Dr. Bell's Blog

The Paralyzing Search For Perfection


Whether it be in our own health, or in other areas of our life, many of us are always searching for perfection. We live in a world that makes it easy to read and hear about everyone else around us.  As a result we tend to compare ourselves and what we are doing to others.  That comparison can lead to a lot of frustration.

The pressure that we put on ourselves to be perfect can be paralyzing.  So much so that it discourages us from doing anything at all. Think of all those things you delayed starting, or never started all together, because you were waiting for circumstances to be just perfect before starting. Personally, the people I find most inspiring are the ones who have achieved greatness after overcoming significant set-backsAnd while we think the end goal is to arrive at a destination of perfection, we'd do better to enjoy the progress found along the way in our journey.

When it comes to taking care of your health, things are no different.  Here's the thing…none of us will ever be perfect. When we strive to be the best version of ourselves we can be, something shifts in a positive direction. Not everyday is going to be a good or an easy day.  Life is a series of slipping and checking because we are all human. When we show up everyday ready to put in the work, progress isn't far behind.  

And here is a key to remember:

Keeping a macro (big picture) approach with our health will help us get through what can feel like a day to day crawl.

Don't get frustrated. Doing the right thing is always the right thing, and will pay off in the end.  I always draw on, and use the memory of learning how to swim 8 years ago in order to participate in triathlons.  At first I could not swim the length of a pool without feeling like I was literally drowning.  As the slow crawl of learning progressed, I began to improve.  Within 9 months I progressed well enough to swim 1.2 miles in the open water, and eventually the 2.4 miles necessary to complete the swim portion of an Ironman triathlon.  

Make no mistake, I am no challenge to Michael Phelps.  However, I am a much better swimmer than I ever thought I could become.  How healthy do you think you can be?  How physically fit do you think you can be?  How active do you believe you can be?  Whatever it is, I bet you can be and achieve much more. I bet you can find the value in the journey, learning how to turn those daily wins into long-term momentum, that will end the paralyzing search for perfection.

When you do?

You can...

LIVE well.  BE well.