Jan. 16, 2023

Letting Go of Perfectionism - Ep.22

Do you feel lazy or like you lack willpower because you’re not accomplishing the things you set out to do? You may be suffering from perfectionism. In this episode, learn how to let go of perfectionistic tendencies to reduce stress, calm your mind, a...


Do you feel lazy or like you lack willpower because you’re not accomplishing the things you set out to do? You may be suffering from perfectionism. In this episode, learn how to let go of perfectionistic tendencies to reduce stress, calm your mind, and take action to accomplish your goals.

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Source: The Tension Inner Self and Outer Self

Transcript

Ep.22 - Letting go of Perfectionism

[00:00:16] Intro

Hey guys! Welcome to the Growth on the Daily podcast. My name is Rey and I'm your host. I'm a former competitive hockey player. I am passionate about self-development, self-improvement, and personal growth, and I'm here to support you on your journey to achieving just that and reaching your full potential.

Thank you, guys, so much for tuning into today's episode. This is a good one, something I've actually been thinking a lot about. So, I hope you guys are ready for an episode where we talk about the battle with our inner selves that guides us not only to act but not to act each and every single day.

So, one of the things I really want to talk about today is the aspect of willpower. As you know, it's the New Year season, as I like to call it, January. Lots of changes in people's lives because they want to be better, and there's nothing wrong with that. I think it's great. I think the sad thing is that oftentimes for most people, it doesn't really last and so, I thought about the aspect of willpower because oftentimes you hear that, you know, willpower is what impedes us from achieving our goals and succeeding.

So, I really started to think about what exactly is willpower? What does that mean? And according to a definition on the internet, willpower is control exerted to do something or restrain impulses. So, when you tie that back to succeeding, whether that's in sport or just in life in general, you can really see how there's that tie to that.

But I think there's more to it than the aspect of willpower. I really think we need to talk about how there's a constant negotiation that you have each and every day with yourself inside your head. Your inner self is constantly challenging you and speaking to you, whether that's in a positive or a negative light, and that's influencing your day-to-day activities.

So, who are we really battling against when we're having those conversations with ourselves and what does that inner voice want? Initially, when I started thinking about this, I maybe thought. Oh, maybe it's a reflection of like your old self or your opposing self.

So, your old self maybe that used to set you back in the past. Or your old self, someone who you miss being and the new self who is far from that, and they're trying to get you back to that old state. So, really the goal of that voice maybe is trying to balance those scales and say, hey, you've turned into some new extreme and that's not what we want.

So, we're trying to influence you to go in this direction. So, they're challenging our thinking and our day-to-day actions. And once I start to realize that I start to think about. Why does that happen? And the reason I care about why this happens is I'm someone who comes from a past of overthinking, and I would say definitely at times that I continue to do so.

And it's really just when I think about that analyzing situations and figuring out why I choose to make certain decisions and why I end up in certain circumstances. And I don't just mean that in a negative light. You also want to reflect and say, how, how did I achieve this? Because I want to do that again and apply that to other aspects of my life. So, let's talk about this. Let's talk about this inner voice, this battle that we have constantly and why this exists.

[00:03:31] No Cap All Facts: Why we have an inner voice

In my research this week, I discovered that it's actually a conflict between our inner and our outer selves controlling that negotiation that I mentioned earlier between our inner voice and our day-to-day actions. So, our outer selves is really what we present to the world. So that's how we act. That's what everybody sees.

While our inner self is what we keep to ourselves. So, it's our values, our thoughts, our beliefs, and it's not necessarily what's going to come out and be presented into the world. But it definitely exists and it's important to us. And so, we hold it close. So, the battle between inner and outer selves is a conflict, and what that means is that how you act or how others act, don't agree with your inner values, your beliefs, your thinking.

And so, there's a disagreement between your inner and your outer selves, and that is actually what leads to stress. And later on, decision fatigue. Let me know if you guys can relate to this @growthonthedaily on Instagram. Send us a DM.

So, for me, when I'm thinking about things that I really don't understand, or I'm trying to get myself to try something new that I may be hesitant to try, I'm thinking about not only why I'm not doing the thing, even though I really want to do it, but I get stressed out because I get so tired of trying to figure out how to make a decision.

