Addiction · Blog · Career Coaching · Recovery Coaching

Are you Striving for Greatness or Addicted to Perfection?

Pre-Lakers I was an avid LeBron James fan for a myriad of reasons. I was such a fan that my kids and I named our cat LeBron. One of the many reasons I like LeBron James is a mantra he lives by — “Strive for Greatness.”  While it’s a great mantra, how do we differentiate a relentless pursuit of greatness from a raging addiction to perfection?

It may sound crazy to parallel the two, but the similarities are undeniable. Much like an addiction, perfection is fleeting, elusive, driven by fear, and fueled by shame. What many people fail to realize about addiction is that the person/process/substance of choice is never the real problem—it is a symptom of an underlying problem. The addiction becomes a coping strategy that consumes the addict. If you find yourself struggling with an overwhelming need to attain perfection or a crushing call to be bigger, badder, and better, you may want to ask yourself one question.

How is this serving ME

While an all-consuming quest for perfection may be a great benefit to others, more often than not, this quest usually serves us on a more insidious level. Unfortunately, how it serves us may be self-defeating and more mentally, emotionally, and spiritually detrimental than it is positive. The darker side of this quest often serves us by shifting our focus away from some pain of our reality. Reaching for something unattainable is a great distraction from that which we cower from, which is usually emotional pain. 

Emotions are like the boogieman under your bed. They cause you to shudder in terror, but when you shine a light on it and face the fear, it disappears.

A job well done can be very fulfilling. It can feel rewarding to complete a home project, excel at work, or know that we’re a person who is punctual and conscientious. But when does our striving for excellence degenerate into a dysfunctional addiction to perfection? When shame is the driving force.

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Shame is the Catalyst of Debilitating Perfectionism

As children, many of us were rewarded at home and at school for achieving “results .”Unfortunately, many also have the experience of being shamed when we don’t meet the expectation of others. Whether we received painful tongue-lashings, the cold shoulder, or an icy stare of disapproval, we may have interpreted that to mean we are only accepted and loved when we’re “successful .”With this comes the belief that we are bad, unloveable, and unworthy of love and accepted when we fall short. This belief results in shame.

We develop a false, protective self through slow and steady toxic messaging that we display to the world to win praise and avoid the pain of disapproval. When our need for love and acceptance is not nurtured, we come to live with the overpowering voice of an inner critic that is so scrutinizing and cruel it produces a level of shame and self-doubt that could bring LeBron James to his knees.

A steady diet of shame for inevitable shortcomings can grow into debilitating perfectionism. If we can achieve perfection in all we do, we become bulletproof to blame and criticize. If we become “perfect” in all our endeavors, we increase our chances of avoiding the painful re-activation of shame.

Perfectionism and hyper-vigilance come at a cost. It isn’t easy to find true joy and fulfillment when we relentlessly pursue perfection. When our self-worth is tied to our actions rather than embracing ourselves as human beings with strengths and weaknesses—we set ourselves up for being anxiously preoccupied or depressed.

The Pathway to Peace

It is liberating to loosen the grip of perfectionism, but first, we need to recognize how shame may be driving you off track. When we begin to identify the shame and become mindful of how it lives in our body, we start to get distance from it rather than being driven by it. 

LeBron James - Strive for Greatness
The Inner Critic Haunts the GOAT

Learn to observe our inner critic objectively. “Ugh, there’s that shame again telling me I that I suck if I don’t do everything perfectly…and insisting that I’m destined to become homeless and die a sad, lonely death if I make one tiny mistake.” Identifying the voice of our inner critic empowers us to silence it and diminish the power it has over us. 

Being human means failing miserably at times. We learn and grow from our mistakes by humbly acknowledging them and being compassionate toward ourselves. We are more likely to succeed when we’re no longer paralyzed by the fear of failure.

When that inner critic chimes in, rewrite the script and channel a LeBron James pep-talk. “Stop caring about what other people think! Do your best, give it all you got. If you fail miserably, it’s an opportunity to turn that into your greatest achievement. Either way, it’s a win!”

