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- Hide Preview | 14 Comments | submitted 4 months ago by [deleted] [Post Locked]

I am turning 28 later this week. While I am focused on self-improvement, I am not in a huge rush to get married (I do not want kids). I am a perfectionist. While this has helped me, I am also very hard on myself. I realize at this age looks start to fade so I am taking better care of myself. I am already pretty and naturally thin, but I'm taking care of some things that bother me (improving skin, getting Invisalign, building muscle, etc).

Some of these changes are difficult because it means changing my lifestyle. For example, going to bed early instead of hanging out with friends so I can go to the gym early in the morning. I am considering cutting out alcohol (never drank it much anyway) and deleting my social media accounts (time wasters), but that also affects what little social life I have. Even though I shouldn't care about what others think, I worry that my friends will think I am "better" than them.

My close friends are supportive of these changes but don't really see it as necessary. When I mess up (eat something unhealthy, for example) they tell me it's no big deal and try again tomorrow. This is probably good advice, but part of me wishes they were harder on me. Sometimes I wish I got tough love from them or had an accountability partner. That's why I like RPW, you guys aren't afraid to give tough love when necessary.

My question is, while I'm trying to improve myself, what should I do when I slip up? I'm having a hard time balancing between perfectionism and laziness. How have you handled major lifestyle changes when your friends/family don't follow the same lifestyle? It's frustrating because I have made some positive changes in my life, but I feel like I have hit a plateau where I'm struggling to push myself further out of my comfort zone. I want to reach my full potential but it's almost like I'm afraid of doing so.

[-] Zegiknie 10 Points 4 months ago

Perhaps loosening up is self improvement for you. You're only truly badass if you can pull off awesome with a smile and a wink. If social media helps your social life, it can be valuable. Does it get in the way or not?

[-] [deleted] 2 Points 4 months ago

Perhaps it is. I can loosen up, but usually I overdo it and have a hard time getting back on track with my goals. Any tips for loosening up just a little?

Social media is good for me because I can keep in touch with friends from out of state that I've met online through my hobby. We meet a couple times a year so leaving social media completely would be tough. Having a social media presence is also beneficial to my hobby. I'm considering compromising and deleting social media from my phone and only using it on my PC (which I only use for my hobby).

[-] Zegiknie 2 Points 4 months ago

For me it happened with age, and hanging out with happy older women. Their talk helped me put things in perspective. Also: the goal of all this is joy, but you don't live in the future... Balance current and future joy.

[-] organicsunshine 5 Points 4 months ago

Give yourself allowances. There is no messing up when you work hard. Perfection is a problem, flexibility is key to dicipline.

I do think getting off social media and connecting with your friends in real life is the healthiest route.

Good for you for making changes. Prepare yourself if you meet a high value man who doesn't want marriage if no children are involved.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

I'm working on trying to be more flexible and forgiving myself when I make mistakes. It's difficult because I am my own worst critic. I set my expectations unrealistically high, setting myself up for failure. I am trying to set the goal posts a little lower.

[-] [deleted] 4 Points 4 months ago

Listen to your friends. It is far better to ride the middle ground and make slow, steady self improvements than to ride yourself over every little thing. You won’t even notice the changes piling up, but they will. Enjoy the last part of your 20’s. If social media is a tool for you, use it as such. Nothing is “good” or “bad”, it either serves a purpose or it doesn’t, and sometimes the purpose of a given thing is simple enjoyment or convenience. Change isn’t a project you start, it’s just a new way of living, so it should come with a certain level of manageability.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

Thanks for the advice. I'm realizing that I might be so hard on myself because I have friends that are more successful than I am in different ways, like fitness, career, social life, etc. While I shouldn't compare myself to others I draw inspiration from them. I do feel like I'm playing catch up. The changes are happening but I guess I need to be more patient.

Social media is a tool for me because I use it for my side hustle/hobby. I have also met a lot of friends online that I see a couple times a year. I'm might just try cutting down on social media since it can be a time waster sometimes.

[-] kittxxn 3 Points 4 months ago

Jordan Peterson says we should treat ourselves like someone we’re responsible for helping. Most people when they try to make big lifestyle changes, improve productivity, eat better, work out, etc, we become a tyrant/slave dynamic within ourself. Don’t talk to yourself like a slave: “you have to do xyz and be perfect or else..” but instead, talk to yourself like someone you care about. Encourage yourself to do the best you can every day. Forgive yourself if you slip, but keep your expectations high. Also, the people who really care about you should treat you the same way, with compassion and motivation. These changes will soon become habits and won’t require second thought.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

I'll work on being kinder to myself. I'm already very ambitious but I tend to treat myself like a slave. I am lucky because I have surrounded myself with a lot of incredible people who already do these habits and I want to catch up. My friends are compassionate but I know I need to motivate myself.

[-] butterflyhalo 3 Points 4 months ago

Hi! I'm in the exact same boat - I've noticed it helps if you aren't too harsh on yourself but maintaining optimism on your ability to do it. So much of it is just mental. Also for me, it's easier to cut DOWN on things like alcohol/social media than cut out completely. So you might find it easier to make gradual changes rather than drastic overnight, as the habits are more likely to stick. Sometimes it helps to put the focus entirely on yourself - I've had periods where I'd hangout with friends less and be less social while I'm working on improving myself (usually something specific or have tests) until it becomes a habit/is accomplished, but this might not work for everyone.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point 4 months ago

Hi there! I'm trying to work on being more optimistic when I screw up, I tend to be very all or nothing. I also agree about cutting down vs cutting out.

I have been focusing entirely on myself for the last month and a half. I even quit using social media for a month. While it works for about a month, any longer than that causes me to isolate myself and overthink things. I think it works short-term, but like most things it's a balance :)

[-] butterflyhalo 2 Points 4 months ago

Yes for sure. My focus periods are generally a month or two long. I’d say try to introduce one or two habits at a time instead of overwhelming yourself. The book ‘power of habit’ was very helpful in learning more about habit formation, which is crucial in achieving permanent lifestyle changes! Otherwise you’d end up going back to your old ways after feeling demotivated at being bad at following through your goals

[-] sonder_one 3 Points 4 months ago

Perfectionism is insecurity - a reformed perfectionist.

It's really obvious in other people. The two women I know who openly call themselves perfectionists have serious issues. And are both single and unhappy.

[-] cocodecoca 3 Points 4 months ago

Self discipline is hard to learn. I wasn't raised with it, most people don't have it in the first place in order to teach it to their kids.

Once you have self discipline these things won't be as tough, don't expect your friends to do it for you, they aren't doing it to themselves. So they aren't going to hold you accountable, no one is, no one cares as much about you as you do.

It's a hard trait to master, but it's possible.