Whether we’re just sitting on the couch or out there running marathons, one thing I’ve learned is that we all wish we were doing better. We have a dangerous obsession with perfection. It’s dangerous because it can be motivating—or it can seem so unattainable that it becomes debilitating. We need to jettison this concept of perfection and focus our appreciation on progress.
Do you know how often people are surprised to learn that when I was 12 years old, I weighed 170 pounds? If I thought I had to look the way I do today, I would have completely given up.
It’s a mistake to focus on either extreme. Instead, the pathway to success is the area in between. It’s all about progress. I’m still far from perfect and that’s why I’ve always been so open about my struggles.
I want everyone to know that it’s inherently human to struggle and to make mistakes; to have setbacks and to struggle to overcome them.
But if you’re looking at the finish line, you’ll never get there. It’s the same reason marathons are so popular. Nobody can just go out and run 26 miles. You start by struggling just to do a few.
You celebrate your progress. And after making small but important improvements, at some point you realize you’re ready. It’s that pathway through progress that gives us that sense of pride, accomplishment and self-worth.
I believe a big part of my success is my personal transparency. My life is an open book. I am not ashamed of my many flaws. I might not be proud of them, but I understand that we all have flaws. The only way to improve them is to accept them. I believe if you see how much I struggle and mess up in my life, it’ll help you realize that you’re probably doing better than you think.
Search yourself to find your true motivation for change. Once you find it, you’re ready for action. Don’t expect to always succeed—just commit to keep trying. Like I said, jettison the concept of perfection and learn to appreciate progress. That’s how I turned my life around. You can, too.
Jillian Michaels is one of the most successful health and fitness experts of all time. She spent years coaching contestants on the hit TV show, The Biggest Loser. She has also written several best-selling books, released wildly successful exercise DVDs and programs, including the award-winning My Fitness by Jillian Michaels app, and hosts her own weekly podcast.