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Posts Tagged ‘perfectionism’

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I have worked on living in FAITH for some years, but  now and again the ugly face of FEAR shows itself. I have had this project for my business that has been looming for the past 3 weeks that I have let simmer on the back burner. Simmering is not always a bad thing. While it sits there, I think about it while I read a book watch one of my favourite shows I have recorded or talked with a friend or client on the phone.

Simmering for me looks very much like procrastination, though. I talk firmly to myself to get moving on it as it is a key component to the next step in my business. All else will stem from it so it is important and not to be taken lightly. I have had it on my agenda in several places for several weeks and it never quite happened. The simmering did, then the knowledge of the avoidance happened about a week ago and the simmering became most uncomfortable.

The more I looked at the avoidance thing, the more I felt FEAR lurking in the wings. I am not a perfectionist so it is not about making it right, but about understanding the process and the ramifications of it. Can I look at it from a place of clarity or is it all fogged up from the long drawn out simmering?

I realize that I need simmer time to think things through. It’s about processing for me and I know I am not alone in this. I spent some time talking to my Life Coach last week about it and was given one week to do this then to take it off the table and color it done.  I had forgotten this timeline for a few days and last night I could not sleep. Up I got and started the process to get clarity on the project.

I worked for maybe an hour and a half and felt great about it! I was able to climb back into the warm comfort of my bed and have sweet dreams of a job halfway done. I am clear in the direction I am going in so only need about another hour to complete it. Of course this clarity gives way to other work that will take a bit of time to complete, but if not for the clarity of my contact with my coach and a timeline, it may have simmered me right into a place so frightful; the ghouls of Halloween would have been like angels to me!

Fear is necessary and can save us from being run over by a truck or eaten by a bear, but if it is keeping us from sleeping at night, it is likely telling us something. It told me the simmering was done and that I had all the clarity I needed to get the job done. I love my sleep and find it quite important to function in the light of day. I have found that clearing my plate allows me not to take work, problems and other people stuff to bed with me. I say my gratitude list and prayers that include a question that dragged my sorry butt from the bed last night.

“Did I live in fear or faith today?”  What would be your answer at the end of your day?

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Eve has been struggling with her weight for years so it makes perfect sense that actually getting to the bottom if it all takes more than one week! Last week her defensiveness with the weigh in staff member came from her feelings about all this change. A way to stand up for herself, I suppose. It was not so surprising that the following week there was no criticism for what was in her food journal even though it wasn’t perfect.

Recently as Eve has been more attentive to her weight loss she hoped for some notice from others, like her mom who knew of her recent efforts. It had frustrated and actually hurt that her mom said nothing at all about it. This week while sitting over coffee her mom mentioned how terrific Eve looked and was sorry she hadn’t quite figured out how to say it before now. Even though Eve was grateful for the encouragement that mom had noticed, she realized that it was no longer important if others noticed, but more so what she herself thought and felt. Eve said, “I feel in control of my life again! I feel good!”

Where Eve felt neglected by a good friend in the recent past, she found out it was not about her but her friend had been going through something and was now ready to talk to her about it. These things confirmed to Eve that it is not always about her but that maybe she just has gotten lonely and missed her friends company.  

Why are these things all different today?

 I just feel better about myself and don’t need others to fill a void I once felt I had.

The biggest change to be revealed! Eve’s entire life she has never mentioned her weight…to ANYONE! The joke in her family was that if they wanted to know how much she weighed they would have to do it upon her death, but not before. There was a moment this week – let’s say an opportunity for her to be completely honest.

Eve and her beloved were sitting with friends over coffee (lots of coffee dates this week!) and for some reason that never happened before someone asked about her weight. He was most concerned about his daughter’s health and had noticed her steady weight loss. It happened like this.

Eve, do you weight about 140 pounds?

No, actually 145!

She saw her husband’s brow lift and thought he was going to fall off his chair.

I asked her how she felt about saying it out loud.

“Who cares accept yourself and who are you fooling except yourself. He was shocked that I said my weight, but didn’t care about the number. He said that he doesn’t, never did and never will ever care about how much I weigh and that I have to deal with it. I thought it was a big deal and it wasn’t. I could hardly wait to tell you!”

“I have had tough things to deal with and I am more aware of my reactions to them. Worry has been an issue for me forever about my kids when they were young and now that they are adults as well as my husband’s work. Today I am better equipped to deal with worry and am handling it better…whichever way the wind blows. I am better at shaking myself out of bad or heavy thoughts. I have become amazing at ‘you may be right!’ I ask myself ‘How important is it for me to be right?’ Who really cares anyway?”