And that leads to what we call decision fatigue. If you haven't heard of decision fatigue, the way to simplify that concept is that when you're faced with many options, you are stressed out and you don't want to make a decision because there's just too much to choose from. But if I simplify the equation and say, hey you choose A or B, you're more likely to make a decision and faster, and one that you're more confident in simply because there's less options to choose from.

So, when you're constantly battling presenting your case or your inner self and your outer self, what's happening is the decision fatigue is coming in. It's like, I can't debate anymore. I don't even know what I want to do. So, what do you do? You do nothing. And that is when I think the aspect of willpower comes in.

Because when you do nothing, you appear lazy and you, you appear like you lack willpower, but in reality, you're actually conflicted because you want to make the right decision, but you can't seem to get to that point. And that right there, my friends is known as perfectionism. Perfectionism is when we strive so hard to just be right all the time with everything.

It doesn't even matter how small the decision is. You just want to be right. That you are so tired of making the wrong decisions, that guess what? You're not meeting your own expectations because your expectations are literally 110%, but you literally cannot produce that.

So, that's where I think the battle with our inner selves comes into play. It's actually not about willpower. It's an aspect of it, but that's not really the root cause. The root cause is perfectionism guiding us on our day-to-day decision making and actually inhibiting us from achieving that growth mindset.

Athletes, you're probably like, great perfectionism. I kind of know what you're talking about, but how does that impact me as an athlete? Well, I actually spoke with Michael Morgan in a previous episode on the Real Talk segment right before Christmas, our Christmas episode. I will link that down in the show notes.

You guys go check that out. And actually, when we discussed how perfectionism impedes us from accelerating our athletic performance because what it does is it leads to over-training and burnout because you are just trying to get it right and you just think put in the work constantly and I'll get there and I'll get there.

And it is not that it's untrue that you won't get better. But what's untrue is that you're setting an impossible standard that you cannot reach, and that is detrimental to you in the long term. So now we understand the conflict between inner and outer selves. Where willpower comes into play?

How that leads to stress, decision fatigue and perfectionism. And now how perfectionism has a negative impact on athletes. But how do we actually let go of this perfectionism, these perfectionistic tendencies so that we can actually calm the storm in our minds, make decisions faster, make decisions that are better for us, not only in the short term, but in the long term, but also feel better about the decisions that we are making and knowing that we are progressing in a positive direction?

[00:08:16] Rey's Remedy: Challenging Your Thoughts

To let go of perfectionistic tendencies. The first place that I start is challenging your inner thoughts, and that might simply sound like clearing your mind or debating with your mind, but honestly, I would treat it as a true conversation that you were having with a friend, with a family member.

If your inner thoughts are impeding, you. So, they're setting me back. So, one way to think about that is negative self-talk. A practical example is, I can't do this. I'm lazy. I don't have what it takes. I'm not going to make it. I won't be successful. Those are examples of negative self-talk, so that might be the thing that's running through your head.

The way to challenge that inner thought is with positive self-talk, and I know you hear this all the time with, you know, on the internet and media and people say, you know, positive self-talk, affirmations and it might sound like a whole lot of BS for some people. And I would say it's to some extent.

I don't look at myself in the mirror and say, I'm the best person in the world every single day. If you do great, whatever works for you. But for me, it's really about grounding myself. That's what I think about. It's about staying humble, but also motivating and pushing yourself because reaching your potential is a positive thing, and that's success.

And there's nothing wrong with saying, I'm going to be successful. I want to be successful. That's not condescending at all, right? You're actually pushing yourself in a positive direction. So how do we go about challenging our inner thoughts, countering this negative self-talk with a positive talk?

Every time you have a negative thought, first thing I want you to do is write it down. Whether you have a phone piece of paper, write it down just to see what it looks like and what that is, and think about it for a second, because most of the times it's actually ridiculous. Like it's ridiculous. Then after you've written that down, you've actually thought about this and said, where is this coming from?

Why is this here? Then I want you to spin that in a positive light. So, instead of I'm overweight or I'm underweight and I'm not in shape enough to be able to perform to my best to make a team, for example. Instead, I would say I'm working on myself to improve my performance so that there's no debate that I belong on this team.

