We have an illness in our society, and I’m sure that your wheels are already turning as to what illness I am talking about, but the one I am going to blog about today is PERFECTIONISM. I find it to be pervasive in our culture, from the need to have perfect children, perfect families, perfect houses, host perfect parties, to the need to have our kids go to perfect schools, especially a handful of elite colleges and universities, and of course, there is the focus on perfect bodies for men and women, finding the perfect diet, doing our jobs perfectly, having perfect hair (hence the term “bad hair day”), looking perfectly within weeks of delivering a baby, oh yeah, and let’s not forget going on the perfect vacation! No doubt social media has made our obsession with perfectionism even more obsessive, but the thing I find most interesting, the concept of PERFECTION is rigid – it is a fixed concept that has no true meaning because if you really break it town, it is all about someone else’s perception. Nothing and no one is truly perfect. Plus, if your model your life based on someone else’s idea of perfection, it becomes inauthentic.
I have been so fortunate to learn from some of the greatest minds in the fitness industry, some people whom I consider to be brilliant in my field. To be truly brilliant, you have to be humble and curious, your brain needs to be able to flex in thought, it needs to be able to really grasp foreign concepts and integrate them into what you already know, or to take them and create a whole new process. How do you do something better (a flexible concept) if what you are going for is perfection (a rigid concept)? You see, to be our best version of ourself, we have to challenge what we know to be true today, but the problem with that in a society that has become somewhat toxic in its perfectionism, is when we strive to do better, be better, challenge what we currently know, then we have to own that what we know to be true today may not be the right way or “perfect way”. Our need to be “right” is a byproduct of our unwillingness to own our faults (be comfortable in our imperfections). As a society, we have become defensive and toxic in our need to be right. Being “right” is certainly more marketable, but being “right” has created an unhealthy level of defensiveness that is constipating our growth. You certainly see this in politics and in the business sector, but I feel like it has filtered into our everyday lives, our relationships, the parenting of our kids, the way be treat others.
So where does this perfectionism originate? I believe it begins with FEAR, fear of not being good enough, fear of disappointing someone, fear of not measuring up, fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear of finding out everything you were taught is wrong, fear of losing the things we love most. But to really be able to grow, learn, and be our most brilliant, we must make peace with our fears and embrace what we fear the most.
If you want to change your body, first make peace with the one you have, including all its imperfections and honor it for everything it has given you so far. Then, decide that you are worthy of looking and feeling your best and make small changes accordingly. But make sure that you are saying the mantra to yourself everyday, “I am worthy of looking and feeling my best.”
I also challenge you to really listen to others this week, try to learn as much as you can from those around you, try to challenge your own opinions, thoughts and ideas. We all only know what we have been taught and experienced up until this present moment in time, so how could we not have more to learn??
At the end of the day ask yourself what went well and what could be improved upon. This can also be a great exercise to do at the end of the week, write down the 5 things you think went really well and the 5 things you want to work on the following week. We need to remain flexible to evolve. We need to keep our thoughts flexible and mobile just like our bodies.
I am thinking about running 3 weeks of skills and conditioning camps for teens this summer. The camps would be for teens approximatly13-15 years old (entering 8-10th grades) who are not playing their sport in the summer and want to improve their skills and keep up with their conditioning. I would be splitting the kids up based on their primary sport, so they would be grouped by sport. You could sign your teen up for one or more sessions. We will also cover nutrition, sleep, mental strategies, and breathing. Please let me know if this is something your teen would be interested in.
If you need a Spring goal, one of my favorites is signing up for a fun race! The Big Bear Run at Menlo-Atherton High School is coming up on May 3rd, and is a super fun 5K, low key, and a great family event. If you are interested in signing up, please go to http://www.m-aboosters.org/big-bear-run.
We have a full week of classes this week. I will be gone next week, April 20th – 24th, so there will be no group classes that week. If you are coming to class, please sign up online at www.stellafit.com. You will need to purchase a class card if you do not have one on file. If you currently have one on file, please go ahead and email me if you are coming to class.
Hope to see you all this week.