“Honesty really has removed my defensiveness and need to be right!” This is a great way to end today and I know that Eve has more growth in front of her, but the big stuff for now is behind her and the real work is staying on top of it until it becomes just who she is. If any of these issues that Eve has gone through sound familiar to you, a coach may be of assistance to you. Drop me a line and let me know what you think and how honest are you with yourself today?

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]After being honest with me last week about her REAL “closet eating” issues, today we find out how she worked through her week with food.

The first thing Eve told me was that she wrote down everything, not leaving one morsel out! As she has been weighing is at a weight loss clinic for several months, she went in with all of it in hand. Eve had a day where she needed a fix and ate a box of chocolates and wrote it down as well.  The woman on the other side of the counter was quite critical about what her week. Eve went on to describe the woman as not so perfect herself and somewhat pushy, cocky and arrogant.

I asked if the woman may have been reacting to her defensiveness about what she had done. Quite possibly she said, as they had always been kind in the past. It had been uncomfortable to show her actions on paper to someone else which made her feel like she had to defend herself. Calming down she was able to mention her commitment to herself and felt more power and on another occasion had only a sliver of pie with no desire to sneak more. The sign on her fridge door was a constant reminder that it was “Just for Today” she needed to stay focused on with food.

Had she any new thoughts this week as she moved along her path to being honest with herself? Eve mentioned that she had been a pleaser all her life and worked very hard to make others happy. Now she realized that she is a good person, and needs to make her priority her own happiness. The sign that she was “good enough” last week was a great reminder as well. Eve says she walks a little prouder and everything she does is important, not menial. Everyone’s job is equally important.

Life is “ever interesting” with her spouse and the job decisions up in the air right now. Eve is now realizing that this time in her life is serving a purpose for her. When her spouse has made good decisions in the past, she usually says “I hate it when you’re right!” A great phrase to practice instead of saying you are wrong (as he never believes that he is and she is right sometime too) could be “You may be right.” There is no defensiveness or criticism in this statement. Eve loved this and could hardly wait to use it.

How has being honest with yourself this week changed how you feel about yourself?

“More relaxed and definitely more empowered! It is surprisingly less work than hiding things. I feel more in control and definitely prouder of myself even when I am not perfect.”

 How is not being perfect changing your life?

“It seems less important that it used to be. It was always the barometer of where I needed to be.”

What will you do this week to commit to this honest path of yours?

“To continue to be honest with myself and write down what I am eating no matter what it is.”

 Come back next week to see Eve honestly on her way to the bottom of it all!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] There is this guy who walks his dog daily and meets all kinds of people doing the same. It is generally a good experience but not always. Not all dogs like each other, sort of like people. They can be aggressive, controlling, angry, frustrated and afraid as well. There are also the timid, calm, quiet submissive types as well as the happy ones,  but don’t push them around as they will not put up with it. Together they have greeted many dogs and most but not all have been good experiences.

One day a dog came from an open door of a home at full charge causing great concern that both he and his dog were under attack. This wasn’t their first contact, the last time they met this dog he was quite aggressive. Dogs can be wary of other dogs but even if they are- don’t usually charge. Spend some time in a dog park and you get to see all kinds of greetings, this dog was out to be boss and there was no way to know in advance how this was to turn out!

The guy walking his dog kicked the charging dog as he was all over his own dog. The dog was not hurt and came at the dog again so he kicked a second time afraid his dog would get hurt. This was absolutely a reaction from fear.  Was it uncalled for or an over-reaction, only someone in the exact situation could possibly know, but ultimately he felt awful. This is not who he is or what he does. The other dog owner finally got his dog off and into the house and both dogs were  okay.

The owner of the charger came out yelling and screaming. This was a neighbor and the last thing you want between neighbors is this kind of issue. He apologized several times for kicking the dog, but he really felt under attack. The charging dog’s owner thought this was a perfectly normal greeting for dogs so would not accept his apology. You never hear an owner whose dog attacked someone say, “I knew that would happen!” No, it’s always”he has never hurt another dog or human before!”

There had never been anything but a friendly greeting between him and his neighbor and had only just seen him not five minutes prior and said hello to him in his car. This was not good at all. The neighbor yelled, walked away, and then came back a couple of times to harass this guy who is now questioning his reaction.

