This three-word phrase has been central to my healing journey: progress not perfection. And I know that this will help you too!
Does perfectionism get in the way of creating what you want in your life? On today’s Dear Gabby I’ll teach you how to release the need to be perfect so that you can manifest more.
This radical shift will create amazing momentum in every area of your life—and I’ll show you how! I’ll teach you to embrace the power of imperfection. When you learn to live this way, you’ll show up for your life with a more positive attitude, higher vibes …. and a whole lot of love.
Progress Not Perfection
Today’s episode of the Dear Gabby podcast has a BIG topic. It’s a life lesson that I learned early in my sobriety: Focus on progress not perfection.
In my first days of getting sober, I’d go to meetings and I’d hear this phrase all the time: “Progress not perfection.” It was even written on the walls!
This sentiment really touched me. It allowed me to not worry about trying to be perfect that day. Instead, I’d just celebrate another day of being clean.
I would call my sponsor and celebrate the small right action I had taken that day. However small that action was, I knew it had taken me one step closer to my dream of being a sober woman.
My willingness to be imperfect has given me a lot of grace. It’s allowed me to be more creative. And that willingness has created space for so many miracles in my life.
I have brought this lesson of practicing progress not perfection into every area of my life. As a mom, as a wife, as a business owner and as a human in this world, I show up for everything I do with this mindset … and it has served me so greatly!
The Power of Imperfection
This “progress not perfection” mentality has changed my life, and it can serve you in miraculous ways too. So press play. I’m teaching you the power of imperfection today!
In today’s episode, you’ll learn:
- How to overcome your fears gradually—and why this is far more effective than ripping off the Bandaid
- The best way to develop a miracle mindset that will diminish your fear
- Why celebrating the small stuff will drastically improve your life
- How to use a “progress not perfection” mentality as your superpower in relationships—especially the intimate ones
How different would your life be if you let go of the need to be perfect and celebrated the progress instead?
Progress Is Expansive
I see so many people stuck in a perfection mentality. It shuts them down, puts them into freeze mode and cuts off their creative flow.
Progress, on the other hand, is expansive. It is energizing. It has momentum! I really want to encourage you to embrace this mindset.
I have some actionable steps that will move you closer to progress not perfection. You can listen to me share the tips on today’s podcast, and revisit this blog post to read them below.
The cool thing about these steps is that you don’t have to change overnight. You can do these for only one day, and even then you’ll feel some relief.
Practice Progress Not Perfection
Step one: Choose one small action that you can take right now that will move you closer to progress not perfection. For instance, if you’re working on a project that you think needs to be finished, let go of the finish line. Instead, do one small thing that will take you closer to completing it today.
Step two: Fully embrace your new mentality—even if it’s only for one day! Really allow that progress mentality to take over. Take the area of your life that you’re trying to be perfect in, and choose to see that one area through the lens of progress rather than perfection. See what it’s like to do this, even if it’s just for one day.
For example, say you’re experiencing some issues in your relationship. Instead of just being mad that things aren’t going exactly the way you want them to, make a list of all the things you’ve done in the relationship that have created progress in any area.
When you make progress your priority, rather than perfection, you allow creative ideas to come forward. You relax into infinite possibilities, and let yourself off the hook. You give yourself grace.
A Whole Lot of Love
Focusing on progress allows you to tap into the quality of love within you. You tune in to the inner voice that is forgiving, compassionate, courageous, creative and connected.
When you’re in a place of progress rather than perfection, you establish a radical momentum that allows you to show up for everything in your life with a high vibe, a positive attitude and a lot of love.
So give yourself this opportunity today to check in, and ask, In what area of my life could I bring in more progress rather than perfection? In what area of my life can I let myself off the hook more?
And in that inquiry, expect miracles.
Get More Gabby
The following are helpful resources and books I mention in the episode.
