A Love Letter to Perfectionists – Video with Marc David

Perfectionism can often inspire us to be our best, rise to the occasion, and do good things in the world. But perfectionism can have a dark side to it. And this dark side often remains unknown and unseen to most perfectionists. This way of being can cause us to contract from life, to be less available personally and emotionally to others, and in the worst case, it can create self hatred or even self abuse. The good news is, perfectionists simply need a little love. Tune in to this video from IPEtv where Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating delivers a great love letter to the perfectionists within all of us. We think you’ll come away more hopeful and inspired.

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Below is a transcript of this week’s video:

Greetings friends, this is Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

Are you a food, body or weight perfectionist? If yes, then this going to be perfect for you. If you’re not a perfectionist in this way, then send this along to your all your perfectionist friends, loved ones, or any perfectionist you feel frustrated by because… they’re perfectionists, and it drives you a little crazy.

Now maybe the best way to go about speaking to my perfectionist friends is by a love letter. That’s in part because perfectionists are secretly very vulnerable to any kind of criticism, and since it’s actually so hard to be perfect, you guys can get just a little uptight sometimes. And who doesn’t like a love letter? So here goes:

Cue the music please….

Dear Perfectionist:

I’m excited to read this love letter to you. Please forgive me, because it’s not going to be perfect, and I know you have some pretty high standards. I’m doing my best, so please don’t judge me as harshly as you judge yourself. I know you want the ideal body, and you want to control your food intake with exquisite military precision. I love how you’re willing to work so hard to achieve your perfect results, even though you want everyone to think that it all came naturally, and for some reason, you’re just never hungry and don’t need to eat much. I think it’s charming how whenever we go out to dinner, you’re totally satisfied with just lettuce – it’s so great how you’re just born that way.

On a side note, you’re a great person to hire for a job because you want to do things right and can’t stand making even the littlest mistakes. It’s so sweet to watch how you crumble whenever your self-esteem is rattled in any way. And to hear the excuses you make whenever you don’t do something perfectly – it’s so creative, even though we know you’re secretly panicking.

It’s especially encouraging to watch you when you’re on a roll, and you really ARE doing things perfectly. You’re so proud of yourself, so strong and powerful, even if you do get just a little arrogant about it. But you’ve kind of earned it because, well, you’re being so perfect. And then to watch your inevitable crash from your perfect eating, or to see you crumble when you weigh yourself and put on the monstrous, evil amount of one pound – well it’s just so unexpected and fascinating how you can swing from such highs to such lows. It’s better than any reality TV show.

Now, I just want to let you know how much we all care about you, and I know it’s not easy being you. In fact, it’s hard work, and you deserve a big hug because this perfectionism thing is a full time job, in addition to your real job in life and all the other things you have to do. I wish you could get paid for all the time and energy you put into being perfect. You could buy all kinds of really nice clothes that you can someday fit into when you’re REALLY perfect.

But what I want to say most to you dear perfectionist, is that I miss you. We all miss you. That’s because when you focus so much of your life force on being perfect, you forget about us. We don’t have ALL of you. You might think that you’re showing up fully, but we feel how absent you are. It’s as if you love trying to be perfect more than you love us. It’s just the way the rest of us feel. That’s why we get so frustrated with you sometimes. And you actually don’t even notice this because you’re so busy trying to be perfect.

And by the way, we’re not waiting for you to be perfect – we just want you to be happy now. And it’s so hard for us when we watch how you punish yourself when you’re not perfect. We know what you’re doing. You get real mean with yourself, you get cranky with us, and your light gets a little dim. We know you’re not perfect. So what. Neither are we. It’s ok. I hope you realize that it hurts when you hold US to YOUR high perfectionist standards. But it actually hurts us more when you attack yourself because you can’t live up to your own impossible ideals.

So dear perfectionist, please just let it go. Stop the nonsense and love yourself already. It’s kind of silly, and we love you for who you are. Life is short. Join the club of all of us imperfect humans who get a bit messy now and then. It’s actually way more fun. We can’t wait to have you back.

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating offers the most innovative and inspiring professional trainings, public programs, conferences, online events and lots more in the exciting fields of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition! In our premier professional offering – the Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training – you can grow a new career and help your clients in a powerful way with food, body and health. You’ll learn cutting-edge skills and have the confidence to work with the most compelling eating challenges of our times: weight, body image, overeating, binge eating, digestion, fatigue, immunity, mood, and much more. If you’re focused on your own eating and health, the Institute offers a great selection of one-of-a-kind opportunities to take a big leap forward in your relationship with food. We’re proud to be international leaders in online and live educational events designed to create the breakthroughs you want most. Our public programs are powerful, results-oriented, and embrace all of who we are as eaters – body, mind, heart, and soul.

Please email us at info@psychologyofeating.com if you have specific questions and we will be sure to get back to you.

Again, that is psychologyofeating.com.

This is Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

Thanks so much for your time and interest.

To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video training series at ipe.tips. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition that have helped millions forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health. Lastly, we want to make sure you’re aware of our two premier offerings. Our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training is an 8 month distance learning program that you can take from anywhere in the world to launch a new career or to augment an already existing health practice. And Transform Your Relationship with Food is our 8 week online program for anyone looking to take a big leap forward with food and body.

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  • Nathalie Guerin

    I haven’t laughed so hard in a long while.

    I’ve stepped over the perfectionism. 🙂

    My new motto is that control is futile.

    Thanks for the laughter,

    Nathalie

    • So glad you enjoyed this post, Nathalie! And congratulations on stepping over perfectionism! No doubt you’ll have a lot more fun here on the messy side of life! Warmly, Marc

  • So glad you enjoyed this post, Nathalie! And congratulations on stepping over perfectionism! No doubt you’ll have a lot more fun here on the messy side of life! Warmly, Marc

  • Laurinda Erasmus

    Such true insight, put in beautiful and loving words, thank you.

    • Thank you so much, Laurinda, for your thoughtful and heartfelt comment. Wishing you peace and joy in the new year! Warmly, Marc

  • Pam

    This is so clever Marc. Only you could come up with something so innovative. It’s thought provoking yet fun. I confess to being a perfectionist that leads to paralysis for me. I can’t anything done just in case it doesn’t work out as good as I want it to be. My second confession I am slowly but surely starting to let go & it sure is a relief. Thanks for all the work you do.

    • Hi Pam! So glad you enjoyed this. Thank you for sharing your confessions and congratulations on letting go! Warmly, Marc

  • Pam

    This is so clever Marc. Only you could come up with something so innovative. It’s thought provoking yet fun. I confess to being a perfectionist that leads to paralysis for me. I can’t anything done just in case it doesn’t work out as good as I want it to be. My second confession I am slowly but surely starting to let go & it sure is a relief. Thanks for all the work you do.

About The Author
Marc David
Founder

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.