Monday, January 23, 2017
“…if we want freedom from perfectionism, we have to make the long journey from “what will people think” to I am enough.” -Brene Brown
I’ve admitted before that I’m a recovering perfectionist and I’ve explained that Well Balanced eating is far from perfect. Today, I share with you why we should not strive for perfection when it comes to our bodies.
Perfectionism, not to be confused with self-improvement or striving for excellence, is a never ending struggle to please everyone in order to avoid discomfort. As Brene Brown defines it, perfectionism is a belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgement, and blame.
Body shaming is when we tell ourselves we are not good enough unless we have the perfect stomach, the perfect butt or the perfect hair. And if we don’t feel good enough, we tend to judge other people for not being perfect. Then when we are feeling bad about ourselves we blame someone or something for our imperfections.
What we must realize is that our worthiness does not have anything to do with what our bodies look like. I’ve battled with body shame recently, feeling too small and not girly enough. I’m not saying this for pity and definitely not to be judged, but to help us all understand that it is normal for us to feel a little uncomfortable about our bodies. We all fight the voices that tell us, if only I had ____, I would be _____. You can fill in the blanks.
It’s not that we can’t enjoy wearing make-up to feel beautiful or go to the gym to get a fitter body. The trouble is when we start associating our worth with those things.
Your homework: Listen to your inner critic and pay close attention to how much you believe and internalize the things she tells you. It’s important to be mindful of negative feelings but then to let them go, rather than clinging on to the negativity. When you hear your inner voice say things that you would never say to your daughter or your best friend, it is time to replace those thoughts with, “I am enough.”