Want even more support? I created the Miracle Membership to help you design a spiritual practice you can stick to—so you can feel connected, supported and inspired every day. Each week I deliver brand new workshops, guided meditations, live group meditations, community connection and so much more. Plus, I lead a different 21-day challenge each quarter, to help you elevate every area of your life! Click here to join.
May Cause Miracles is a 40-day guidebook with subtle shifts that will lead to radical change. It’s the perfect book to accompany this episode and help you deepen your practice of focusing on progress over perfection.
Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace also celebrates progress not perfection. It took years of deep spiritual and therapeutic work to wake up every day without anxiety—and it was worth the journey! The book is filled with actionable tools you can use to overcome your fears, too. I hope you’ll take the Happy Days journey with me. You can pick up a copy of the book here or grab the audiobook here.
For more information on EMDR therapy, listen to my interview with my own EMDR therapist, Tammy Valicenti.
If you feel you need additional support, please check out this list of safety, recovery and mental health resources. I’m proud of you for being here.
I intend for this podcast to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey toward inner peace. I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.
The following podcast is a Dear Media production.
Hi there, Gabby here. This podcast is intended to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey towards inner. I’m not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do n...
The following podcast is a Dear Media production.
Hi there, Gabby here. This podcast is intended to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey towards inner. I’m not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from a psychological or medical condition, please seek help from a qualified health professional.
Hey there. Welcome to Dear Gabby. I’m your host Gabby Bernstein. And if you landed here, it is absolutely no accident. It means that you’re. Feel good and manifest a life beyond your wildest dreams. Let’s get started.
Before we jump into the episode, I wanna share something super cool with you. I have created a way for you to listen to the introduction, to my new book, Happy Days, the guided path from trauma to profound freedom and inner peace. You can listen to the intro for free at deargabby.com/happydaysaudio.
This is such a nice opportunity for you to get a taste of what the book’s about and hear my voice and see if it’s for you. See if this is your moment. See if this is your book. Go to deargabby.com/happydaysaudio.
Welcome back to Dear Gabby. Welcome back. I’m sitting here with Jimmy Blue, my kitty kitty in the house, new kitten in my house now too. Her name is Lily. She’s another little Bengal and these girls are best friends. They’re sisters. And I had to bring Jimmy Blue back into the studio because now that she has a sister, she’s kind of forgotten about me and I’m like, wait a second.
Don’t you forget about mommy. So she’s back in the studio with me, might hear her purr a little bit. And today’s topic is a practice. It’s a life practice that has given me a lot of grace. It’s allowed me to create more creative space. It’s given me the opportunity to create miracles in my life. I believe it’s actually one of my greatest qualities for success.
I remember when I was first getting sober and in my case, I went to these meetings and in my meetings, they would say over and over, and it was written all over the walls. Progress, not perfection. And I loved that so deeply because it then allowed me to not have to worry about how perfect I was that day. But instead, to celebrate, you know what? I have another day clean and sober or celebrate, I called my sponsor, celebrate whatever the small action was.
That I had taken towards my bigger dream, my bigger goal, which was being a woman that lived a sober life. And that message of practicing progress rather than perfection is something that I’ve taken into every corner of my life. As a mom, as a business owner, as a human in the world, as a wife, as an author, everything I do in my life, I show up for it with that mentality.
And I can give you some examples. You know. The absolute only way that I would be able to write nine books in 11 years is if I was willing to practice progress rather than perfection. If I had held myself to the standard of having the absolute perfect literary experience and knowing everything I could about writing the most beautiful sentence and telling the best stories I would never have even started; I would never have even taken that first book.
I would’ve completely self-sabotaged. The same goes in my marriage when we seem like we’re, you know, going through some stuff, which all couples do instead of feeling down about it and feeling like this isn’t perfect enough. I celebrate the moments of miracles. I celebrate the progress I celebrate, how far we’ve come.
My marriage is a truly miraculous relationship. We’ve done so much work together. And I celebrate that every day. The same goes with all of the relationships in my life, my relationships to my team, when we look and we say, oh, this could be better. We need to up-level here in the same breath. I’m looking at it.
