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Ep. 46: Is Perfection Holding You Back? - Centered Living

I’ve been working on my training program to teach the Centered Wellness framework to coaches who want to help their clients accelerate their progress using a holistic approach. It’s really been the focus of the last few months as I’ve been developing the curriculum, and speaking with coaches to get the word out that this is going to be offered in July of this year. So if you are a coach who would like to apply the Centered Wellness Framework with your clients, I’ll put the link in the show notes so you can be on the first to know list. I love this work- it lights me up and is so energizing for me and I can’t wait for even more people to help clients get unstuck. 

This is part of what I want to talk about today. As I’ve been working on something that is so exciting for me,  notice that even though i love something and it energizes me, I have these old patterns- I want to get it perfect or “right”. I used to think I wasn’t a perfectionist because my desk and house were messy. That I am pretty much someone who gets things done “just in time” and my life is definitely not picture perfect. BUT I watch how if it doesn’t look like what I want in my head, or if I miss a day, or if it’s not how I think it “should” be, then it unleashes that critical voice in my head. It says:  “you should just give up” or “Everyone else can do it, why can’t you”  or “You don’t know how to do it” That critical voice is one of the things that stops me, and it stops my clients too. What I’ve found is that it doesn’t matter what the content is– it could be a project at work, growing a business, relationships, or health and wellness. 

Let’s take food first- changing the pattern of what you are eating can be a real challenge. 

One of the things I’ve been seeing with my clients is that they think they have to give up pasta sugar, or bread for the rest of their lives, and that can feel very overwhelming. It’s what the brain does. It goes to all or nothing. I have to be able to drink wine every day or sugar everyday, when the reality is really more subtle than that. What I usually encourage my clients to do is to try it for a few weeks and SEE if they feel better. They have to change the thoughts they are having about what is really going on to what is actually going on.  If they stop eating gluten for 2-3 weeks and they start to feel better, with less bloating, and fewer aches, that’s good information from their body. 

Or they think they have to do it “right” and if they miss a day or eat a candy bar after work one day when they were avoiding sugar for 2 weeks, they give up and say, well I ruined it all now, I might as well have a piece of cake too.”  Or they think it means something about them. I hear my clients say that they just aren’t the type of person who can stick to something. Or they think they don’t have will power (and if you think this, go back to episode xxx on willpower because it’s not about willpower!)

This can be true for your thoughts as well. The critical voice in your head isn’t going to magically go away, just like sugar isn’t going to magically be wiped off the planet. When you fall back into believing the critical voice in your head, it can feel very seductive. The act of doing something bad or wrong, sneaking it and getting away with it, and then getting beaten up afterwards is soooo familiar that we often miss it when we are gone. It’s crazy. It doesn’t make any logical sense, but I’ve seen it in myself and I see it with my clients.  

And then, we make it mean something. We make the food choice or the critical thought in our heads mean there is something wrong with us. That we need to be different or do something different or go somewhere different. But here’s the thing. It doesn’t actually mean anything about who you are. The ice cream, the missed goal, the bread, the wine, or the internal chastising doesn’t mean anything about you. It’s just good information. 

What I mean by good information is that you have seen what happens to lead you to eat that sweet treat at night. This is really important to see what happens!  You were tired, your son didn’t do his homework, he didn’t call, the client didn’t sign up and subtly, usually very subtly the voice starts in with its criticism. “See you can’ do anything right, you’re a bad partner, or you’ll never…. Blah blah blah”. So you reached for the thing to not feel emotions. This is actually GOOD NEWS. Because now you have seen the pattern. 

Here’s the key to this though. When you have this information, when you see the pattern of the doing and the not doing, the critical voice and how that voice talks you into eating the dessert you said you weren’t going to eat. THIS IS HUGE. When you see it, then you can bring this even more to your awareness and start paying attention so you can make choices on purpose. Do I want to drink the wine tonight? You also get the information of when you drink the wine or eat the dessert, how do you feel afterwards? How do you feel in your body< your mind, your emotions? How do you sleep that night? How do you feel the next day? You can start to see how it’s all connected. THe key is to put on your scientific white lab coat and grap your proverbial clipboard and take notes WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. This is not about making you or your decisions bad or wrong. This is about bringing open curiosity to what the heck is going on!!

Why does this matter? Because so often we eat the entire box of cookies and we get to the bottom, wake up and realize what’s happened, we get beaten up by that critical voice in our heads and we believe it. Then we stay there. But one action or even 1000 actions doesn’t mean that is who you are. As my coach says, Don’t build a condo there. Don’t hang out there reviewing all the ways you were “Bad” or “wrong”.  You don’t have to quit or give up. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do whatever it is that you want to do. It just means that you gathered good information. That’s all. 

When you are gathering that good information, you get to see that pattern .When you’ve seen that pattern enough, there comes a point when you just aren’t willing to do that anymore. Just not willing to eat the ice cream when you’ve made a commitment to not eating the ice cream, or let your business be second, or let that critical voice in your head beat you up for doing what you love. You just reach the point where it is no longer acceptable for you to live that way. It’s not about perfection, but just gathering good information. 

And that’s why I’m here. If you’ve reached that point and you want support, reach out to me. in the show notes, I’ll put the link to schedule a free chat with me to see if working together would be a good fit. 

Ok my friends, I hope you can see how it’s not about perfectionism or getting it right in life; it’s all about gathering good information. I’ll talk to you next time. Take good care of yourself. 

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Click Here to schedule a FREE Vibrant Health Chat with me.

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