Consistency over Perfection to Increase Self-Worth
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”
Last week I wrote about how to build your self-worth to increase happiness. This week, I’d like to expand on the topic to consider is how do you increase your self-worth. In the previous article, I wrote primary about using meditation and mindfulness practices. To broaden the topic, today’s article is exploring the ideas of consistency and commitment to continue to build self-worth.
To begin, I have a math equation of sorts for you to contemplate on your journey of personal growth. If you are not a math enthusiast (me either), stay with me, it’s not really math. And at the end, I will offer you an opportunity to make a commitment to the most important person in your life (spoiler alert: it’s you).
For Meditation and Movement (and other skills):
Consistency + Commitment – Perfection = Growth + Self-Worth
Have you experienced inspiration and motivation to start a new habit or change an old habit for your health? Are you excited to join a 30-day meditation challenge, or a 90-day yoga program only to find your motivation fading away by day 6 or 7? When motivation fades, do you experience guilt and shame, wondering what’s wrong with you for failing yet another attempt? Is your self-talk sounding a bit negative?
You are absolutely NOT ALONE with this experience! I have struggled with this as well. In today’s article, I will give you a few strategies to create consistency and commitment for your meditation and movement practice, so this cycle doesn’t repeat itself. And I will offer some much-needed support opportunities. I know when I practice these strategies, my confidence and self-worth benefit!
Strategy 1: Consistency, Commitment, Imperfection
As I mentioned in the above math equation, consistency and commitment while letting go of perfection, all together make the strategy I believe in for creating a new positive habit. I consider all three of these components part of one step because they are most effective when used together. One supports the others, and this creates a positive cycle to move you towards growth and increased self-worth. Without one of these components, the whole system has the potential to fall apart.
Without consistency, a skill and habit will not be developed. Without commitment, there is likely no consistency and no connection to your deeper intrinsic motivation. Lastly, if there is a need for perfection, that can get in your way and break down both consistency and commitment for fear of failure. Let me break this down a bit more with some real examples.
Commitment supports consistency: For me, consistency has always been a challenge both for my meditation practice as well as exercise even thought I know they are good for me and I feel better when I consistently show up for the practices. When I have a strong commitment, it stems from my connection with why I am choosing these practices and this supports my consistency.
I remind myself often of why I have deemed this important and what the benefits are to me. I might choose any of these approaches:
- Taking a moment at the start of the practice to sit with my intentions.
- Writing down my “why” and reviewing it often.
- Celebrating my commitment and gratitude for the process with a gratitude journal.
- Regularly assessing my progress and acknowledging the benefits I am enjoying.
Allowing imperfection supports consistency: When I shift my expectations to simply completing the practices rather than expecting them to be a certain way or to reaching a specific milestone, I am more consistent, and I get more out of them. I allow my exercise and meditation to be exactly what I need at the moment I am practicing.
For example, it isn’t always necessary to go to the gym and complete 4 sets of lifts or spend 90 minutes practicing yoga. Some days my movement may consist of self-massage on a foam roller and a leisurely walk from my home. If you have a preconceived idea of what a movement practice needs to look like, you may never get started for fear of not doing it “right.”
*Give yourself the gift of structured, consistent flexibility and connect with what you need in the moment. (I’m not talking about the flexibility you get from stretching here 😉)*
Consistency supports commitment and improves skills: When I do stick with my practices, I improve at the skill itself, I am more aware of the benefits, and I am feeding the reason why I am practicing in the first place. This is a beautifully powerful, positive cycle in the making. My commitment to myself improves my confidence and self-worth in all aspects of my life.
Let’s look at a consistent meditation practice in terms of this cycle.
- Practice meditation daily.
- Connect with yourself, your needs, your values.
- This allows you to build a vision for your life.
- Process difficult emotions to understand yourself and how you relate to the world.
- Gain the ability to respond to situations skillfully and increasing confidence and reduce suffering.
- See the value and benefits of the practice and further commit.
Strategy 2: Make it Simple to Say YES
I tend to find excuses to not workout if I don’t have a set, structured schedule or if anything remotely gets in my way. Therefore, I must make it simple to say yes to my workout and no to those excuses. There must be a simple Yes over a work responsibility popping up or the laundry staring me down.