And I’m saying, but I’m also gonna really celebrate how much progress we’ve. So when we live life looking at the world through the lens of progress, rather than perfection, that’s when we start to let ourselves off the hook more. That’s when we can really give ourselves permission to let go, have some grace, to not expect ourselves to be in that place of perfection.
It is said that perfection is the enemy of the good; that perfect is the enemy of the good. And so the simplicity here is to just begin by giving yourself permission, to be imperfect, to give yourself permission to focus on the progress rather than the perfection. the moment that we lean into that progress, rather than that perfection, we actually empower ourselves to carry on.
We empower ourselves to keep doing better work. We empower ourselves to show up more in our life. And that’s the same for a creative project as it is with how we relate to our loved ones. It’s the same for how we perceive ourself in every corner of our life. So taking on this mentality of walking through life, focusing on progress, rather than perfection, I want you to ask yourself right now, how different would you be if you let go of the need to be perfect and celebrated the progress?
How different would the situations in your life be? How different would you feel about yourself as a parent or as a person in the workforce or as a friend or as a lover? What would your attitude be? I believe that my desire, my deep, deep desire to live with this and assume this attitude in all situations has really given me years on my life because I spend so many less hours ruminating about what should have happened or how I should have done things differently or how I can make something more perfect.
And instead, I keep focusing on the progress. So everything we put our energy towards, we create more of. In this instance, the more we infuse energy of progress, progress, progress, the more elevated our life will be. I want you to consider some of these actionable ideas for this topic, and I’ll bring these in as I, as I check in with our guests today.
Step one, just choosing one small action that you can take right now that will move you closer to just progress rather than perfection. So for instance, if you’re working on a project that you think needs to be finished, maybe you do one small thing on it today and let go of the finish line.
Or maybe you just take a moment to look at your marriage or your relationships and say, well, here are all the good things we’re doing. This is all the progress we’ve had rather than where I think we should be. Then I want you to just really let go and allow. Let go and allow that progress mentality to take over for just one day, focus on that area of your life, that you’ve chosen through the lens of progress rather than perfection.
So let’s say you’re, you know, working on a project that you haven’t completed, but you’re just letting go of that due date. And you’re just focusing on the progress, see how it feels that day.
Again, with the relationship, instead of just being mad that things aren’t the way you want them to be. Maybe make a list of all the things that you’ve done in the relationship that have created such great progress. In any area of your life where you feel like you’re trying to be perfect, or you’re trying to find perfection focus for today on what progress feels like.
Focus on celebrating the progress, focus on leaning into the progress, focus on letting the progress be the priority rather than the perfection. Big topic today. So excited to be able to bring this to my Dear Gabby guests and see how this applies to you. I see so many people stuck in that perfection mentality that pretty much just shuts them down, puts them into freeze mode and cuts off the creative flow.
Whereas progress is expansive. Progress is energizing. Progress has momentum. So let’s talk about that today.
Now a word from our sponsor Better Help. I’ve always, always been a major advocate for shifting the stigma around mental health and therapy. If you’re a listener of Dear Gabby, or you read any of my books, you know, that I am no stranger to mental health issues. And that therapy has been the throughline for my recovery, from suffering, from PTSD to addiction, to surviving postpartum depression and anxiety.
Without my therapy, I don’t know where I’d be. I definitely wouldn’t be here. I definitely wouldn’t be here on this show talking to you. And that’s why I am deeply proud to have Better Help as our sponsor here on the show. This couldn’t be a more timely sponsor here. This conversation that we have on Dear Gabby is very elevated at times it brings up a lot and it often ignites the spark within people that guides them to want to get more help.
To get therapeutic help. And it’s just as important to take care of our mind as it is to take care of our body. And when you engage in healthy habits, such as eating well and working out, you can also be bettering your mind, for example, through Better Help online therapy. I know that starting therapy can be really scary for people.
