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Don’t Relinquish Your Perfectionist Tendencies – Establish New Standards Instead!

By T. Kari Mitchell April 18, 2022 Lifestyle

Any perfectionist queens in the house?

How many times have you been admonished to release your perfectionist tendencies? I’ve often taken this advice to heart, and with pride, declared, “Today, I’m relinquishing my perfectionist queen crown forever!”

But not so fast! Perfectionism has received a bad rap, and I urge you not to surrender your crown without careful consideration.

There is a principle of perfection at the center of all life. We see it in nature, we see it in music and the arts, and we witness it in our own experiences.

Why Does Perfectionism Evoke a Variety of Emotions?

Some people tend to shun perfection because it creates undue stress and unrealistic ideals. Others welcome it because it helps them up their game and manage criticisms. Self-awareness is key. Know how you feel about being perfect. That being said, in order to maintain a healthy balance in life, you must not compromise the high standards you set for yourself.

Perfectionism has its place in life. And because it’s a conscious choice, you have the power to establish your own standards for “practicing” this style of being. But realize that perfection doesn’t mean flawless.

To me, perfectionism implies the best possible action and result. But in striving for the best, sometimes we judge ourselves too harshly for falling short of self-imposed ideals. Instead of striving to be perfect all the time – in every situation – strive for excellence. Put your best foot forward.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

There may be situations in your life when you may want to take a perfectionist stance and times when you want to steer clear. But what are these situations? How do you determine when to raise the bar, and is there a way to strike a balance? I’m an idealist by nature. So what do I do to supervise my perfectionist tendencies and manage the negative consequences of excessive stress?

The Aspiring Perfectionist’s Solution to Creating Harmony

Embrace perfectionism – your highest ideal – in the areas in which you have complete authority, and release perfectionism in areas where you are more of a team player. Focus on your intention. Determine your own model of perfectionism and abide by your own guidelines.

My daily lifestyle practices warrant my stickler stance. Perhaps the following three suggestions may help you feel good about nurturing your inner idealist, as well.

Your Nutrition Plan

You have dominion over your plate. Being dedicated to a wellness routine that promotes longevity begins with fresh, wholesome, vitamin-rich meals. Make a conscious decision to avoid highly processed foods laden with fat, salt, sugar and preservatives.

An unwavering stance about your food will support every area of your life. My standard of perfection is eat healthily 90% of the time, then when I’m invited to a celebration, I grant myself a little latitude to sample special treats.

Your Rest and Relaxation Schedule

We need our rest to be our best. Are you getting your proper Zs? Establishing a consistent sleep schedule will help boost your brain performance and increase your chances of succeeding with daily tasks. The standard is eight hours of shuteye, but decide what’s best for you, and don’t deviate.

Rest includes quiet me-time. Be 100% faithful about your spiritual practices. I always say nature is my spiritual supplement. Spending time in natural settings refreshes my spirit and keeps me awake to new possibilities.

Other me-time favorites include morning devotionals, expressions of gratitude, meditation, and more. Consistency supports peace and harmony in your life. Decide what works for you and adhere to your commitment.

Your Fitness Routine

Why do you need to be religious about honoring an exercise schedule? Our bodies were meant to move, and devising a move-more plan will help keep them working properly. One hour of daily exercise reinforces the mind, body and spirit connection.

Mix things up by creating a plan for each day of the week. Do you like yoga, sports, dancing, walking, cycling, swimming, weight training, Pilates? A fun and sustainable scheme will bolster your impeccable personal pledge.

Your Relationships

Now let’s look closely where precision vision is not recommended – where flexibility and compassion are more favorable than perfectionism.

Nurturing loving relationships, keeping in touch with those we care about, and building new friendships are essential to enjoying a balanced life. However, you can’t hold others to the same standard you hold for yourself. Never try to change people or make them fit your mold. Cherish the beautiful qualities they possess and grow together.

What’s especially wonderful about relationships is they can teach you valuable lessons about yourself, because they are the “perfect” reflection of your inner spirit. Pay attention! However, imposing unrealistic expectations on friends and family can set you up for disappointments and dissolve the special bond you’ve created.

Your Life Mission

It’s great to hold fast to your dreams. However, dreams are closely linked to your life purpose and passions, and these are forever evolving. The key here is flexibility. Do you know the saying, “The journey is more important than the destination”?

Discovering your purpose in life is an ongoing process, which develops in stages. And the path is not always paved. In order to discover more about yourself, you must be willing to take risks and venture off into thorny territory.

Expect things to get a little messy. In other words, don’t expect every experience to be perfect. Allow yourself to be reborn multiple times – to become new over and over again.

And remember: We never get where we’re going without the support of others. Building strategic partnerships takes time. Everyone is not going to be a suitable match. Be thankful for all connections, and treasure those who support your dream.

Love yourself enough to know when to be perfect and when to bow out. Aspire to be victorious in specific areas where you have control and let go in areas that require collaboration. Focus on excellence.

Excellence requires a bit of dogged determination. You can’t approach critical areas of your life casually and haphazardly. In order to be successful in living your best life, you must be deliberate, steadfast and relentless.

Don your perfectionist queen crown with pride!

In what areas of your life have you donned your perfectionist crown? What do you think are the pros and cons of being a perfectionist?

Let's Have a Conversation!

The Author

T. Kari Mitchell (TK), founder of Lifestyle 120, is an Inspired Aging Motivational Speaker & Integrative Wellness Coach. TK is dedicated to helping mature women flourish. Her Sprout Your New Life course provides women with tools to reclaim their health, confidence, purpose, and power so they can rock their golden years. Connect with TK at tk@lifestyle120.com.

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