That's a positive way of spinning that there's a gap in performance, but you are, you are working towards achieving that rather than looking at how far I am from reaching the goal. Look at how much closer you're getting. And that's the idea of challenging your inner thoughts.

[00:11:00] Balanced Lifestyle

A second thing I would think about is understanding your need for balance. So, when you're challenging your thoughts, you actually have to have willpower. See how that comes back to want to be balanced, right? If you are just accepting the negative self-talk, everything I'm saying is not going to be relevant or useful to you because you have no need or desire for balance.

The way I think of life in a balanced way is I think about the aspect of a balanced triangle. So, I watched a YouTube video, and I have no idea who it's from, but I was, I was watching a YouTube video, about journaling and self-improvement, and he talked about the aspect of a balanced triangle where you balanced work, play and rest.

And that triangle there, that triangle is the strongest way to keep that in check. So, you should have equal parts work, equal parts play equal parts rest. If any of those parts gives, the triangle collapses. And I think when I wrap my head around that idea, I start to look at my life and say, hey, what am I doing too much of?

And what am I not really doing enough? And maybe that's why I'm so conflicted. It's a really good place to start. So, I recommend taking a step back and look at how much time do you spend working? How much time do you, do you spend socializing and, and playing in life? And how much time do you spend resting? And how do you feel now that that's your circumstance? Where do you want to improve?

[00:12:24] Clear Your Mind

The last piece of advice that I will give is giving your thoughts an escape hatch. And honestly, it really just comes down to clearing your mind. But thinking about an escape hatch is a great way to realize that those thoughts don't actually belong to stay in your mind.

I forget the quote, but I heard a quote recently about how our brain is meant to come up with ideas, but it's not meant to hold that information. And that's why we're so successful when we produce output, and we create because we're getting the ideas out of our head and producing it into reality.

So, to have an escape hatch for your, for your mind. You can listen to music, you can journal, you can meditate, you can even socialize with friends. Right? And it's really just getting your mind to change its focus, but also releasing that thought. So, for me personally, I'm a big journaler. I meditate as needed.

It's really an ad hoc approach. I'm not someone that feels like I need to meditate every single day. I definitely think it's good for you. Honestly, it's just not my cup of tea, for something I do every day. But music is also a big part of my life. I'm someone who always have headphones in and I'm always listening to music, always got that speaker going, so do what works for you. But I highly recommend that.

[00:13:38] Hold the Mic

Alright guys, I just want to pause for a moment, and I would love for you guys to take the time, send this episode to someone you know, who you think could really benefit from just navigating the relationship with their inner thoughts, their inner selves, or who really seems like they're a perfectionist and it's holding them back. I really think they would benefit from this episode. So, I'd really appreciate if you took a moment, and you just send it to one friend. One friend who you think would benefit.

[00:14:07] Meaningful Mentions

To sum up today's episode, I have three key takeaways for you. The first one is counter negative self-talk with positive self-talk. So that's when we talked about challenging your thoughts.

The second is balanced triangle, right? We want work, play, and rest to be balanced. So equal parts contributing to each one to have a more fulfilled and happier and calm lifestyle.

And then finally clear your mind. Give your thoughts that escape hatch so that they can leave your presence and you no longer have to deal with that conflicting inner outer negotiation.

[00:14:52] Quality Quote

To keep you motivated and going on this path of releasing those perfectionistic tendencies. I have a quote for you from Adam Osborne that says, "the most valuable thing that you can make is a mistake. You can't learn anything from being perfect".

I love that quote. I think it's beautiful and it just goes back to our idea of how perfectionism in the long run and honestly in the short term, is honestly just setting you back because you have no way of navigating what to do next to move in a positive direction.

[00:15:25] Outro

Alright guys, thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. I really appreciate all of you who hung around to the very end. I hope you guys took away a lot from this episode. I really enjoyed speaking to you guys about perfectionism, willpower, how that impacts athletic performance, and how we can surpass that conflicting negotiation between our inner and outer selves. I commend you guys for taking the time to learn, grow and thrive.

Let me know if this is something that relates to you guys. Share your story with me. I'll direct you guys to our Instagram @growthonthedaily. Give us a follow to stay up to date with the show and also check out our website growthonthedaily.com for more info. Thank you and see you next week.