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The secret to weight loss success stop trying to be perfect

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Perfectionism can be a huge contributor to weight loss struggles, as it can cause immense pressure and unrealistic expectations. It’s important to recognize this issue so that you can start taking steps to overcome it. This topic has been on my radar and list for a long time and I’m so grateful to have found Dr. Menije. 
Dr. Menije is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, CA. She is a leading expert on overcoming perfectionism and building an authentic life. Her goal is to create a community where you can all unlearn Perfectionism and start our journey of embracing imperfections and owning our enoughness. 
If you went back in time, would you think you were a perfectionist? 
The answer is just NO! A lot of us grew up with all of these expectations that others had for us.  “You have to be successful; you have to be a good student, you have to be healthy, you have to be available to your family members, you have to be loyal and be a helpful human being.” Part of the reason perfectionism goes unnoticed is that it hides behind healthy, relationship needs or healthy life goals, but what makes perfectionism different is its incredibly excessive.  
I suffered from the consequences of my perfectionism, and often times It would manifest itself as anxiety for me, it was a lot of guilt and wondering who I was disappointing.  It left a sense of uneasiness and guilt, wondering what the heck was wrong.  
Many parents, unwittingly, put some of their expectations on their children. My child is going to fulfill the dreams I was unable to fulfill!  Breaking that generational cycle is very important so all of us can do a little work on ourselves so that we are not modeling perfectionism to our children.   
And this comes back to how we define perfectionism, that is again the trap here. Many of us think perfectionism is simply me doing my best. A good friend who is ALWAYS available and never gets a sick day off.  
Be honest with yourself and write down on paper what your definition of perfectionism is. Whatever ends up on that paper, be willing to objectively look at it and ask yourself and ask is true.  Perfectionism is not the same as me doing my best.  Do you feel burnt out trying your best. Our understanding of perfectionism is not healthy for a lot of us.   
A lot of people listening have to nitpick at every part of their life because it is what they were essentially taught to do.  
If I let go of my perfectionism, I am going to have zero goals and not achieve anything!  
I hear this so many times.  Perfectionism can be this belief system where people think things are black and white, all or nothing.  This is simply not true.  Perfectionism is not the same as wanting to achieve goals. It is actually on your way to achieving goals. It’s you thinking that if you are anything less than that goal or less than 100 then all of the efforts that it took to get at least a part of the way towards the goals needs to be disregarded, dismissed, and/or minimized.  That is the toxicity of perfectionism.  It’s not about achieving or not achieving a goal, it’s about once you don’t achieve that goal, the way that you dismiss all your efforts, the way that you are blinded by not achieving that outcome and not seeing anything else that has gone well.  Ultimately what Sally does is then SHAME herself and say I AM A FAILURE, I AM LAZY. I AM USELESS, I am not focused, and not disciplined enough. And we start to focus on that something that we think is missing in ourselves that we are not worthy of this goal…  
It’s not about letting go of those goals. It’s about HOW we approach those goals.  
As you continue to work on certain goals for yourself, you cannot neglect rest, you cannot forget to celebrate the small wins, and celebrating yourself is non-negotiable. It has nothing to do with the goal, it is instead everything else that comes with achieving that goal that makes perfectionism so unhealthy and toxic.  Helping ourselves celebrate who we are becoming as we achieve a goal is so important! And I think that is such a freedom to say I am not what I accomplish. I am who I am practicing as I’m accomplishing those things like that. That, motivation, that self-compassion, there are so many other things we become as we achieve this goal that has to be looked at!  
Who am I becoming… and the process. 
Habits drive everything. Habits are important because it describes the process.  So many of us skip past the process.  You may achieve something on the 100th time you try it, and you cannot forget it took you 99 mistakes to get to that 100. Validating the process and growth is an important part of the conversation and shift in our mindset.  
We really need to redefine things and change the way we are looking at things.  
What are some of the ways that I would start to break free of this?  
