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"Part 4 - Unlocking Deep Health: Exploring Gretchen Rubin's 'The Happiness Project' Secrets"

Part 4 brings us to another point on Gretchen's Secrets of Adulthood list, from her book "The Happiness Project", that is a common conversation with folks. Especially in our world of social media, information overload and ALWAYS comparing ourselves with others...

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

Regular readers of the Zen Blog may already be nodding their heads, as this is a familiar tone to the blog here. You'll find various posts past and future on this topic. This point on Gretchen's list is one of those things that when we think about it and realize the power in this, we begin to see it everywhere in our daily life, our mindset and we start to catch ourselves in that "all or nothing" or "perfectionist" trap.

"Perfect" isn't real. Why do I say that? Because "Perfect" is different for everyone. It's like art. I could look at an amazing painting and be in awe of it for so many reasons and it speaks to my soul. To me, it's so perfect! A client could look at the same painting and think "meh" and walk away in two seconds. This is the same with music, a poem, a book or movie, a project you did at work or home... "Perfect" isn't a thing.

Perfectionism to me is one of those examples of how too much of a good thing can work against us. Balance, as we love to coach here at Zenergy, is where most of us thrive. Trying to do the absolute best you can, at whatever you're doing, is a GOOD quality. It means you care. That's good! BUT, when that leads you to not accepting anything less than perfect, it begins to now work out of your favour as the "inner beat down" builds time and time again.

The voice inside our head is (for most of us) our toughest critic, a bully and is completely holding many of us back from thriving in health and life:

-We second guess ourselves

-We think everything has to be done perfectly (especially in the modern society)

-We think that everything has to be hard, extravagent or Instagram worthy (or it's not worth doing/trying)

-We think we have to do everything. Period. Or else we "fail".

-We think that if we didn't do it like someone else, "I must suck!"

It's holding many people back from achieving deep health and lifestyle THEY choose for themselves.

I see it on a regular basis in my coaching.

How can we get out of this mode?

It's going to take time and it's a practice! We've discussed many times here on the blog how what we do most, is what we become good at. When you're practicing the perfectionist / all-or-nothing thinking, you're getting GOOD AT IT. Therefore, it's going to take time to move out of that mindset. Especially because you've probably been thinking like this for years or even decades right?

I've had discussions with so many people over my career who can't see the GOOD they ARE doing, because it's not "perfect" or "ideal" OR "the way they thought it would go". The sad part as well, is that their view of "perfect" or "ideal" isn't actually coming from within their own mind; it's often coming from social media, something they read or from someone else / something someone said. That "inner bully" kicks in and we completely miss the GOOD that IS HAPPENING. It's really unfortunate. It's like somebody missing the best goal of the playoffs, the biggest play of the game or a legendary performance on stage by their favourite artists because their mind is distracted elsewhere. Total Bummer!!!

Here's a few things we coach our clients with to help begin to practice so that the notion of "perfect" doesn't cloud THE GOOD....

-Practice 5-min actions. Rather than "doing it all" (or doing nothing), take an action that is 5-min or a bit less, that moves you just a little bit closer to what you're trying to accomplish.

-Little and often. We overlook the power of "little and often over the long haul". Wonderful minds in the Health & Wellness industry such as Dan John, Dr Greg Wells and 'Coach D' (see what I did there?) are big proponents of this approach. The bonus: It's much easier to take action when you approach things this way, and WAY LESS STRESSFUL.

-Find your Bright Spots. A powerful little exercise is to allow yourself time each day to think about your "bright spots". What small thing(s) were done today that were GOOD, that were a little closer to what you're trying to accomplish, that made YOU FEEL GOOD inside and/or out.

When you PRACTICE looking at the GOOD vs "perfect" you may be surprised at how less stressful your health practices become! It's VERY REFRESHING - I speak from personal experience.


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