Healthy Living: Stop Trying to Be Perfect

Have you ever heard the phrase: “Nobody’s perfect”? I’m sure you have heard this at one point or another. If you are anything like me, you believed it too. Most people do believe it because it makes sense. I know for a fact that I have made mistakes. I also know that everyone else I know has made mistakes.
Mistakes are part of being human. If you are human, you make mistakes. There are mistakes to be made in all areas of life. Anything you do that involves thinking, decisions or execution of a skill presents the opportunity for a mistake. That doesn’t sound like a very optimistic view, but it is true.
The optimistic view would say that any thought, decision or execution of a skill presents an opportunity for success. This is where I often see the importance of mistakes in our lives. That’s right, mistakes are important. Mistakes are what we learn from. Mistakes are what make us better. Without mistakes, we don’t improve.
More importantly, without the opportunity for mistakes, we have no opportunity for success. When it comes to sports, this is a no-brainer: if you don’t play the game, you can’t win. If you relate it to business: if you don’t call a prospect, you can’t make the sale. If you don’t show up to the meeting, you can’t contribute ideas. The list goes on and on and it’s the same in all areas of life. Without the opportunity for mistakes, there is no opportunity for success.
The bottom line is: if you are afraid to make mistakes, you will never succeed.
This is a lesson I learned a kid. Sports taught me this lesson. It took a few more lessons in the real world before I fully understood it and how it would work in the business world. Now that I get it, life and business are much easier. Do I see mistakes and failure? Of course I do. I experience them regularly. But I also see success daily. Some success comes from just trying again. Most of my success comes from the things I learned from the past mistakes.
When it comes to health, mistakes are also important. Yet, health is an area that people are afraid to make them. When discussing exercise routines with people, I hear far too often: “I can’t do it every day, so I’m not going to do it at all.” Or “I don’t have time to do it for an hour, so I won’t do it at all.”
These are excuses that I hear frequently. I hear them, not because these people are not good enough to get exercise, not because exercise is too hard for them. I hear these excuses because these people are afraid to make mistakes. It is easy to start a new routine. It is not easy to keep a new routine going. Each time you run into a challenge, it is difficult to overcome it.
Challenges will arise. Your plan to overcome these challenges is what will get you through. When you set out to do something new, you are bound to make a mistake or two. When you make those mistakes, you can do one of two things:
1. You can give up
2. You can learn from the mistake and try again
When you try again, you can either give a similar strategy another try or you can start over and try something new. Either way, you are deciding that you are not done and you are able keep going. When you keep going, you can succeed. When you quit, you can’t succeed.
In health, mistakes are not the end of your routine unless you quit. They are simply a roadblock that causes you to stop and think about what you are doing. You have a choice at every roadblock. You can choose to give up or you can choose to keep trying.
The choice is yours. When we were kids, we learned that nobody’s perfect. We learned that quitters never win and winners never quit. We learned all of these things and applied them to other areas of life. Socially, professionally and financially, we have chosen to keep going. In order to live healthy we need to make that same choice. You can try to be perfect, but it won’t happen.
Being perfect is an illusion. For some reason, we think that our health routines need to be perfect. The fact is, nobody is perfect in any area of life, including health. Healthy people are not healthy because they are perfect. They are healthy because they have learned from mistakes and keep trying to live healthy. Health is not about being perfect. Stop trying to be perfect and start doing something that you can do today. If you make a mistake, learn from it and do something differently until it works for you.

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