And sometimes it’s daunting to experience that one-on-one session for the first time. But with Better Help online therapy, you can get video, phone and even live online chat therapy sessions. So you don’t have to even see anyone on camera. And that can really help if you’re someone who’s uncomfortable with being too vulnerable or too seen in that way. With Better Help therapy, you can achieve more affordable therapy with a professional licensed and vetted therapist who you can trust. Better Help is effective and fast.
And it’s really fast at matching you with a therapist in under 48 hours. I’ve had a lot of our listeners write in and tell us that they heard about Better Help through the show. They within 48 hours were linked up with a therapist and now have a beautiful therapeutic journey that they’ve embarked on. That is music to my ears.
Dear Gabby may just be the first step to cracking you open to the potential for great change and therapy is the next step. Really give yourself the permission and the possibility of great change in your life when you open up your mind to what it’s like to get a therapist. And Dear Gabby listeners get 10% off their first month betterhelp.com/deargabby that’s B E TT E R H E L P.com/deargabby.
Lately, I’ve been traveling a lot more and I’ve never gotten more compliments on my shoes when I wear Rothy’s. You’ve likely heard me talk about my obsession with Rothy’s. They are the most stylish and accessible shoe I have ever owned. And I mean it when I tell you that these shoes get complimented the most, the most, the most. They’re known for their chic pointed-toe flats, but that’s just the beginning.
They have tons of iconic head-turning designs in bright and sophisticated colors. And I love a bright pop in my shoe. I really do. Plus Roth’s worked great with every outfit. I wear them with my yoga pants. I wear them to dress them up. I wear them in the airport. I used to be that person that traveled in like sneakers and sweatpants.
And I was like, you know what, Gabby, get it together. Put something nice on; be a little sophisticated in the airport. I meet readers. Sometimes I wanna like pull myself together. I throw on my Rothy’s, a cute pair of jeans, a little blazer, and I’m off to the airport and I’m comfortable. They’re insanely comfortable, almost like a slipper.
And as soon as you take your first step, you’re thinking, oh my God, I want more like that. And Rothy’s takes sustainability to the next level. This is what’s so cool about this brand. All their products are knit with thread made from plastic water bottles. Can you believe that? They’ve repurposed 125 million water bottles so far, and every time I slip into my Rothy’s, I wonder why I ever wear other shoes.
The comfort is just next level, which means they are perfect for walking around the city. Also, you can wash them. How cool is that? I just recently washed my black pointy-toed ones and I wear them constantly and they look brand new when I put them back on. Your new favorite shoes are waiting. Discover the versatile styles that you can wear absolutely anywhere and get $20 off your first purchase at Rothys.com/Gabby that’s R O T H Y S.com/gabby for $20 off your first order.
GABBY: Let’s bring in our first guest.
CALLER: Hello, Gabby. Recently, I felt the need to start reading your book May Cause Miracles. Which is really interesting for me. It’s something I avoided for a long time because I grew up in a very suppressive religion. And so even the word miracles was very triggering for me.
CALLER: I’m currently on day three and I’m working on witnessing my fears and trying to see love instead. But I am finding myself really stuck in my head and hard to get back into the present moment because of some of the fears that I’m witnessing. I even had therapy yesterday, went into some deep EMDR, which was really helpful.
I have a great therapist who was able to bring me back to the present and bring me back to the room, but it still tends to follow me throughout the day. And I’m wondering how I even on an individual level can focus on progress and not perfection and let that lear my mind in the moment.
GABBY: Beautiful. Well, a few things first, I think for this episode, the book I would recommend of mine to the listeners is May Cause Miracles because it’s a 40-day guidebook and it’s subtle shifts for radical change.
It’s not be perfect overnight. It’s do these small actions towards that miraculous change. But particularly for this topic, there’s no greater opportunity to practice progress rather than perfection because it’s one small right action daily towards your bigger goal, which is actually my advice for you.
