When you’re an incredibly driven person, small mistakes and setbacks can easily be blown way out of proportion in your mind and feel catastrophic.
These “‘imperfect” situations can cause anxiety and stress. It can be hard to get back on the horse and continue with what you started when you feel like you’ve already failed.
When you find yourself in an imperfect situation, embrace the opportunity as a learning experience and try taking a different perspective.
Set Reasonable Expectations
In the chase for perfection, we sometimes completely restrict ourselves of simple pleasures.
For example, food at social gatherings. Rather than completely restricting food, try adopting smaller goals to improve your experience.
“I will eat the leanest options available,” “I will share a dessert,” or “I will have only one glass of wine.”
Setting goals with achievable outcomes creates healthy boundaries and forces you out of that “all or nothing” mentality. It also helps develop healthy habits, not restrictive ones.
You’d be surprised how many small things you accomplish in one day when you let yourself focus on them.
Hitting your macros, having a productive training session or receiving a compliment are accomplishments.
Rather than waiting for that big achievement to happen, which might take a long time, celebrate the small accomplishments regularly.
Acknowledge them by writing them down, telling your coach or sharing it with your partner. Let these small wins be what drives you to your next ones.
Find the Positives
We’re taught to always find room for improvement. This means we focus on negatives often and forget to look at the positives that are around us each day.
It starts with a positive thought: You worked hard at the gym and hit your macros every day this week!
Then comes the negative: you didn’t see the overall drop on the scale that you wanted.
Positives are sitting right under your nose all the time. Make an effort to focus on them every single day.
Be a Friend to Yourself
You wouldn’t tell your friends that their efforts have no merit. If you did they wouldn’t hang around you.
If you encourage and help your friends to find the positives in what they’re doing, why would you not encourage yourself, too?
Accept That You Can’t Control Everything
Sometimes circumstances change and are out of your control. Perfectionism can be crippling during this time and it can make you want to procrastinate and give up.
When plans go down the drain, try to re-focus on making the best decision you can with what you have.
Proving to yourself that you can pull through and regain control when things don’t go according to plan is a positive, an accomplishment and an opportunity for growth.
Let Go & Move On
Ok, your day didn’t go perfectly. Don’t let this mishap control your future. It doesn’t have to seep through into the evening, tomorrow and the whole week if you can learn to move on.
Take a deep breath and look forward to the hours ahead of you. Regain control by planning for whatever comes next. Before you know it, you’ll be back on track and your issues of the past will stay back there, in the past.
We’ve included a few smart phone backgrounds for you to download, to continuously remind you of letting go of perfectionism and embracing life’s beautiful imperfections.