Type A? Overachiever? Perfectionist? Psssst. Over here!

by Simla on December 20, 2009

Health is multi-faceted. I believe we need to eat well and live well to be truly healthy: career or self-expression of productivity, physical movement, relationships, sense of self – otherwise known as spirit – need to be in good order for true health and wellness to manifest. Food is just one way we feed ourselves. These other parts of our lives also serve to feed us. If broken, they will drain and deplete rather than feed.

Are you a Type A overachiever? A perfectionist?

Do you drive yourself to your limits every day – mentally, physically, emotionally?

Is chronic stress such a part of your life that you take it for granted?

Yes? Then it’s time to:

Ask yourself WHY?

How is this way of being serving you?

Where does your need to overachieve or “be perfect” come from?


Be bad. Do one little thing imperfectly, like not fixing the spacing after this sentence.

.

.

.

.

Notice how the world didn’t come to an end.

Laugh at yourself more. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

Notice that you’re probably harder on yourself than anyone around you is.

Reevaluate your to-do list. Do you have to do everything TODAY?

(I hear you say: No, it had to be done YESTERDAY!  =)

Cross one thing off your list – give it to someone else to do. NOW.

Start saying this phrase: “Good enough is good enough.”

As an aside: In my research, I remember seeing a study of women living with fibromyalgia (one of the autoimmune conditions I live with) in which they were asked whether they defined themselves as perfectionists. If I remember correctly, over 90% said yes. Coincidence? I think not. I will look for that study and post it when I find it again.

Redefine balance.

What does balance mean to you?

What would your ideal day / week / month look like? Why doesn’t it?

What areas of your life are you neglecting? Family? Friends? Work? Physical movement? Sleep? Eating healthfully? Your Self?

Do one little thing each day to start making small changes that add up to big results over time: take a 5 minute break for every 2 hours of work; stop skipping breakfast; make more time for your family – leave work 15 minutes early this week.

Balance is not about perfection; it’s a constantly changing state, the point of least resistance. If you don’t believe me, try standing on one foot with your eyes closed. You’ll notice all the dozens of muscles in your foot negotiating for balance – it’s hard work and there are a gazillion strings to pull, and you can’t really stand still. It’s about what comes easiest and doing your best at that particular moment.

Learn to listen to your body.

What is it telling you? How is it really feeling?

We tend to disassociate with pain and do anything and everything to avoid or ignore it.

Here are some ways you can practice listening to your body:


When you wake up each morning or before going to sleep, breathe deeply while doing a mental scan of your body from the top of your head down to your toes. Find areas of tension and send your breath there. Over time, you’ll feel changes in your body and notice nuances, such as tension, anxiety, or areas of physical pain you may not have noticed before.

Then, do something about it. Have a friend massage your shoulders, do guided imagery, grab a book and lay out in the park, confront the root cause of your strain, ask for help, confide in a friend or hire a professional if you feel that’s more appropriate.

Love what you do or do what you love.

If you are a driven person and you naturally dedicate a lot of yourself, a lot of your time to your work, then I hope you love what you do. Think about it: we spend more time working than we do with people we love. It’s GOT to be worth it!!!

Your work, your productivity, or any way in which you express yourself in this world, is one way you “feed” – or deplete – yourself. If it isn’t fulfilling and doesn’t fill you up with goodness, gratification, and life-fire, begin questioning…


“Is is really what I should be doing with my day?”


“Does my job suck?”

or another version:

“Does my job suck the life out of me?”

And again, take a small step:

Ask a person you admire if you can volunteer your time to help them out and learn how they do what they do.

Reduce your hours at work if you have to and go back to school.

Do some soul-searching. What can you change about what you don’t like and how can you inch towards what you do like?

Write down ALL your ideas without editing or saying to yourself “This is unrealistic.” Hear yourself out. There’s plenty of time to evaluate later. Leave room to daydream without boundaries and see what new ideas that freedom can help you generate. Enough with other peoples’ rules already.

What do you want your obituary to say?

Drastic, maybe, but it works. Hate to break it to you, but your days on this earth are numbered. Now, work backwards into designing the life you really want.

Think happy.

Having difficulty with that gloomy picture? Then start by writing down what makes you happy: a cup of tea? a sunny day? eggs done just right? listening to people? breathtaking scenery? a great pair of shoes? your favorite team winning? whatever it is… write… just write………

Then judge whether you have enough of these happy-making things in your life. No? No time? MAKE time. Carve it out and go make that cup of tea or buy those tickets to the game. It may just take you places you’d otherwise never go. And maybe you’ll make new friends to replace good ol’ Chronic Stress.

(Thanks to my fab coach Sandy Grason for this last simple yet powerful tip  - it has served me well and she encourages me to pass it on.)

Enjoy the ride.

***

© 2009-2010 Delicious Health, Inc.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?

You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

“Authored by Simla Somturk Wickless, MBA, CHC, NE, an integrative health, nutrition, and lifestyle coach whose mission is to transform busy bodies into healthy, balanced beings (TM). To learn how to zing your energy, tame your stress, and take back control of your health, register for her free monthly eZine at www.enjoydelicioushealth.com or read more on her blog at www.delicioushealthblog.com.”

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