Instead of feeling like you have to rip off the bandaid and go into the darkness and figure out all the fears right now. Why don’t you take it a little slower? Okay. Why don’t you give yourself some grace; progress, not perfection. The perfection part wants to be like, let me just get rid of this right away now. No, like this is a journey. If you’ve read Happy Days, you know, it’s been, you know, for me, it’s been like 30-something years of just committed trauma work and it’s slow and steady.
And I always say, I learned this in AA. I wish you a slow recovery because that means that it’s really sinking in. So instead of being in that mindset of, I’m gonna face into all the fears right here, right now. I want you to focus on the small fears. Start to practice the principles with these issues in your life that are less charged for you.
When you do that, you start to build a new muscle. You start to build, like we say, in May Cause Miracles, the miracle mindset.
GABBY: And as soon as you start to develop that miracle mindset with the help of this book and keeping it simple, you will then allow that miracle mindset that love voice within you to be the louder voice, to be the leader and to help guide you as you start to safely and courageously open up to the bigger stuff.
CALLER: Mm-hmm , mm-hmm.
GABBY: I think the best therapists are the ones that don’t push you to go too fast too soon. So you may even wanna have that conversation with your therapist. Like, you know, I’m leaning into this and I don’t wanna ignore it.
I’m gonna bring it up here but I don’t know if I’m ready to go there fully.
GABBY: Because remember by addressing the way you act at work, you’re actually addressing your childhood wounds, right? Especially if these are traumatic wounds that we’re dealing with, we don’t actually have to face the inciting incident.
We can address all of the ways that we act now because we’re still reacting the same way we did 30, 40 years ago when we had that inciting incident. If I address how I am in the moment with my team. I’m addressing how I reacted when I was six years old.
GABBY: Because it’s the same way I was protecting myself.
CALLER: So with that, I’m wondering if you’re starting to realize, or if I’m starting to realize in the moment at work or in my business or whatever that the fears and the things that I’m going through are connected to those childhood parts of me that are very deep. How should I manage focusing, like making things, um, less deep and taking more time with that? Because at this point they are bringing up those things, which are a lot deeper.
And so my brain does go there. And that’s where it becomes overwhelming in the moment and takes me out of the present moment.
GABBY: Yes. Got it. Understand. You used a word manage, used the word manage. Manage is comparable. We can use it as the same as a protector, right? So these child parts of ourselves that are super traumatized and wounded are usually under lock and key.
But when they start to come out, whether they’re triggered out or they come out casually because we’re doing therapeutic work, the managers AKA the parts of us that are protective start to get really up. Right? And those are the, the fear. It’s a big one, big protector. So instead of ignoring the, the parts, the younger parts that are coming up, I want you to work with the protector parts.
So when you notice that fear of these parts in that moment, right then right there, start to speak to yourself, connect to yourself, become curious about what you need in the moment. Be compassionate towards the fear because it’s revealing to you that some stuff is coming up.
You can get some centered and a little bit calm by saying to yourself, like, I don’t have to face all of this at once. I can take it slow. And this is once again, leaning into that self-energy, which is the same as the miracle mindset in the, in May Cause Miracles. it’s, it’s letting the miracle mindset, the Self with the capital S, be the leader.
And when you lean into that miracle mindset, that’s when the fear voice can relax. So you can then coexist with, okay, I’m living my life over here and all my childhood shit’s coming up over here and I’m doing some work on it. And I also wanna go to the movies tonight and I wanna be able to, you know, take a swim and I wanna be able to come back to that in therapy next week.
And you can begin to sort of coexist with the work rather than have to shut it down. I also wanna acknowledge that anyone who’s doing deep trauma work. That period of your life is can be very scary. It can be reactivating. It can be, you can feel at times that you’re almost in the embodying, the experiences. Anyone that’s not familiar with EMDR, go back to our episode on EMDR with Tammy Valicente.
