Ok everyone, this is a more personal post. It’s about perfectionism. It’s about competing with yourself. It’s about self judgment. And in an attempt to leave each of those behind, if only for a short amount of time, I am writing this blog post in 20 minutes.
There’s one area in my life that’s a great example of how I compete with myself, judge myself and get perfectionistic. It’s a tough one to talk about. It’s exercise.
My weight has always fluctuated. I’d get into really good habits about eating well and working out, but then I’d fall off somehow. Then I’d get into a habit of saying YOLO anytime the idea of skipping a workout or getting some ice cream occurred to me. And back and forth.
Lately, I’ve been in a good habit phase. My goal has been to be honest and recognize how I’m thinking about myself and my behavior in this upswing. And I’ve noticed some bizarre stuff.
I should note, I don’t mean bizarre in a judgmental way (Side note to this side note: in Word, a synonym of ‘judgmental’ is ‘hypocritical.’). Nope. I mean, I have thoughts and feelings coming up I in NO way believe or even really care about. But they’re affecting me.
Things like, “If I don’t improve my running time every time I hit the treadmill, I’m never going to exercise again.” Things like, “Do I look more in shape than I did last night?” And even things like, “I should post my mile time on social media?!”
This is my perfectionism. If it’s not PERFECT, it’s POINTLESS. Again, I don’t actually believe this – but it’s what my brain is telling me.
Perfectionism is often touted as a positive trait. You must do a good job at what you do! Right? Not necessarily. There’s a negative side of perfectionism, too. It’s the self-judgment and other-judgment that ironically, actually prevents you from doing the good job you SO want to do!
So, tomorrow, I’m not going to run. On purpose. To prevent myself from keeping that perfect record of running X amount of days in a row. To deal with the consequences of not being perfect.
I’m not saying everything is fixed or is going to be fixed. But it’s a small step (or seat?) I’m taking to be less perfect.
Anyone else struggle with perfectionism?