Heat (the) Pot

If people reach perfection they vanish, you know-

Many folks who wander around these parts consider themselves perfectionist and they also consider perfectionism to be one of their most valuable attribute (a close runner-up is their charming smile). As a perfectionist you are likely to obsess over bringing attention to detail: Your yoga mat and running shoes have to match your outfit. A keen eye on organization and following a well intended plan, as well as a clear sense of how all of the pieces of the “big picture” relate to each other.

It seems that having good intentions (wanting to excel no matter the discipline) and working hard would result in our meeting a desired outcome(s). However, as we well know, this doesn’t happen as often as we think it should. In fact, you might be frustrated by the fact that your perfectionism pays off in keeping your socks organized and your Prius meticulously clean but backfires horrendously during your adho mukha svanasana.

Why is this so?

Even more confusing and frustrating is when we use our perfectionism in one instance and it works great, but then we use the exact same strategy in another situation? It doesn’t work in the least. Quick example: Obsessing about making mistakes can make you detail-oriented and a key asset in your work place. Or obsessing about making mistakes can make you fail miserably during yoga class and during your next “big” event.


I decided not too long ago that I wanted to better understand when and under what circumstances perfectionism worked and when it backfired. Race preparation and event planning – A touch of perfectionism helps, a lot! Enjoying yoga class and a nice flowing trail run? Not so much. I’ve also seen people (myself included) literally kill themselves in the pursuit of the perfect mile, split time and perfect rep … Totally not worth it!

CultFit Poly

16 Comments on “Heat (the) Pot”

  1. Maia says:

    Thank goodness I don’t own a Prius! πŸ˜‰
    I used to be like this. Obsessed with perfectionism. It was sort of drilled into me growing up. It drained me. Wilted my very core. My therapist (and yoga) allowed me to let that go. It has been very freeing.

    It still pops out every now and then. And when it comes out not as planned, well… you’ll find me in my rabbit hole.

    It’s having a goal; but at the same time, being adaptable to HOW it’ll turn out. Sometimes we expect so much. Only to see ourselves drained and wilted in the end. It is never worth it when you lose yourself in the process.

    • CultFit says:

      Thank goodness I don’t own one either …
      Growing up I was a perfectionist, always trying to meet and exceed goals no matter the cost to myself or those around me. Everything had to be “Just so”. There are many reasons as to why I changed, its hard to pinpoint just one event that really stands out. All I know now is that “things” still matter, they just don’t carry the same amount of baggage as before. Flexible and adaptable πŸ™‚
      I hope you have a great weekend, take care!

    • Maia says:

      I don’t think a Prius would survive our awesome winter here. I don’t fancy small cars… unless its a Mini Cooper. πŸ˜‰

      Keep telling you… our elders screwed us up big time!
      I think it’s the culture their generation was in. We have mellowed tho. More openness and vulnerability for some awakened souls. I think of the women burned at the stake, witches, only because they express their individualism. But this was not how it waa viewed to be a perfect lady, to lead a perfect life.

      We still get burned at the stake these days- males, females, x-gender… For some ridiculous reason, to be perfect is to conform to the majority’s ideals, what society would see as ‘the way’.

      Little do they know that we need not follow anyone’s ways. We make our own.

      I babbled. Sorry! I have time because no one showed up for my class today!! *sigh* =/

      • CultFit says:

        I was totally there with you in spirit! I do wish to get back to your thoughts in more detail soon, is that OK? Until then I hope you have a fantastic and adventurous weekend, take care!

  2. As a reformed perfectionist, I can really appreciate your insight.

    • CultFit says:

      Part of the wider discussion I wanted to have but cut out due to it being boring πŸ˜‰ … is that of surrendering to the moment and ourselves.
      Many people feel that anything other than perfection is “lowering the bar” or lowering expectations. I tend to disagree with this train of thought … Something to talk about down the road. I hope you have a great weekend, please take care!

  3. Perfection eludes me. No matter how hard I tried I always missed the mark. So, having learned too late, I accept that doing my best at what I am doing does seem to be perfect enough.

  4. ronjet says:

    Random Workouts…Random Results. I love the ambiguity of your motto. Before reading your posts, I read it as a cautionary warning urging focus. But posts like this show it as an invitation to unexpected adventure.

    • CultFit says:

      My little slogan thing is bathed in ambiguity and holds many hidden “secrets”, one of which I’ll share with you this morning. I stopped posting workouts a long time ago when I realized that being physically fit albeit a good thing in life, plays a secondary role in defining who we really are as individuals. Many readers stop over to have a look around expecting me to break down diet(s) and running form … rather you get a post lamenting about perfectionism. πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for stopping over and sharing your kind thoughts, it means a lot to me! Be inspired this weekend and please take care.

  5. Sandra says:

    I don’t try to be perfect, I am SO far from being able to hit the mark. I gave up trying a long time ago. I’m still trying to learn, however, that what others think really doesn’t matter (even though I say it doesn’t bother me, it does).

    Like Chatter, I am just trying to do the best I can do.

  6. I came to your blog through “Today’s the Day”. I love this piece on perfection. Sometimes all we can do is do is strive for perfection, but aim for improvement. Keep on keeping on.

    Your friend,


    • CultFit says:

      Thank you for stopping over to hang out for a bit and to have a look around – You never quite know what you may find over here on any given day! I hope you are having a great weekend, take care and be well.

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