In this blog series we’ve looked at several ways in which our thoughts can keep us stuck, what I call Perfect Paralysis. Another way that I see Perfection Paralysis show up in my clients… and myself is what I call ‘The Instagram Fallacy’.
The basic scenario goes something like this:
Client: ‘I want to try meditation.’
Me: ‘What about meditation is interesting to you?’
Client: ‘I have lots of friends who have a regular practice and they just love it.’
Me: ‘So you’ve heard good things, what would trying meditation look like for you?’
Client: ‘Well, I’d like to try it, but I don’t really have a good spot in my house. I mean I have a little nook, but I’d need a mat, and some calming music, or a small water fountain and it is a bit drafty, so I’d have to think about how to fix that…’
Roadblock! This client is paralyzed by ‘The Instagram Fallacy’. She can’t imagine just trying meditation without setting up the perfect, Instagram worthy meditation space with mat, fountain and a cheery bamboo plant.
I do this to myself every time someone gives me a beautiful journal… I agonize over, using it, because well my handwriting is terrible (truly terrible), I’m an inconsistent journal writer… I basically stop myself from ‘ruining’ the beautiful journal by using it. WTF? And it is not limited to meditation and journaling, I see it with dating, job hunting, starting a new hobby, taking family pictures… important things in our lives that are often fleeting, might not happen if we are so set on it being perfect before we start.
In our highly curated visual world, we are constantly fed the idea that the environment must be ‘picture perfect’ before we can move forward. Having an environment that supports our activities is hugely important, however wanting it to be perfect can throw-up major roadblocks. If you tend to suffer from ‘The Instagram Fallacy’ there are a few things you can do to free yourself.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the absolute minimum I need to ‘try’ this new thing? What if you hate meditation, but you only discover that after you’ve spent hours and hundreds of dollars setting up the perfect Zen space.
- Why does it feel important for the space to be picture perfect?
- What does it say about you if meditate in your pjs, on the couch with the mail and toys and laundry within reach?
- Who is the judge of the worthiness of your space, or journal?
- What is more important, the action or the environment?
- Can you give yourself permission to create your environment as you evolve? What you think you need as a novice is rarely what you discover you need as you move towards mastery.
So far, we’ve looked at ‘The Fear Factor‘, ‘The Guilt Gremlins‘, ‘The Daisy Chain Effect‘ and the Instagram Fallacy… in my final blog post about Perfection Paralysis we will examine ‘Eating an Elephant’. (No elephants were harmed in the writing of this blog post.)