The ability to reframe your perspective and rewrite the script is extraordinarily freeing! It gives you the power to find pleasure and meaning in activities regardless of whether you succeed or fail in any initiative. Each person needs to find their own balance and path. The key is to apply ourselves wholeheartedly without getting too attached to results. Strive for greatness while letting go of the burden of being obsessed with perfection or a specific outcome.

As you become mindful of the shame and fear that may be driving the cruel burden of perfectionism, remember that you don’t need to be perfect to be loved and accepted. When you feel compelled to displace the balance of your life and push painfully hard for perfection, make sure the compensation is worth the cost. Your self-worth is priceless, and you are worthy, loveable, and valid just as you are.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that LeBron James is an anomaly. And in my humble opinion, like most grotesquely overpaid professional athletes, he is very much addicted to perfecting his gift. But even he does not promote insist you strive for perfection; his mantra is Stive for Greatness. And even LeBron embraces and reframes his failures along his journey.

One last video… Addicted to Perfect

 

Life Coaching · Nutriton Coaching · Recovery Coaching · Wellness Coaching

Food Addiction, Weight Loss, and Life Coaching

You “eat clean” 80% of the time, exercise 5-7 days a week, don’t smoke, and you only drink on special occasions. Every Thanksgiving you even do a 5k Turkey Trot, and you not only participate in New Year’s weight-loss challenges, you CRUSH THEM every time.

Weight loss isn’t the problem for you. Keeping the weight off is another story.  If you KNOW how to lead a healthy lifestyle, to eat healthy and lean down, why is it you struggle to maintain a healthy weight?

BREATHE! –> You are not alone!

We live in a society that is FILLED with information and high expectations. We are doers. We see a problem, we take action, we learn how to fix it, we roll up our sleeves and go full force into “fixing it”…and we expect it to be “fixed” indefinitely.

Treating obesity as a problem to “fix” IS the problem.

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You are not a machine…

Being overweight is a symptom of a much larger, far more complicated issue, and lack of knowledge rarely has anything to do with it. (refer to Weight Loss Coaching for more) Treating obesity as a problem to “fix” IS the problem.

If you know alcohol, cigarettes, soda, fast food, pizza, chips, fried foods, baked goods and the like are doing nothing positive for your body, but you are compelled to ingest them, chances are the root of your problem has more to do with your emotions and deep-seeded self-defeating thought processes than your intellect.

Our relationship with food begins on our first day of life. We cry. We get food. We feel better. How that relationship evolves over the course of a lifetime is very complicated. The connection between food and our emotions is powerful. We are human beings – not human doings. When you are too busy “doing” and not taking time to “be,” we accumulate decades of unprocessed feelings. We lose touch with how we feel and how to feel; this is the root of the problem.

Stuffing our faces with calorie-rich, carb-rich, sweet, salty, and fatty foods is how we keep those feelings stuffed. These foods can be just as intoxicating and mind-numbing as any pharmaceutical – they are legal, readily available, and socially acceptable. These substances provide us with the fastest, cheapest, easiest way to mentally and emotionally check-out and the consequences they afflict us with distract us from ever having to acknowledge what is taking place. It is the perfect storm for a life of self-destruction and denial.

OK, so now I know what the real problem is…
just tell me how to fix it!

Patience Grasshopper

A mind and soul filled with repressed and suppressed feelings and emotions is a dangerous place to go alone. You can’t fix your thinking with your own thinking. That is why you need a Life Coach to navigate you through this minefield and help you reach higher ground.

With that said, you may be wondering why I’m not suggesting counseling.

How is Life Coaching different than therapy?

A Life Coach doesn’t diagnose or treat disorders and diseases of the mind. Life Coaching is about honoring you as a person and your ability to heal and solve your own issues with guidance and direction – to meet you where you are and build you up to where you want to be.

You know you better than anyone else. A Life Coach can help you see things from a different perspective and walk you through the mental blocks that are holding you back from becoming the person you want to be and living the life you long to live. Coaching is about helping you actualize and set goals, develop a plan of action and support you along the way.

