4 Steps to Overcome Perfectionism


Ever heard the phrase “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good’? Well, I want to talk to you today about why perfectionism can hold us back and what you can do about it.


I have a lot of clients who go about their diets in an all or nothing fashion. These people tend to take most of their lives in absolutes. Either you will see them at the gym 6 days per week or you won’t see them for months. They will eat only carrots or have ALL the cake. You know who I am talking about, or you might be one of them. That is OK. I am not saying this makes you a failure I am saying that we need to acknowledge our tendencies and move forward from there.


When you work in absolutes you end up missing out a lot on life. You have very high highs and very low lows. I want you to find a middle ground. Be able to have a slice of cake but not feel that you have to eat the whole thing or nothing at all (unless of course there is an intolerance). Learn that if you take a day off from the gym that does not mean you won’t get pull ups but don’t stay away for a week or two, find that balance.


Too often we start comparing ourselves to others. So-and-so hit a back squat at 500lbs, so-and-so cooks for his/her family every day, so-and-so never eats desserts and I only eat desserts, etc. We let perfectionism stop us in our tracks. Isn’t squatting (even air squatting) in a day better than not squatting at all? Isn’t cooking once per week better than never cooking at all? Friendly competition is good but self-deprecating thoughts will derail your health and fitness journey.


So how do we start enjoying our life while still getting the most out of it? Follow these steps to stop living your life in absolutes and just start living your life!


1) Take a step back and realize what you have accomplished. Yes, give yourself some POSITIVE feedback. This positivity will fuel you going forward and after all you are unique and pretty dang awesome.


2) Start where you are with what you have. Stop comparing yourself to anyone but yourself, you are your own unique self and that’s what is so amazing!


3) Set goals. I’ve said this before and will probably continue to say it, we ALL need goals to keep us motivated. Set up some goals (ask one of the coaches if you need help) and reevaluate them monthly to see what you have accomplished and what you need to be working on, this will keep things in perspective.


4) Relax, Have Fun and Laugh! Yes that’s right, you are allowed to have fun in life! One of my favorite quotes from Charlie Chaplin is “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” I laugh a lot, and most of the time it’s at/with myself, it makes the hard times easier and the good times better! If you miss a goal or start heading back to your absolutes take a deep breath, refocus and smile, because you are worth it!


If you get lost, start over by stepping away from it all and realizing all you have accomplished! Live your life to the fullest not just in fully on or off.




Karen Southwick