You Are Not Being Perfect, By Trying to Be Perfect. And What Does This Muffin Have to Do With It?

I went to La Colombe in Rittenhouse Square, Philly, today to order my usual Friday treat for myself- a red eye and a blueberry muffin. I don’t usually sit in the cafe because I grab-and-go back to the office in the mornings, but I arrived during lunch time today. 

My barista gave me a blueberry muffin on a plate, and I stood there looking around for a fork for a few moments before asking- “Where is your silverware here? Do you have a fork?” And she looked at me with open eyes as she looked at the muffin and then back at me, saying surprisingly, “Use your hands! We don’t have forks..” 

This brings me back to a common theme that has been arising for me lately. Perfection. I keep getting little reminders lately about how trying to be perfect, isn’t actually perfect for you. Being perfect sounds.. well, perfectly good and awesome, right? Try again. It’s actually not entirely healthy. It takes form in tightness within the mind and tension within the body as you put on that pressure. It can take its form and result in OCD, anxiety, and even depression as you feel like you continuously let yourself down. Perfectionism is a self-defeating behavior.

In my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach training, Joshua Rosenthal says to “Be bad!” in order to overcome this sense of striving for perfection. Try being less than perfect, whether that is playing a (harmless) joke on someone, wearing your hair messy to work, purposely doing only three out of the ten things on your To-Do list, or maybe eating that piece (or two) of chocolate while you are on a diet. Be imperfect, and get excited about it.

I used to define myself as a perfectionist. I am becoming less obsessive-compulsive. But I still like to keep my living space extra sparkly clean.. and my hands when I’m eating.. healthy.. food.

So today I got my hands dirty and ate that muffin with my bare hands! Perfection defeated x 2! 

– mandee m.


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