It’s an excellent episode. Go listen to it. Great trauma therapy. So you’re doing everything right, which is doing the EMDR. The main thing is, is to start to get into a dialogue with self letting self, letting the miracle mindset be the leader. And that’s why May Cause Miracles is actually the perfect book for you right now.
God guided you to that book. You’re gonna get into gratitude around day three. You’re gonna start to get into the gratitude you’re gonna get into that miracle mindset shift. Each day of every week, it’s gonna encourage you to lean into that love. So this fear that’s coming up is real. We’re not going to whitewash it or pretend like it’s not there.
But we’re gonna bring it to that loving presence within, and that loving presence is gonna say, Hey, we can take it slow. We don’t have to remember everything at once. We’ve got a therapist I’ve got May Cause Miracles right now. I’m gonna take it one step at a time. I’m gonna take a little time off work at this moment, or I’m gonna make my social life a little bit more relaxed at this time.
And I do advise that just on another note from one trauma survivor and, and I’m using the word trauma. Is that what you identify with?
CALLER: Absolutely. Yeah.
GABBY: Okay. From one trauma survivor to another, my advice as a friend to you right here, right now, not as a therapist, I’m not a therapist, but I’m Gabby here talking to you is in this specific season of your life, which will change. The seasons change. In this particular season of your life, where the stuff is coming up. I want you to eat really well. I want you to move your body. I want you to get a lot more sleep than you usually need. I want you to give yourself a tremendous amount of grace.
Celebrate the small stuff. Only spend time with people who feel nurturing and soothing for you. Set up some boundaries with the folks that trigger you, particularly the ones that may be connected to the trauma. Just put your boundaries and your self-care at a very high priority. Now more than ever, because these fragmented pieces of who you are, are now being put back into the puzzle.
And that can feel really scary and dysregulating.
GABBY: So just go slow. Simplify your life as much as you can. Simplify your life as much as you can right now.
GABBY: Celebrate the breakfast you had in the morning.
GABBY: You know, and like scale back the, the social engagements. Just take it slow. You might even if you can afford to up the therapy to twice a week.
Up the EMDR to twice a week, I think May Cause Miracles really is your book right now, because exactly, like I said, just to go deep into the stuff may not be this moment. This is your season for practicing a miracle mindset, slow and steady wins the race, taking your time, titrating in coming out, in out.
You don’t wanna rip off the lid of a pressure cooker, you wanna let it simmer?
CALLER: Thank you so much.
GABBY: Really good work. Really good.
People often ask me, what’s your workout routine? What’s your workout routine? And my answer is really simple. I just choose to move my body in some way every day. And that’s been my mantra for decades. Remember there was a time when I would be like, okay, I’ll do 25 pushups or that’ll be enough for today.
I’m gonna walk for 10,000 steps, whatever I can do to move my body in some way, every single day. Especially when I’m diving deep into healing work or therapeutic work, I need to make sure that I’m moving physically to get out all that stagnant energy. When I exercise, I feel like I can just release the negative thoughts and I can just set myself free.
And this is where my absolute favorite fitness class EVLO comes in. Exercise amps up our manifesting power and the EVLO method based on neurology. biochemics and physiology leads to increased muscle definition, but doesn’t destroy your joints or leave you feeling really depleted. And I know working out could often seem like a daunting task.
I know this, I know this, I know this, but with EVLO classes, you feel like you’re engaged and fun and you actually leave wanting more. So it’s like one of those very positive neural loops where you’re like, I gotta go back to that. I gotta go back to that. And the classes are a combination of lifting, yoga and Pilates which are my absolute favorites.
Leaving out the harmful and endless jumping and hit burpees, squats, all that stuff. I don’t love that stuff. People can say they like, it’s not for me. I am a Pilates, yoga lifting girl and classes are short and most are about 30 to 45 minutes. Making it really easy to stay committed to your exercises without the pressure of trying to get in your hour workout or just pushing your body too far.