Here is his issue.   Second guessing himself and always thinking that he did not only do something wrong and make a mistake, he “should have done it right!”  Is it possible to be right all the time I ask? No but it is because I am not doing something right. Do you think it is possible to be right all the time?  Of course not but I shouldn’t have reacted that way. How would you have done it differently? There was a pause before he answered – probably not. What do you wish were different? The other guys reaction or even if he kept his door closed so I wouldn’t have felt the need to protect myself.

So there was nothing you could have done differently, only the other guy? Yes, I did all I could and he probably would have done the same thing in my situation. The only other thing I could have done was drop my dogs leash so he could have protected himself but it could have gotten much worse and one or both dogs could have been hurt. Okay so you could not have had control over the other person or his dog? No, I could not. So is there anything else you could do? No, just wait and hopefully it will blow over and he will let this go.

People live from their perception. Both this guy and his neighbor have a different perception of the event. It was present based but not inclusive, neither believed the same thing or that the reactions from each other to the event were warranted. The dog walker could see things through the other guys eyes to some extent, he would not want someone to kick his dog either. He felt that if his dog was charging someone else he would have done anything including a kick if that is what it takes to stop the attack. Will the other guy see the opposite viewpoint, unlikely unless a cooler head prevails if ever.

Sometimes we can take a step back to see things from a different angle and get more understanding. Things may not be as they seem, as often there is information you do not know or see or understand or agree with given your own set of values and standards. Does this mean that you need to drop these to get what’s going on? Maybe only long enough to see through their eyes so you may be able to let it go. Our standards maybe high, but if they are so high that we feel bad about every mistake made, believing we “should have known or done something perfect” we may need assistance to get perspective on them. We will be working on “perfectionism” in the future I am sure!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Last week Eve was working on not criticizing her husband as a driver or anything else. This has been a challenge, but she catches herself and sometimes even before it leaves her lips! This is progress for Eve and she is moving forward in other areas of her life.

Eve brought up guilt today and went on to talk about how she was not doing as well as she thought she could. Eve has been a “closet eater” all her life and feels she has been letting herself down. She couldn’t even write down everything she ate. She would say she had a cookie not 4. Eve had no acceptance of her lack of will-power and has a desire to” PERFECT” this part of her life with healthy eating and no longer “dieting”.

How does “PERFECT” look to you? Eating just what I need not all the extra. Being the right size and liking what I see in the mirror. Not feeling bad about my lack of self-control in this area. Not being secretive about my eating. What if you weren’t “PERFECT” at this? I’m not but I would like to change it! Trying to be perfect makes me feel awful.

There had been some friends over to have dinner and once again she had the tiniest sliver of dessert as she was watching her weight while the company was over. After everyone else left and her beloved was out of sight she ate another piece of dessert the size she had really wanted. She felt bad about this but it had been her habit to do this for so long it was normal. Another day she brought her spouse and herself out a piece of chocolate that had been a treat only to go back and eat half the box out of sight of him.  

I asked if she ever considered confiding in her husband that she was a closet eater or just eating what she wanted in front of him. Immediately, Eve said that he would not care what she ate or what her dress size was just as long as she was happy. It really wasn’t about him it was about her.

I asked if she would consider telling him and how she would feel about it. A hesitant “maybe” was her answer- followed by her desire to be more open. He did wonder why she struggled with her weight with the amount of food he saw her eat, feeling her frustration. She realized that she had been closer to her beloved since she has been working with me so she was warming to the idea. Eve said that she was sure it would feel good to not hide her eating and that admitting it would mean no more secrets. This was appealing to Eve. The thought gave her a bit of a knot in her stomach none the less.

Eve mentioned that her awareness of herself has made it much easier to be in control. Better in most ways and said that everything doesn’t have to be so serious. Maybe food can be put there too!

Eve has moved from apprehension about the direction of their life because of her husband’s work choices and is noticing more trust and faith in him. This seems to be moving in all areas of her life and feels good because she knows that past choices have all worked out and so will future ones. In the past apprehensions and waiting has sent her to the closet. She would rather know what is going to happen then be in the waiting game, though. Can she stay in her day with her eating? This is going to be the challenge that would not go away overnight.

Honesty with herself is key to her weight issues and I asked if she was willing to start with being honest with herself by writing down every morsel she is consuming from an extra chocolate or 6 to a handful of chocolate chips.  Eve is determined to follow through this week. I had two suggestions to keep in front of her this week. One a sign on her mirror that says “I AM good enough!” and the second for her fridge that says “Just for Today”. She was on it! We will check back next week to see how she is doing. Are you or have you secretly been a “closet eater?” I would be happy to hear your comments on this issue!

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