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How Yoga Helped Me Be Less of a Perfectionist

If you know me well, you know that I may be a little…teeny tiny bit…of a perfectionist.  I can’t help myself sometimes. I swear it’s just written into my DNA!  On a micro level, it can slow down my productivity.  On a macro level, it can be exhausting.  I’ve been trying to manage it for my whole life it seems. However, I had a realization at yoga today that I had never considered before: practicing yoga gives me permission to be less of a perfectionist.

Yoga is about being in the moment.  It’s about falling out of a pose if you need to – and getting right back up to try it again.  It’s about observing yourself with no judgement.  When I’m in downward dog and a yoga teacher says, “the goal is to get your heels reaching toward the ground but it’s OK if they don’t touch the ground,” I smile.  I can’t touch the ground with my heels and it’s OK!  My favorite part about practicing yoga (besides that it makes me feel healthy physically and mentally) is that I get to pat myself on the back for just showing up.  This is one of the few things in life where I allow myself to just be.

Giving yourself permission to be happy, be yourself, and focus on what you do well is something I coach my clients to do.  Even though I didn’t realize it, yoga has been teaching me this lesson for years.  When I practice this one activity, I give myself permission to be happy with who I am.  Even if I’ll never be able to hold certain poses well, I’m still making progress.   I enjoy the journey, without judging the outcome. 

I need to remember this during those moments in life where I hold myself up to unrealistic expectations.  Nobody is perfect – that’s what makes us interesting!

Do you have outlets that help you manage perfectionistic tendencies? What are other ways you can give yourself permission to just be?

About The Author

Page Patten
Strengths-based Coach and Owner of Glass Always Full.

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