And the workouts are really gentle. They’re gentle on your body. You know, I’m 42 now. I don’t know. Some of our listeners are younger. Some of our listeners are older and depending on where your body is at the time, sometimes you need more gentle exercise. EVLO, also prioritizes rest, and adequate nutrition with membership also, including nutrition programs designed by registered dieticians to properly fuel your workouts.
EVLO usually offers a 14-day trial, but it’s extending the free trial to 30 days for our listeners with code Gabby at checkout. Visit EVLOfitness.com to learn more and try their membership for 30 days with code Gabby. That’s EVLOfitness.com and use code Gabby. Workout smarter, not harder.
I wish you guys could see me right now in the recording studio. Like I need to take a picture of myself, send this to my podcast producers, send this off to our sponsor today and just let them know that I am a hardcore fan. I’m sitting here with a massive 16-ounce water bottle filled with my athletic greens and that’s our partner today.
Our next partner has a product that I literally use every single morning. And I started taking AG1 because my health is just really important to me, particularly my gut health. When I first tried AG1, I was really surprised by the energy that it gave me and how it really supported my digestion and just my overall vibe throughout the day.
And every morning, right when I wake up, I mix it in my shake before I head to my office or just throw it in some water with some ice. When I take AG1, I’m absorbing 75 high-quality vitamins minerals, whole food source super foods, probiotics and adaptogens to help me start my day right And this special blend of ingredients supports your gut health, your nervous system, your immune system, your energy, recovery, focus, and aging, all those amazing things.
I’ve been using this product for years, way before they were a sponsor of Dear Gabby. I never loved taking tons of pills. And that’s why this is just getting it all in, in this one beautiful drink in the morning. AG1 is lifestyle friendly. Whether you eat keto, paleo, vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free, it contains less than one gram of sugar, which you guys know I am a fan of.
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CALLER: No effing way. Yes. Okay. I’m a big fan. I’m a big fan.
GABBY: That should be the tagline for this show. No effing way. So good to be with you.
CALLER: Oh, it’s so good to see and talk to you. Thank you so much for talking to me today. This topic resonates a lot with me, I have a lot going on in my life. So I’ll try to sum it up, make it short and sweet.
I have. In my marriage, I’ve been with the same man for we’ve been together for 17 years. Um, it’s been okay. And recently at 41, I’ve decided that we’re fine, but things needed to change. I didn’t like where we were headed. And so we’re now in marriage counseling when we’re trying to get better, cuz I basically said things need to change. I’m not okay with how we are.
GABBY: Good for you.
CALLER: I dunno what happened, but at 41 I got a backbone. So we’re doing that. And I think my, I think it’s hard for me to really focus on not being perfect all the time and try to just celebrate the progression that we’re going through. It seems like we do the work and we’re good and we’re good.
And then all of a sudden we take like 10 steps back and I feel like since we’re in it, it’s what happens. And I kind of try to take that mindset of this happens. It’s what it’s. Um, but one of us usually gets on the, why aren’t we better? Why, you know, we get stuck in that perfection role, I think.
GABBY: Mm mm-hmm okay.
So first of all, congratulations for getting into marriage counseling. I believe that all relationships require a therapist all, all intimate relationships. It’s like, it’s like a must-have. Not everyone can have the privilege of having that. So maybe you read some books on relationships or do whatever you can, and we have the relationship challenge coming up.
So that’ll be really good for all of you. You can do it with your partner. So to really speak to progress rather than perfection in relationships. What I wanna say to you is hat first and foremost, right here, right now, let’s do a big round of applause for you for at 41 years young noticing this isn’t what I want.
And having a partner who had the bravery and the courage and the willingness to say, all right, let’s get some counseling. Major. That’s not even progress. That’s like jumping head-first progress. That’s miraculous progress. Bravo. Celebrate yourself. Feel into that. I want you to really feel my pride for you right here, right now.
