for the rest? Do your best. Find workarounds or shortcuts or bring in someone else to do whatever it is you either can’t do or don’t want to. It doesn’t make you weak or a quitter, it makes you strategic. And in my opinion, an eventual success.
5) Stop defining “perfect.”
As adult women, I think we can finally, FINALLY retire the whole concept of perfection. It’s actually the most subjective thing on earth. If I asked 100 women (or men for that matter) their definition of “the perfect body,” I’d get 100 different answers. So the idea that we can or should continue to cling to some arbitrary number or shape or size in order to “be perfect” is just plain misery. It keeps us in a holding pattern of never ever feeling good enough. And luckily, this switch is just a single choice away. You know what’s perfect? Working on your inside game so that you can show up in the world authentic and transparent, and ultimately happy.
6) Trust yourself, first. Who’s better?
It’s all too easy to take in considerations, suggestions and advice from others. Especially when it comes to eating and exercise. It feels easier to listen to an expert or read the latest diet book or ask your personal trainer, who really knows hardly anything about you. It feels easier because it sort of takes the ownership off you. You don’t really have to do the work. I get that. But here’s the thing — no one can ever, EVER know your body and mind better than you can. And when it comes to your physique, your metabolism, your personal preferences, your psychological sensitivities, asking others diminishes your power and undermines your ability to trust YOURSELF. It keeps you dependent. It makes you question things and become unsure. And the more unsure you become, the easier it is to doubt and feel overwhelmed and scared and fumble. In 2015, I want you to finally stop giving your process over to people who aren’t nearly as qualified as you are about, well, you. I want you to do the tough work of getting in tune with your body. I want you to feel confident to tell anyone who questions your unique process to butt out. I want you owning your journey and never apologizing for the one-of-a-kind-ness of you.
7) Rid your circle of the negativity.
I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, BUT, one thing I am resolved to doing in 2015 is maintain a zero tolerance policy for negativity anywhere in my life – online, with friends, family, acquaintances, my blog, social media, wherever. I won’t do complaining. I won’t do blaming. I won’t do naysayers. I even won’t do fear. If someone wants to try to prevent or warn against or second-guess, I’m out. My circles in 2015 and beyond will be 100% optimism and possibility-thinking 100% of the time. And it’s on me to create that. Besides, we teach people how to treat us, and if I have negativity going on in my tribe, then it’s my fault.
8) Give up the need to please.
One key trait of perfectionists is that they tend to be people-pleasers. They try to control how other people see them, and as a result, tend to run around trying to regulate other’s responses to them. Can we ever control how someone else sees us? No, of course not. But this is hard because we want people to like us. Of course we do. I do, you do, we all do. But at what expense? The expense of not doing what we want to? Of not following our dreams, passions and desires? What someone thinks of me is not my business. And running around trying to control all of that only keeps me miserable. Instead, be the Anti-Perfectionist by showing up 100% as-is and letting the chips fall. See what happens. Chances are that if people don’t like what they see, they aren’t really true friends anyway, and guess what? That’s fine! In fact, it’s perfect. It’s a perfect stratification system (pun intended!) :)
There are so many more ways to come into your authentic self, but these are just a few that resonate with me. Chime in on the JillFit Facebook page and let me know ONE WAY you will begin showing up as-is this year, and start ridding yourself of considerations and start fully owning your unique awesomeness! Xo, Jill
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