This podcast title Slip And Learn: How To Deal With Perfectionism And Guilt is probably one of the more important podcasts we’ve recorded.
The first and probably most import thing to note – everyone has them, slips that is. Let’s get that out of the way – you’re not on your own.
We learn from our mistakes and it is inherent in the human condition that we don’t always get things right, be it at the beginning, middle or close to the end of any programme (weight loss, stop smoking, etc).
It is how we deal with these slips that is crucial to our long-term success (and happiness).
At Motivation, from day one with new clients, we get them so sign a commitment form and we let them know there will be slips along the journey – you are only human. We show them how to think about slips differently as most clients will have tried and failed any number of conventional weight loss programmes due to quitting after a slip or series of slips.
Thinking about slips or failure differently empowers our clients to be able to slip, to learn and to move on without missing a step. No pangs of guilt of feelings of failure.
As Maebh points out, when somebody relapses, it’s not if but when and it’s either going to go one of two ways:
- If they have been listening to their weight loss advisor and if they have been using their Motivation tools, they will react quite well to the slip. Most importantly, they will recognise and see it as part of the process and they will just carry on with their journey and get back on track. Learning to deal with perfectionism and guilt is a core aspect of the programme.
- The other option is those people who beat themselves up. They too are perfectionist but unfortunately haven’t used the tools and worked on the issues. Critical to this point is Maebh’s observation that perfectionism is a trait that can be worked on; people do change and you can work on this side of yourself.
The perfectionist’s outlook is that if they are not doing it perfectly well all of the time then they shouldn’t do it at all.
The reality is we all relapse or slip.
The reality is that as weight loss advisors we know that when clients stick to the programme 70/80% of the time they will be successful.
You will deviate and you will relapse and it’s important that when this happens you act with compassion towards yourself.
How do you know if you are a perfectionist of if you suffer from feelings of guilt?
For Maebh, her perfectionism and feelings of guilt were both identified and confirmed when she completed the Mental Weight Questionnaire.
Maebh adopted the mantra that it’s ok to make mistakes but as she points out, it took a while to trickle down from the head to the heart.
Now, Maebh is able to park a mistake (be in parenting, eating, whatever) and get on with it.
This podcast runs to just over 18 minutes and it’s an invaluable tool in helping you to learn about slips and relapses but most importantly, how to deal with perfectionism and guilt.