Friday, 19 June 2015

Perfectionism

I recently read an article called 'why 'perfect' sucks' by Anna Hart for Glamour magazine. This article was one of the most revealing and meaningful articles I believe I have ever read. Ever since I was little I pushed for perfection, from the strong need for lots of friends (and okay, being the leader too) in primary school, to the never ending competitive needs in high school.
Perfection seems to be the goal that society pushes you towards from a young age; society doesn't want you to just try your best, it wants you to try to be THE best, and that makes all the difference.  I have come to realise that, as Anna Hart so bluntly put it, 'perfectionism doesn't make us perfect; it makes us miserable. High standards have a high price'. And so maybe perfectionism isn't perfect either, and maybe it leads us further away from true happiness. Perfectionism actually often leads us to feeling deprived of something, us perfectionists have half empty cups and not half full ones. And if and when our cup gets slowly filled up we also mentally increase the size of our cup, pushing the boundaries further. Having passion and striving for goals is in no way a bad thing but it can very quickly become one.

The main reason I have brought this up today is because I have, luckily, realised that my perfectionism is slowly being moved over to my fitness goals. In terms of fitness goals, from what I have gathered, this can be particularly damaging to our self esteem, goals, and, ultimately, our happiness. Let's get straight to the point; 3 months ago I would have been overjoyed with my current fitness level, both on the outside and on the inside. 3 months ago my current body was probably one of my goals of how my body could turn out. But guess what, right now I have a body that I don't appreciate. To me it is still the same, which means that it is still not how I want it to be. I'm not going to go on to talk about body appreciation (etc) as I want to dedicate a whole post to that specifically, however I will quickly say that this is definitely not the relationship you should be having with your body.
I have come up with a few tips that could help with appreciating the steps in your fitness journey, and accepting new challenges as furthering your journey rather than feeling low because you're not how you had imagined yourself. You need to appreciate every step your body makes because you have taken it there. You are the one that has progressed, no one else, and that is personal and an achievement in itself. There is no competition when it comes to your body; no body is perfect and so striving for perfection is embarking on the path towards self destruction.

  • Aiming for the moon is still ok
Just think about the expression that says to aim for the moon as no matter what you'll end up among the stars. I always believed that aiming for the moon was the key part of that phrase but it turns out that landing among the stars is just enough for happiness. The ultimate goal for human beings would naturally be happiness, everyone needs it and everyone wants it, but the truth is that very few people actually have it. Is that because the grass is always greener on the other side? Is it because we always strive and crave for more to our own detriment? How can we ever be fully happy if we always want more? Either way, aiming for the moon and not getting it is still something to be proud of, as long as you recognise all your achievements then you are still being positive.
  • Take progress pictures!
Yes it's a cliché. Yes everyone takes them and sometimes they become tiring on your Instagram feed. Yes you're baring all. And yes you're laying yourself raw and bare ready for self-criticism. BUT these pictures will save you in time of doubt. These pictures will become your holy grail of self appreciation. Instead of looking at what you haven't achieved you will be looking at what you have achieved because there it is right in front of you; proof. The cup will appear fuller.
  • Don't let someone dictate how you should look
This is applicable whether that 'person' is someone you follow on Instagram because of their awesome abs, or someone close to you that has a different perception of 'perfection' no beauty. Your goals and aims should be personal. If you are doing it for yourself you are more likely to sit back and appreciate your starry spot rather than wishing you were the moon for, or because of, another person.
  • Congratulate yourself
And after everything you have done to get that extra definition to your stomach why shouldn't you? You worked towards that extra line and so you should reap the benefits. Be proud and encouraging with what you have achieved.


The stars are always enough, and maybe the moon is a bit too big and lonely for one person anyway.


2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful and enlightening post! I agree completely with your view about appreciating what we have at the present time! I am also guilty of being a perfectionist and this post really helped me out today :) x

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    1. Thank you for your comment :) I am so glad you liked the post and that it was of help to you in some way! Even just thinking about the whole concept has helped me :) x

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