How many times have you committed to following a program perfectly, only to find yourself starting all over again…and again…and again?
Probably a lot, right?
You’re trapped in this cycle of ending and attempting—never actually getting anywhere. Never realizing your aspirations. And you’re fucking frustrated.
“If I could just get my shit together,” you think to yourself.
^^^ but this isn’t actually the problem.
The problem: you’re convinced anything less than perfect isn’t good enough. So when you fall short of the flawless expectations, you give up and restart later.
You’re going to mess up, babe. That’s reality. But those mess-ups aren’t the problem—believing your mess ups are keeping from your goals is the problem. As a recovering perfectionist, I get this is hard to conceptualize and release. But it’s critical if you want to affect real change.
So, here are two ways you can practice breaking up with it:
1. Instead of attaching to perfect action, get obsessed with taking ANY action: messy action, imperfect action, and above all, consistent action. Show up and do the work, even when it’s far from being perfect.
A habit is, at its core, an action taken so consistently it becomes nearly automatic. When ANYTHING is executed with frequency, every individual instance adds to the aggregate, but is by itself less important.
You don’t stress out over brushing your teeth, but it’s 100% the case you sometimes half ass it—what’s important is you’ve got good dental hygiene so your teeth don’t fall out of your head.
Same thing with anything else.
2. Reward yourself every time you take action—including the messy action, and especially when you wouldn’t have done it in the past.
If you stumble home drunk and still remember to brush your teeth, give yourself a high five.
Change is ALWAYS easier with positive feedback. Rewarding yourself for doing the hard thing when it’s hardest DESERVES some recognition. Those proverbial Gold Stars add up, building momentum.