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Open the Door to Sustained Weight Loss

If you are one of those people who struggle to lose weight or keep the weight off long-term, Life Coaching may be the key to achieving and sustaining weight loss.

Addiction · Blog · Career Coaching · Life Coaching · Nutriton Coaching · Recovery Coaching · Relationship Coaching · Wellness Coaching

Try Different, Not Harder

Oftentimes, when faced with a problem, we venture to solve it in a specific way. When that doesn’t work, we typically continue trying to solve the same problem in the exact same way…only harder.

We get frustrated. We try harder. We get more frustrated. We try way harder.

The whole approach is about as successful as crossing the finish line on a hamster wheel. The only way to stop is by hitting a wall.

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These valiant efforts take place in all areas of our lives, including relationships. With about the same success rate as we would have trying to fix a broken object with the wrong tools. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Sure you can roll up your sleeves, utilize a myriad of tools and apply relentless efforts to shape that square peg to fit into the round hole. However, the more fitting (pun intended) solution would be to insert said peg into its corresponding hole.

At times it is appropriate to not to give up and to try harder. More often, the better route would be to let go, embrace acceptance and surrender. Miraculously the latter approach typically yields the desired results, without such an effort.

If something doesn’t work or doesn’t flow, maybe life is trying to tell you something. There is always a lesson to be learned in every life experience. Unfortunately, it isn’t always as glaringly obvious as a flashing neon sign.

…or NOT! Brains over brawn is an underrated approach.

Sometimes, the signs are subtle.

Sometimes something not working IS the sign!

If you find yourself struggling too much—Let Go. If you are venturing down a path of insanity by unsuccessful repeated efforts, you may be taking a wrong turn. 

Learn to recognize when something isn’t working. Let go, and let the path reveal itself to you. Answers and solutions emerge more clearly in the still of surrender as opposed to furious efforts.

If you are feeling stuck and the answers have not become clear to you, I would love to help you gain clarity and insight.

CLICK HERE to connect with me!

Addiction · Life Coaching · Recovery Coaching · Relationship Coaching · Wellness Coaching

How To Let Go

If you have ever struggled with fear, anxiety, anger, resentment, guilt, shame, and/or obsessions you know how challenging it can be to “Let Go.” These emotions are so toxic, yet they often cling to us like velcro.

No worries if you get tripped up—I have an easy fix for you that doesn’t involve a martini glass, and you can do this with your kids!

Letting Go is the Key to Happiness!

Holding on takes you out of the present moment and robs you of experiencing the good in life. We find all sorts of things to cling to; positions, people, jobs, relationships, addictions, obsessions, outcomes.

Letting Go is the magic ingredient most people forget to practice on their quest to work the Law of Attraction into fruition. A vision board full of dreams, aspirations, goals, and desires is useless if you fail to let go and trust the universe will provide. Holding onto any anxious energy you have surrounding your wishes and your worries will only prevent or delay the outcome you desire.

By “Letting Go” we allow space for the universe to do its thing. We free our minds from the relentless voice telling us we have missed the mark, aren’t good enough, aren’t measuring up, aren’t there yet… that we want more, need more, crave more.

It’s easy to see why we strive to let go of our worries as toxic emotions and relationships keep us stuck. But what about Letting Go of our wishes?

The answer is simple—> Letting Go is the key to happiness!

Of course, you also need a dash of gratitude and dollop of willingness…but the combination of those 3 ingredients is undoubtedly the recipe for happiness.

Letting Go, is an act of faith! Faith in the universe, God, Mother Nature…the Greater Good; whatever you chose to believe in. It doesn’t even matter what you believe in, all that matters is that you believe!

How To Let Go

I’m going to jump into this part with the ASSumption you already know how to identify what you are feeling. While that sounds like a no-brainer, it can be challenging and perplexing for some. That’s another blurb though.

This part can be as fun or no-frills as you like. The most important this is, you do it. OFTEN.

All you have to do is write down what Wishes and Worries are at the forefront of your mind, body, and soul. It doesn’t have to be a PowerPoint Presentation or Ven Diagram. You only need to write one word if you like. A feeling, the name of a person, a concern, obsession, craving, circumstance, wish, hope, dream… Just get it out, write it down, and now we are going to Let It Go. Literally and figuratively.

