Are You Striving for Perfection? It’s an Illusion

Close to the end of a yoga class, the teacher challenged us to hold our headstands for three minutes. Traditionally, headstands are held for 10 to 25 breaths and this usually equals to 1.5 minutes of being upside down for me. Many of us wobbled, while a few of us toppled over and attempted the pose again. The teacher must have seen many of us struggle so she simply said “mental tenacity”.  

Whether you feel stuck making career decisions, tiny or big, it’s normally your own thoughts and beliefs that get in the way. Feeling paralyzed and unbalanced, or fearing the unknown usually lies within assumptions and stories that we’ve told ourselves.

I could NEVER do that!

What will people think of me?

I’m not good enough. 

What if I fail?

I find that the best opportunities can come from times of uncertainty if we allow it. You’ll likely need to overcome some form of insecurity, anxiety, and maybe even physical symptoms. My body usually sends me signals like not allowing me to sleep, a lack of appetite or my throat feeling tight when my head is telling me to say ‘yes’ to something that my heart is telling me to say ‘no’ to. And this is usually paired with the negative voice in my head telling me that ‘I’m not good enough’. 

Notice what you’re feeling when you’re faced with many choices. Observe your inner voice. 

When you’re unsure of what to do next, here are some questions to reflect on:

  • What’s the significance of what you’re feeling?

  • What’s most important to you right now?

  • How open are you to take a beginner’s mindset to learn?

Many times, when I’m feeling stuck I write down my thoughts or speak to a trusted advisor. After venting about a difficult situation my friend said to me “... Ami, you don’t just beat yourself down. You drag yourself through the mud a few a times, but you’d never do that to a friend”. She was right. It’s easy for me to lend a gentle voice to others, however, harshness prevails when I look at my own situations. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I’m still reminding myself that it’s ok to experiment. We’re forever editing our lives as we evolve and grow. There’s no ‘right way’ to approach a difficult situation. 

ACTION: Remember to check your assumptions. Try to take a beginner's mindset when viewing your situation to see what new perspectives you may gain.