I really hope these kinds of conversations help people gain new insight into what perfectionism is and start to ask questions. One way you can look into it deeper is to Identify how it shows up in your life.  No shortcuts here, so you have to start to write things down. What time in the day did you feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, uneasy, or irritable?   Document what was happening around that situation. 
Another way to overcome perfectionism is self-compassion. You have to give yourself a sense of empathy. And understanding that you have been trying to do things perfectly, it may have come across as a bit controlling and hard to negotiate with, but it comes from a place of wanting everything to be perfect, so it was good for everyone.  
Compassion, empathy, understanding, and forgiveness.  – You can have self-accountability WITH compassion.  
Self-compassion is so under-utilized because we are SOO hard on ourselves.  Our internal dialogue is very abusive. This is a form of self-abuse. You are talking to yourself in an abusive manner that is degrading and devaluing your overall being, and worthiness and it needs to stop. You wouldn’t let someone else say those things to you right? So don’t say them to yourself!  
So many of us get caught up in our cycles of good enough so that maybe that perfectionism keeps us from 1) Starting something – and here is the laundry list of things I have to do to get started.  Or 2) You did something and didn’t get the results you wanted so you are seeking the perfect thing to get you over the top.  
Understand that perfectionism can show up so differently.  
Most of the time we talk about people who want to have control over everything.  But we also see perfectionists being the biggest procrastinator, indecisive, and delaying decisions. The underlying belief is if it’s not going to be perfect, it’s not worth starting today. It also leads to that analysis paralysis.  Or if you start something, you can’t finish it because midway you haven’t progressed the way you wanted to. For a perfectionist, there are a lot of missed opportunities because of the fear of taking a chance, the fear of trying something. But also, perfectionists only like to do the things they like to do really well. So, they miss those opportunities.   
I see it all the time with my clients. They’ve been dieting the same way for 15 years. And their body knows what you are going to do to them. You have to do something different. And the fear of trying something different and taking a different turn is freaking paralyzing! And this is one of the places where people don’t think that they’re being a perfectionist because you only do what you know the outcome to be.  But they are being perfectionists!  
Fear of doing things imperfectly. 
Sometimes doing things perfectly is the expectation people have about the pace of how they do things, and perfectionists expect themselves to do these things quite fast. Fast and smooth… And if they don’t do these things fast, it’s imperfect or a failure.  
You have to do what works for you, not get stuck on what you have been told you SHOULD do. Where you are in life, what will be the most authentic thing for you?  
Try to connect with what will be most practical for you.  
None of this conversation is about delaying achieving goals or neglecting goals, it goes back to a conversation of being a more loving, compassionate, and peaceful experience for you. NOT the, I hate myself experience or the self-abusive conversations you have with yourself. Once you know that achieving or falling short of your goals is no indication of how capable you are of achieving them, how deserving you are of achieving them, and how you HAVE WHAT IT TAKES to achieve your goals, you will no longer fall for that trap.  YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES!  This is about tapping more into self-trust and less self-doubt.   
How much of the self-doubt comes from when we compare ourselves to other people?  
We compare ourselves in a way to make us feel inadequate, unworthy, or incapable.  I have a love/hate relationship with social media because you see other podcasters and they have this beautiful studio, and I’m over here in my office, talking into a box with some egg crates!  It is what it is! But the beauty is that this doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to do and what I love to do. And I really think that’s also what authenticity and overcoming perfectionism is allowing the experience to be what it is.  Try not to compare it and try not to have these specific visions of what it has to look like because then we limit ourselves and we limit ourselves to what we’re familiar with, and never explore outside of that! 
No one wants to look back to when we were 80 and think about all the things they could have done. Some of the things you are trying are NOT scary. Separate what is the real threat. What are the threats my doubts have created? What is a threat my fears have created? If you listen to those limitations, we are going to be so STUCK in a place we do not want to be.  And over time this is when things will catch up to you. Eventually your life doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t feel magical, but it doesn’t feel fulfilling. And THIS is why we need to have this conversation NOW.  
What is one thing that makes you feel magical?  
This is something I try every single day. Which is being my imperfect self! Doing this makes me feel magical! 
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