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Let Go of “Perfect”!

I'm always laughing at myself. If we can’t laugh at our own imperfections, what can we laugh about?! Perfection isn't the goal!

If you can't laugh, reflect, strategise and move on.

Perfection Isn’t the Goal

I've started plenty of 'challenges' and set tonnes of New Year resolutions in the past, only to hit a small stumbling block and then just give up! It didn't matter what I'd achieved already, the fact I'd 'slipped up' just once meant I felt defeated and gave up.

That is the danger of an all-or-nothing attitude. It simply doesn’t work. Needless to say, I've changed my mindset and how I set my goals now, with far better outcomes!

Do you know that it took Thomas Edison over a thousand tries to invent the light bulb? What if he had just quit after his 988th attempt? We’d all be sitting in the dark!

Steven Spielberg was rejected from The University of Southern California school of theatre three times! If he’d quit following his dreams after all that rejection, we wouldn’t have the movies Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, ET or Schindler’s List...among many others! What a shame that would be!

Embrace Your Imperfections

Here’s a question for you: if you’re running a 5K like the 'Race For Life' (A popular UK Based charity run) and your shoe comes untied, do you quit the race?

Take a step back and look at your life and goals in the context of that ridiculous question. You may not run the perfect race that day, but so what? You’re not perfect! And it’s OK! Neither is the person next to you. When your shoelace comes untied, you adjust. You kneel or sit down and tie your shoe up and then you keep going until you cross the finish line.

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." -Marilyn Monroe

When we embrace our imperfections we go into the process knowing that we may stumble. That way, when we do make a mistake, we don’t feel the shame that leads us to want to quit. Why? Because we knew stumbles were to be expected along the path to our goal.

Three Things Happen When You Release Yourself From Perfection:

First, you become less obsessed, and when you become less obsessed, you can achieve your goals more easily.

Next, you start making better choices. Let’s say you’re trying to eat healthier. For most of us, restrictive diets are impossible. We inevitably eat something that’s not on the 'plan', feel like a failure and quit the whole thing. Admit it - you've done that, I know I have! Then we don’t start eating healthily again until we have another wedding coming up or lunch with a new partner or a trip to the beach. For some people, it may even take a major health scare to force change, which in my public healthcare role I see all too often.

If you can release yourself from the need to be perfect, then you begin to realise that a cookie is just a cookie. Eating it doesn’t make you 'bad' or mean that you deserve a life sentence of shame. Embrace your imperfections and make it right with the very next bite. If you're going to eat the cookie, enjoy the cookie, savour every last crumb and move on.

Lastly, you’ll free yourself up to get to an even higher standard and level of success. Instead of beating yourself up all the time because you’re not perfect, you will celebrate your small wins along the way. If you're not already doing this, start now. It's SO important!

Stop Setting Yourself Up for Failure

We’re not perfect! So why do we keep setting ourselves up for failure by trying to be? You are only human and you are enough.

Imagine a life when you can lay your head on the pillow every night and reflect back on the day feeling positive about your accomplishments instead of defeated because you didn’t do everything perfectly? I get great joy knowing I had a B+ score at the end of the day for whatever behaviours and accomplishments I'm tracking.

So, are you a perfectionist? There's a really useful information sheet HERE all about what perfectionism is if you're interested. If you need help with perfectionism, and you feel like you need to talk to a registered therapist about this, then contact your local health service, GP/MD or other local registered healthcare professional to find out what is available to you. If, however, you are not requiring professional help with this and are keen to explore changing habits slowly, changing behaviours gradually and working on your weight loss and lifestyle goals, then come and talk to me. Just send me an email at

Please note: This article is intended to be for educational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice or replace professional assessment or personalised advice.

I do not hold responsibility for the information on any links to external websites within this article and information within these links/websites may change at any time or no longer be accessible. Any website pages/links added are also for education purposes only.

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