My personal strategy, although it may not work for everyone, is to have a trainer for guidance and a friend to workout with 3 days a week. I want to take the decision making out of the equation, so it is a non-negotiable, repeating appointment on my calendar. To make the process as easy as possible, I take my clothes out the night before, since I am working out at 6:15 am. This scenario may not be right for you, yet there are other ways to make it simple to say yes to your practice, whether it is meditation or movement.
Create your space if possible: If you are practicing at home, consider leaving out any equipment you might need for your workout or meditation. Keep your yoga mat unrolled or your meditation cushion where you will see it and be reminded to practice.
Be prepared with guidance: You might create a playlist of your favorite workouts or guided meditations if you are following a video. This way you don’t get caught up taking too much time deciding.
Motivation with music connects with your emotions: If you love music, curate the most motivating playlist for your workout. Or find the music for meditation that allows you to really tap into your heart and support what you need.
Keep your focus for exercise: Some people I know are inspired to be consistent with movement by listening to audio books or podcasts. Find out what works best for you to support your consistency. Additionally, choose an enjoyable form of exercise that has you WANTING to get in your next workout.
Seek out support: Find a meditation group or a group fitness class. Look for a meditation teacher or a movement expert. (more on this later)
Strategy 3: Done is Better than Perfect
Perfection can become the enemy of complete. I have written about this need for perfection in a past post. (LINK) If you let the fear of imperfection or the fear of failure stop you from even getting started, then you will never complete anything.
For example, currently I am committed to a strength training program at least 3 times a week with some Pilates and yoga on off days. If I am tired, feeling sore, or working with an injury one day, I adjust the program to be productive for how I am feeling. If I were to follow the prescribed program as it is written on one of those days, I wouldn’t be effective and could possibly hurt myself as well. This allows me to continue to be consistent and sends a message that I am worth the effort AND doing something that is nourishing for me.
I like to think about the benefits being in the journey, in the process itself, more than the destination or the outcome. It’s not about how many pull ups you can do or if you can do a handstand, the value is in the work you do to get there.
The same is true for meditation. If you are thinking that it will be difficult to do a meditation practice right, that might stop you from even getting started. Remember that there is no wrong way to practice and simply get started! It can take any shape—it is about intention!
Strategy 4: Positive Perspective is Everything
The perspective with which you view an experience colors your perception of it. If you think of using workout to make up for poor nutrition is becomes a punishment. If you consider meditation only as a fix for too much stress, it becomes crisis management rather than preventative maintenance.
What would change for your experience if you view your practice as a privilege not a punishment?
Strategy 5: Seek Support
A friend or family member as an accountability partner is a wonderful support. Additionally, a coach or expert in the method you are interested in can offer you guidance, inspiration, and motivation.
Community support is also extremely valuable, knowing people all around the world are “practicing with you” and are engaging in the same positive energy. I’d love to offer support with The Mindful Movement’s 21 day movement and meditation commitment (notice I did not call it a challenge).
- Registration is open NOW!
- Upon registration, receive an informational email to help you get prepared for this experience and set you up for success. AND as a bonus, a 3 week habit tracker!
- Day 1 of the commitment starts the day after you register!
- Receive daily emails with a movement and a meditation practice. These will be gentle practices to restore energy, reduce stress, and build self-worth with consistency. The movement practices are there to help prepare your mind and body for the stillness of meditation to make your practice more effective and satisfying. Please practice what’s right for you.
- Twice a week during this 21 days, the daily email will consist of extra support and motivation to help keep you on track.
- I encourage you to join the Facebook Group for community support during and after the experience.
Remember: Consistency + Commitment – Perfection = Growth + Self-Worth
I hope to see you in the community. Let me know how I can support you.
- How To Make Your Meditation Practice Stick
- How to Manage Stress with Nourishing Practices
- Discipline as a Form of Self-Care
- Guide to Support Your Mood and Energy with Restorative Self-Care Movement
- Movement as Self-Care
With love and gratitude,
Sara and Les
The Mindful Movement
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About your host
Sara and Les Raymond founded The Mindful Movement in August of 2016. They are passionate about helping others grow and live mindful, fulfilled lives. They have both experienced profound growth and fulfillment in living a mindful lifestyle. Together they help others live a more mindful life, deepening their awareness and sense of gratitude. They strive to inspire others to live authentically with love and abundance.