One of the most challenging things of being a driven, ambitious woman with chronic illness is consistency on anything. Consistency for a perfectionist is another nail in the coffin.

Perfectionism patterns

In full disclosure, consistency, as I knew it then, was difficult for me even before I got sick because I over extended myself and overcommitted regularly so it was impossible to keep any ball in the air consistently. But when I got sick it became very obvious to me that my intention to be consistent, heeding the advice I had been given from every mentor in my life, was fueling the perfectionism thought patterns and symptoms that led to more anxiety, self doubt, and the fear that I would fail. I interpreted Consistency as “every day” or “every time” and as a perfectionist, when I have a human moment and I am not that thing, do that action, have that experience, it meant I was failing at the perfect execution of consistency.

We hear that consistency is the key to everything and all the success. It’s true - consistent effort over time always, and I mean always, leads to progress which I know means success. But consistency gets misinterpreted as perfection - the extreme black and white, the right and wrong, the good and bad because if by definition the success comes from regularly doing something, the irregularity is failing. And as a perfectionist - having a human moment or doing things differently than planned or expected is not about an external decision that may or may not be effective. Perfectionism says I am a bad person, I have failed as a person when I don’t meet expectations.

Think about anything you’ve achieved on purpose

Habitually in your life - it’s rarely been perfectly executed. That’s not because you are lazy or you weren’t committed enough - it’s because your life isn’t so simple that you only had those one or two things to focus on. Many of us are navigating deep healing emotionally and physically, dozens of relationships with varying needs, our own health, our money, our professional and personal - why on earth would you think you’d be able to squeeze 72 hours worth of “consistent” effort into a daily practice? But we do - we beat ourselves up for not doing things EVERY day. I’m here to tell you - that’s part of the conditioning from the hustle and grind culture. 

That is part of the patriarchy keeping you chasing your tail and in a whirlwind that keeps you from moving into a place of authentic alignment and full personal power. Consider what you effort to be consistent on, write it down. And write down how many times in a row, for how many weeks, months, years you’d have to do that to be, to qualify yourself as “successful” in that effort. Forever. Because if you stop, that means you’ve stopped the streak of consistency, right?

Consistency for a perfectionist is another nail in the coffin

This looping thought is unrealistic and unfair to your purpose and your passion. It doesn’t allow you to stay in tune with your internal voice because the ruling demand is honoring this external commitment to maintaining a streak of behaviors regardless of what you need or want each day. But what if we changed our relationship with consistency and decided that no matter what part of life we applied consistency to - posting on social media, asking curious questions rather than yelling at our kids, meditating or exercising every day - we decided that our goal is to consistently come back to the practices and habits that will lead to the success we crave? What if our commitment wasn’t to the perfect execution of the action or thought but that we would consistently circle back to the process that we believe will lead to results?

This also allows for you to stay in alignment. It leaves room for you to change your mind about what you want. You may think you want to be a runner, but after doing a month of training leading up to running you realize, it’s incredibly boring for you. And so instead of beating yourself up because you notice you are not running as you had planned, you allow yourself to “quit” running and stay committed to being someone who is healthy and fit and the consistency is with your vision of yourself and your goals. 

Healthy Consistency

The true path to progress and achievement and fulfillment isn’t perfect execution, it’s continuing to come back to the foundation of your truest self - who she is, what lights her up and the core values she is drawn to. Then to get curious about what’s working and how it’s happening. Healthy Consistency is just another way to say habits and patterns of behavior. And what we know is that habits, even the strongest ones, are not going to be perfectly executed but will still be extremely effective if we understand the focus is not on the streak but instead on the circling back from real life detours with questions that are cloaked in compassion. Healthy consistency is the result of having crystal clear vision of where you want to go or what you want to experience and then getting curious and compassionate with yourself when the planned action didn’t happen as you anticipated.

When you hear “you have to be consistent” from whomever you are inspired by, I hope you’ll hear what it really means to show up regularly: that your progress is the priority and how often you do something is impacted by what you need and want. Consistency doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your day to day knowing, your internal guidance or inner wisdom. Quite the contrary - you’ll find it easier to be consistent more often when you aren’t blindly following the rule to maintain the streak and instead maintaining your alignment.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.