“Healthy striving is self-focused: “How can I improve?” Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?” — Brene Brown
When it comes to creating and maintaining healthy habits, it’s easy to focus on some elusive ideal. Last week we mentioned weight but there are other ideals we strive for such as the perfect healthy meals, perfect looking body, and perfect eating kids.
As Brene Brown eludes to in her quote, what’s really behind perfectionism is worrying about what others think. When it’s the driver of healthy habits, there’s a stress and worry that goes with them. And for others, perfectionism demotivates, resulting in a giving up when the first sign of trouble rears its ugly head.
But continually trying to improve or what Brown calls “healthy striving” not only makes the road more enjoyable, we stop worrying about what people think. And then we are able to make real-life progress that actually feels good and is achievable. We see the little improvements instead of being disappointed by not reaching the big milestones. And the best part is we no longer beat ourselves up when things go wrong. No, we learn from setbacks.
So this week, let’s be mindful of the progress we are making towards our health goals and how we can gradually add to that. How does perfectionism — and worrying about what others think — keep us from creating a healthy and happy life?