“I will be ___ when I’m ___”.
How many of us could fill the blanks of that sentence? Here are some of my favourites…
“I will be happy when I lose 10kgs”
“I will be organised when I create the perfect schedule”
“I will be successful when I get that promotion”
“I will be content when I find the perfect partner”
Sounding familiar? It’s what I like to call The Perfection Deadline.
The Perfection Deadline: Procrastination or negative emotions disguised as goals.
Goals are fantastic however when they turn into ‘perfection deadlines’ they are no longer goals; rather negative emotions that you are reinforcing to yourself time and time again. And the worst bit is that unlike other deadlines these ones will make any process longer rather than speeding them up.
Here’s why you need to cross those deadlines off your calendar permanently;
They make you procrastinate
When you set yourself a perfection deadline you forever commit that ‘goal’ into the world of tomorrows. And we all know what happens with tomorrow’s… they never come.
If you are always referring to something as a future date in your mind it will always be a future date in reality.
They make you miss opportunities
About 6 months ago, I started following a girl on Instagram. We had the same taste and humour as well as an uncanny knack for ‘Oh, snaps!’ (i.e. eating/doing/thinking the same thing at the same time). After a while of chatting we decided we should meet up. I had recently had a baby though and was not confident with my post-baby body. It made me nervous and shy and I wanted to make a good impression. Considering I was into wellness she would take one look and think I was a fraud.
Maybe I will meet up with her when I lose 5kgs, I thought. Then I’ll be confident, happy, authentic. I told my husband of my thought process and he rightly proceeded to (verbally) slap me silly.
So I met her… as I was. And guess what? I was confident and happy despite the missed deadline. As over used as the term is, I truly met a soul sister in the gorgeous Claire (from This is Lifeblood) and we now have one of my favourite relationships of any.
Guess what? I am still 8kgs over my ‘goal’. Had I stuck to my ‘deadline’ I would have still been here, months later, having not met her. Having not had amazing conversations, awesome road trips to meet our idols and wellness days making flower crowns.
What a tragedy that would have been.
They make you push the start line further back
Last year I was working in a job that was the definition of soul-destroying. I could not wait to start my leave because then I would be happy! Maternity leave started and things were great but then the pregnancy started getting uncomfortable. Pretty much all I could do was lie down, eat and wee. Once the baby arrives, I thought, then I will be happy. My amazing daughter arrived and life was better. Life will always be better with her in the world but my mood dropped again. It was then I realized that nothing gave me happiness just as nothing stood in the way of me having it.
The reason I had been feeling low was because I wasn’t allowing myself the things I truly needed; rest, healthy food, positive thoughts, exercise and self-love. Had I just realized that at the get-go then I would have been happier a long time ago.
Perfection deadlines just delay the inevitable; you are eventually going to have to deal with whatever negative emotion is driving you into greener grass territory.
Here is your red pen
So, lets get cracking at crossing those deadlines out.
Talk about goals in present tense
Whenever I talk to myself (whether it’s just a chit chat or during my affirmations) I talk as if my goals have already been achieved. Instead of “I am going to be fit” think “I am getting fitter and healthier everyday”.
This has been a massive turning point in dealing with my panic attacks. My inner dialogue used to be full of fear. I would tell myself – “my goodness, I am so scared, I can’t breathe, I’m going to faint”. Now, I just repeat, “I am calm, I am balanced, I can breathe”. It is phenomenal the difference that it has made.
Turn your when into a then
Look at the four questions at the beginning of this post. Now, how much better does this look?
“I will be happy then I will lose 10kgs”
“I will be organized then create the perfect schedule”
“I will be successful then get that promotion”
“I will be content then find the perfect partner”
Gives me goosebumps.
Do it now!
Have you been putting something off? Maybe you have been thinking of emailing someone you don’t really know, considering signing up for that course, starting a blog, wondering if you should move interstate? You have been waiting until you are braver, more secure, more ready.
You are always ready.
Whatever it is, prove yourself wrong – do it now! Jump in and see what happens.
Do you have a perfection deadline? What are you going to do to cross it out? I would LOVE to hear about it in the comments.