Ok, so this is the fun part! How you “Let It Go” can be any number of ways.

Examples of Letting Go On the Fly:

  • You are at work and you begin fantasizing about stapling a gossipy co-workers mouth shut, write said co-worker’s name down on a Post-It and put it in the shredder.
  • When visiting your in-laws’ house a judgey aunt starts force-feeding you unsolicited parenting advice, lock yourself in the bathroom for 3 minutes, write her name on a square of TP and flush it.  
  • Pulling into a parking lot after being run off the road by a crotchety, cantankerous, inconsiderate driver, park your car, jot “asshole driver” down on a gum wrapper, discard something gross into it and dispose of it. Then move onto the next part of your day.

Example of Letting Go As a Daily Practice:

Try to work this simple step into your morning routine. For even more efficacy, do it in the evenings as well.

Write Down Your Wishes and Worries On Paper.
Place Your Paper in a Jar or Box
Move on with your day…

I prefer to use paper, pens, and vessels that bring me joy when I use them, but it doesn’t have to be fancy. The Dollar Store is a great place to get small sheets of note paper, notepads, and fun pens and pencils. They also have a myriad of boxes, vases, and pots, jars, glasses and the like to choose from. For more fabulous paraphernalia, take a trip to Michaels, Hobby Lobby or a craft store.

You can use Mason Jars, candle votives, empty tissue boxes or any fun container. You can decorate and label them if you wish. If you are more religious, feel free to call your vessels a God Box or label them “Hope and Faith.” Do whatever will encourage you to practice this often.

One thing I enjoy doing is to save the notes I have written. I love reading through some the pages from the past to reflect and revel in how much has changed. Looking back on all the things I stressed out over boosts my faith when I see how things have worked out. Once I “Let Go” and let God do the work for me, things happen almost effortlessly.

 

For some, this whole concept may sound a little hokey, but I promise you that it works! I highly recommend you give it a whirl. What do you have to lose?

Addiction · Career Coaching · Life Coaching · Nutriton Coaching · Recovery Coaching · Relationship Coaching · Wellness Coaching

The Difference Between Life Coaching and Counseling

Life Coaching differs significantly from therapy or counseling — coaching centers around setting goals, taking action and accountability. The process is about discovering what moves you, setting goals you want to achieve, identifying obstacles holding you back, developing steps to help you move forward. The accountability part is what keeps your momentum going and ensures you actually achieve the goals you have set.

Coaching Helps You Thrive & Soar

Coaching is helpful for everyone, and often, it can complement therapy. Life Coaching picks up where treatment ends. Anyone with a desire to advance their career, cultivate healthy relationships, overcome addictions, improve wellness, and fitness levels would be ideal for Life Coaching. Coaching is key to any transition in life. CounselingCoaching

Counseling Helps You Heal

Therapy is designed to help you heal in addition to treat illness, disorders, and diseases of the mind. Counseling is a clinical relationship between a patient and a licensed therapist. A therapist assesses, diagnoses, and treats their patient. While treatment plans vary in frequency and duration, you should reach a point where you have healed, and are ready to move on.

Additionally, patient-therapist boundaries are more fixed and rigid. A life coach has the ability to be more open about themselves and communicate in a much different manner. In some instnaces your coach may communicate with you more like a peer—you meet on common ground.

What If I Only Need Career Coaching or Wellness Coaching?

While most coaches have niches, a certified Life Coach is qualified to coach in all aspects of life. Personally, I have extensive training in Recovery, Wellness, Nutrition, and Fitness, but at the end of the day, it’s all “Life Coaching”. That being said, my training and experience make me more qualified to help those with specific concerns and needs. The format is always about identifying your needs, addressing obstacles, creating action steps to achieve your goals and holding you accountable to ensure your success.

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Is Life Coaching Right for YOU?

If you are ready to soar, I would be honored to help you! CLICK HERE to schedule a free consultation to see how life coaching can work for you. You’ve only got one shot at life—isn’t it worth making it amazing? You deserve it!