Perfectionism is rampant these days. Society tells us we must be the perfect daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend. Magazines bombard us with “Top 10 Tips” to perfect our sex lives, dinner parties, and backsides. The message is coming loud and clear to women—you must be perfect.
Aspirations and goals are absolutely worthwhile, but pursuing them at all costs, never being happy until everything is just right, is a losing battle.
When striving for perfection, we lose site of the moment and forget how to appreciate things exactly as they are, for what they are.
This is especially harmful when it comes to our bodies and our body image. Fashion spreads and celebrity culture have set up an ideal woman which most of us simply will never be. (Yes, we can improve our bodies; however, we can’t grow another six inches!) We push, carve, and starve our bodies in an attempt to achieve this impossible standard, and most often all we get in return is feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, and failure. Here is what I know for sure: it does not have to be this way. There is only one form of perfection—imperfection. Let’s celebrate being “imperfect” bodies, because let’s face it, even Angelina has something she feels imperfect about. I just know it.
How much do you suffer from perfectionism?
This 10-Question Quiz will offer insight:
1. I often follow diet or exercise fads, convinced that there is a secret trick to getting the perfect body.
2. If I feel ugly or fat, I get anxious about being social or attending public outings.
3. My inner monologue is self-critical.
4. I often silently judge myself against other women—Is my hair that beautiful? Are my thighs that thin?
5. Even when I do feel good about my appearance, I worry about maintaining it and live in fear of gaining weight or getting out of shape.
6. I want to be in control. Situations out of my control feel unsafe and scary.
7. If I can’t do something well, I will give up rather than struggle through mediocrity.
8. I have a hard time admitting that I am wrong and would rather make excuses than accept responsibility.
9. I have a hard time seeing other perspectives; there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and that is that.
10. I am critical of my appearance and body, even in a joking or off-hand way, around my children and/or loved ones.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have perfectionist tendencies that are keeping you from being truly happy and healthy.
Hopes and dreams are good; beating yourself over anything less than one hundred percent is not.
Please consider reaching out and getting some support. No one has to suffer alone or be a victim of a thought system that bought the lie that you have to have a perfect body to be okay. In isolation, we wilt; in community, we thrive. There is so much support available in the world for just about every human problem there is, and this one is no exception. I invite you to learn how to transform your inner perfectionist into a force of love and good. Rest in knowing you are not alone.
Let’s use this Positively Positive community to seek support or lend advice. I invite you to share you thoughts and ask questions in the comments section.
Weight Release & Body Image Coach, Laura Fenamore, is on a mission to guide women around the world to love what they see in the mirror—one pinky at a time—so they can unlock the secrets to a healthy weight, and start loving their lives as soon as possible. Having overcome her own battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released over one hundred pounds twenty-four years ago, beginning her on a journey to guide other women to live more joyous, balanced lives. Laura believes that self-love and self-care is where the transformation begins. Learn more about Laura at OnePinky.com.
*Photo by mikecogh