Thursday, January 21, 2016

Resolutions

Every year, without fail or second thought, my news year’s resolution has always been to lose weight. This year however, I can only resolve to being healthy. Pregnancy doesn’t really lend itself to more than that because I am pretty sure I am not about to lose weight anytime soon (ice cream/baby in utero problems).

Lately, and maybe because of all the extra hormones floating around in my body, I have felt really depressed. This to me seems almost ridiculous, as it should be one of the happiest times in my life. This feeling isn’t all new to me though. I think I have dealt with bouts of depression for most of my life and this is yet another wave. Lately, I have started to realize how these depressed feelings really affect not only me but also the relationships I have with other people. For years and years I have strived to be perfect in many ways and have expected the same in return. It has been such a hindrance to say the very least.

I read an article the other day about ways to ditch perfectionism and it resonated with me more than therapy ever did. So I thought I’d share!

The article talked about how perfectionism is a trait associated with fear, and is seen in individuals with avoidant, dependent, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. All of which are driven by anxiety or worry.

Having a full time job, being a wife and momma, keeping a house hold a float, being a good friend or just person in general all while looking good is tough. Its tough and overwhelming when you have the mentality that it all has to be done perfectly.

The article gave 5 reasons to ditch perfectionism. I thought they were relatable and could serve as replacement resolutions to the all to familiar weight loss one and possibly help pull me out of the slump I’ve been feeling. I picked a few I liked most and shared below.

 

Shine!

If in fact we were perfect, what would that mean? That we’d never make a mistake? That we never did anything different from the status quo? I’m not sure what that would look like, and quite frankly, it sounds a little scary (think Stepford Wives). When we harbor perfectionistic tendencies, our anxiety makes us cautious, and this can be reinforcing if we succeed in avoiding mistakes. But at the same time, we also suppress unique aspects of ourselves, those qualities that cause us to shine or stand out. Let’s say we both desire to own similar business. If we are true to ourselves, your business and mine would certainly be different. Otherwise, we’d be offering the same exact services in the same exact way, and that would be most uninteresting. Our idiosyncrasies and faults are what distinguish us from others.

 

I find it really hard and uncomfortable to be myself around people. So one of my goals would be to try harder or maybe try less and genuinely be myself-who I really am rather than acting in ways I think I am expected to act. I’d also like to stop being anxious to please people (the overbearing friend who says yes to everything…ya that’s me) because I feel like in trying to please others, I am most of the time not myself.

 

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Reduce Anxiety

We may be predisposed to certain disorders based upon our genetic make-up, our psychological functioning, and our environment. While the desire to be perfect may not be a disorder per se, it can develop into an anxiety disorder if it isn’t addressed. The constant barrage of needing to be perfect, being fearful of failure, and feeling too anxious to try new things is taxing, and saps our emotional energy. We must be kind to ourselves with healthy and accurate thoughts even when it feels counter intuitive to do so because this is what brings peace of mind.

 

Change how I think….. “ While it is difficult to change the way we feel, it is relatively easy to change our thoughts.”

 

 

 

I picked a few fun books to add to my 2016 reading list that I thought might help change the way I “think.”

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) Mindy Kaling or any of her books for that matter!

The Spirit Junkie Gabrielle Bernstein

The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin

 

These “resolutions” or changes don’t seem unattainable with some effort and reading is one of my favorite things to do so what the heck!

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Does anyone struggle with the idea of perfectionism? How do you cope? And if anyone has read these books or has any suggestions on any good ones, I’d love to hear about them! Thanks for reading!

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