Perfect. A four letter word.

They say we teach what we most need to learn. Within the past few weeks I’ve caught myself procrastinating, and sometimes abandoning, my desires for what I want, because I didn’t think it was “perfect” or that I wouldn’t be able to perform “perfectly.” I was beating myself up, and then, the other day, a potential Go Beyond Challenge participant told me they “couldn’t possibly join” because they knew they couldn’t be “perfect” for 60-days straight. This literally broke my heart. And then I realized that we all, me especially, need a reality check when it comes to perfection.


Miriam Websters Dictionary defines “perfect” as the following:

a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless <a perfect diamond>

b : corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept <a perfect gentleman>

c : faithfully reproducing the original; specifically : letter-perfect


There is NO SUCH THING AS “PERFECT”. There is no way we can be flawless, live up to an abstract concept or “faithfully reproduce the original.” We strive and drive for perfection. We lose sleep. We stress-out. We get headaches. We lose our tempers. We cry. We literally drive ourselves crazy. For what? For the chance to attain something that isn’t even possible! I honestly believe we should make “perfect” a four-letter word.


A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault. 

~John Henry Newman


But I realized that so many of us, and so many of our teachers in life, have set the stage to make us believe we need to be perfect. We morph and form simple daily miracles into grand acts of perfectionism. And nowhere is the drive for perfectionism so totally consuming than with our health. Many of the eating, workout, meditation, yoga and other various health and wellness activities we participate in and/or aspire to be involved with have conditioned us to believe that in order to succeed, sometimes even in order to simply try it out for the first time, we must be “perfect”. Which is why so many of us are caught saying, “I just need to lose 10lbs then I’ll go to spinning class,” or, “I’ll never be able to get into that pose, yoga just isn’t for me,” or even, “Eating perfect is for healthy people.”

This is no way to live!

No wonder most of us have a hard time starting, or never start. The pressure to live up to preconceived and manufactured ideals of being “perfect” can be so overwhelming and so emotionally intense, almost sabotaging, why would it make any sense to commit ourselves to such pain?


The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four.  Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.

~Winston Churchill


But what if I told you perfection is merely the absence of choice. When we strive for perfection it’s actually our reaction to our perception that we feel like we don’t have any choices. We see “perfect” or we see failure, and nothing in between, nothing beyond. But in essence we’re only failing to see all the vast amazing options that are actually available to us if we just looked at it a little bit differently. If we just tried. If we just jumped in and did it.


Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.

~Confucius, Analects


This is the reason I developed the Go Beyond Challenge. Sure there are points and there are prizes, but if we never try, if we never realize we do in fact actually have choices, and lots of them, we’ll never expand, we’ll never realize our true potential, we’ll never know what we’re truly capable of, we’ll never shine like the brilliant diamond we were born to be.

So from this day out my intention is to shine brilliantly, with all my flaws, with all my cuts, bumps and bruises. Because I’d rather have all those knowing I tried, knowing I gave myself a chance, gave it my all, rather than settling for being a “flawless pebble.”


Once you accept the fact that you’re not perfect, then you develop some confidence.

~Rosalynn Carter


I hope this has inspired you. I hope this has given you the confidence to shed your perfectionism and jump into life with both feet. And if it suits you, I hope you’ll join us for the Go Beyond Challenge so you can finally prove to yourself there is no perfection, only the sheer brilliant beauty of giving life, and you, your all!

Sign up here. Registration ends February 27.

Peace, Love & Health – Mel


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Categories: Be, Eat, Move, Play, Sleep

I want to find my calm

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