The Perfectionist Trap
 
Are you sabotaging your own success?
 
You may think that having very high standards leads to success but, I know first hand how the "curse" of perfectionism can backfire and destroy your progress. 
 
How 5 Words Changed My Life 
 
My mom and dad believed in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. My mom worked her way up the ranks in a retail chain by working 10-12 hours a day. My dad worked 24-hour days several days a week as a firefighter and part-time as a security guard. They were both superheroes to me. Mom because she was making career moves in a male-dominated field and my dad for his tenacity and bravery. Although I admired their character and work ethic, there were times that I wished their occupations were different.

With such hectic work schedules, my parents couldn’t attend many recitals, plays, band performances or field trips. The demands of their jobs just didn’t allow it. Every once in awhile, they would work something out and arrange to come, but life often got in the way. I knew they loved me and I somewhat appreciated how hard they had to work to keep a roof over my head, but secretly I longed for more of their time and attention.  

I was determined to find a way to create a better life without having to work as long and hard as my parents. A degree in business was the first step, but I had to successfully navigate high school first. 

Academics came relatively easy to me with the exception of one subject - math. I managed to do okay in geometry, but Algebra II kicked my butt! I was usually able to get my homework done before I left school, but not with this class. I had to actually take my book home and pour over it for hours to make any form of progress. Somehow, someway I would come up with answers but they were, shall we say creative answers, way off-base. I would get papers back and see all of these red marks - a first for me. I knew I was in trouble but didn’t know much until the first 9 weeks was up and it was time for report cards.  

“A, A, B, A, C...wait, C???” I had never gotten a C on a report card before and I was devastated. But that wasn’t the worst part. I knew I had to show my report card to my parents and I had a feeling that they would be just as upset as I was. Boy, was I right! 

“What happened with the C?” The five words that changed my life. The A's, and B's, were acknowledged, but only after a long discussion about the C and that prioritization unintentionally sent a VERY clear message to me. Anything less than a B equals not good enough. I didn’t realize it at the time but I internalized that message and started connecting my worth with my performance and the perfectionist in me was born. 

From that point on, in my mind, even a minor loss was synonymous with being a loser. Whenever I didn’t perform perfectly at work, in school, or in a relationship, feelings of failure and inadequacy were sure to follow. Once again, I didn’t measure up. I let someone down. Something was missing. I was incomplete. In my desperate attempt to avoid such feelings, I shut myself out from much of the world. I was a prisoner of my own thoughts.  

I became a very successful quitter. I was successful because I generally only took high percentage shots. Now that didn’t mean that if I took a shot, I thought that I was guaranteed a victory, but rather that I believed I was capable of accomplishing the task. Whenever I doubted my ability, my modus operandi was to abandon ship. I became very good at evading any situation that would pose a risk to my self-image and psyche.

- I made it to business school but was ready to switch majors when I got my first “F”...
- I wanted to give up on my dream of going to grad school after getting a denial letter...  
- After a string of bad relationships, I quit thinking I deserved better and settled for guys that treated me like trash....  
- When I did meet a decent guy, I broke up with him at the first sign of difficulty rather than risk him leaving me and…. 
- I quit on my dream of losing weight because I hated feeling like a big old failure every time I messed up...

My perfectionist tendencies jump kept popping up everywhere I went and threatened to keep me from having the life and body I really wanted.  

I wasn’t until I learned to strive for excellence, not perfection, that things began to turn around for me.  

- 6 big promotions  
- Salary more than doubled
- Earned my MBA
- Became a certified fitness professional and health coach
- Started my own business
- Published a book

and lost over 100 pounds and kept it off (9 years and counting!) without being perfect.
1
Are your perfectionist tendencies getting in the way of the life you really want?  
 
Do you...

- Use absolute words like "good" or "bad" to describe foods and your eating habits?
- Keep putting off starting your weight loss plan until a certain day (like Monday) or time (when things slow down)? 
- Say “what’s the use?” when you only have 10 minutes to dedicate to your 30-minute workout?   
- Hide less healthy food choices from your accountability partner? 
- Give up after making an unhealthy food choice or skipping one or two workouts?  
- Go to extremes (no bread or pasta, no sugar, two-a-day workouts, etc.) but soon get tired and quit?  
- Give up when the scale does not validate that you have made progress? 
- Constantly battle feelings of failure and guilt for not getting better results?  

If you answered YES to more 4 or more of these questions, you need my “Perfectionist’s Guide to Weight Loss.”
 
In it you will learn:  

- How to stop short-circuiting your progress with unrealistic expectations.
- 8 simple steps you can take now to salvage your future through the power of choice.
- Practical ways to silence “the voice” that seeks to protect you but really sets you up for failure, every time.
- Techniques to reprogram your brain to see the best in you rather than the worst in you.
 
Let 2017 be the year that you release the idea of being perfect. It's not attainable, and quite frankly, it's not even necessary. I had to learn this the hard way. Thankfully, you don't have to repeat my mistakes. 
 
My "Perfectionist's Guide to Weight Loss" is a proven system that can be customized for where you are right now in your health and wholeness journey plus it doesn't require you to be perfect.    
 
Get my "Perfectionist's Guide to Weight Loss" and Finally Get Out of Your Own Way and On with Achieving Your Goals!
 
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