Massive. When it comes to intimate relationships, our ability to lean into the mentality of progress rather than perfection is our superpower. What it means is that we are going to have a slow, steady adjustment. What happens in our most intimate relationships when we’re married, when we’re have a lover, whatever it might be is that we attract into our life, the people who are going to trigger us most and sometimes.
That’s not always the case. You know, sometimes people have like very simple marriages, but no matter what, what we attract into our life often is a reflection, a mirror reflection of what it is that’s disowned within ourselves. And so what we’re gonna consistently come up against in these relationships, no matter how awesome they are or how difficult they might be, we’re gonna often come up with the partner, being that perfect mirror to reflect back to us what it is that we need to heal.
And so just an example, I’m just giving like a, an example for, for the listener. Maybe the partner is really reactive all the time and the other partner can’t handle reactivity. And so they just go and hide. Right. But that, that ability to handle people’s big emotions is what that person wants to develop in themselves.
And so, if you just start to continue to notice how his behavior is a beautiful mirror for you to develop the underdeveloped parts of yourself, you can, instead of saying, oh, we fell backwards. We can say, oh great. It’s another opportunity to grow. Oh, great. I can stop pointing the finger. And I can place that mirror in front of myself and say, what is it that I need to work on right here, right now?
Because when we fully accept that this is about yes, the collective progress, but most importantly, taking care of our own side of the street. What is my progress today? How can I show up to myself in this relationship today and my partner in this relationship today? That’s where the miracles occur because the second that you start getting into his part and his work.
And sort of judging his work. That’s when you get right into the perfectionism, that’s when you get into why isn’t it this way? Why aren’t you this way? The only thing you can control, my love, is yourself. The only thing you can control is the way you perceive him, the way you show up in the relationship, the way that you experience your experiences with him.
The more that you develop these parts of yourself that are more healthy, the more that you bring that self-energy into the dialogue, the more that you feel that compassion and that curiosity and that courage, the easier it’ll be for him to identify it in himself. So stop focusing on what he’s doing.
Focus on your side of the street, focus on your progress and ask the same of him.
CALLER: That makes a lot of sense. It does.
GABBY: Ask the same of him because, you know, say to him, listen, man, you know, we’re both in this together. And while this is us, it’s also us individually. We both are having this big journey here of changing historical patterns that make us who we are as humans and affect us as we are as partners.
And so while there’s work for us to do together, there’s also transformational work we must do on ourselves. So let’s focus on the progress that we can make within our own selves so that we can then share that with each other. It’s a journey, but listen, celebrate with him tonight, go get a glass of wine or whatever you guys do to celebrate and say, we’re rock stars.
Gabby said, we’re rock stars because we’re doing the work any couple that’s doing the work has a fighting chance of making it work. There you go. Nice job.
CALLER: Thank you so much.
GABBY: Stunning, stunning, stunning, stunning.
CALLER: It means a lot, and it resonates so much with me right now. So, cause there’s times where I say to him, we’re in the muck.
We’re literally like we’re trudging through it. Like we have to put in the work and it’s just not gonna happen overnight. It’s not gonna happen overnight. And when you notice that it’s not working out between the two of you, when the moment that you think you wanna point the finger and blame. You know, point the finger back to you and say, what can I do?
What can I do? What do I need right now? Uh, what is this mirroring back to me? What progress can I make today? And then celebrate the moments, celebrate the miracle moments. So let’s say like, you normally have a fight that lasts 48 hours, but now it lasts 24 hours, like celebrate that or that you are able to laugh it off quicker.
Celebrate that. Okay. Celebrate the miraculous moments. That’s how we practice progress rather than perfection.
CALLER: Thank you.
GABBY: Excellent. Excellent work.
CALLER: Thank you so much.
GABBY: Thank you, my love. So we’ll close this show today with this message. When we make progress our priority, rather than perfection, we allow creative ideas to come forward.
We relax into infinite possibilities. We let ourselves off the hook. We give ourselves grace. We return to the part of ourself that is the love within the quality of us that is forgiving, compassionate, courageous, creative, connected. In that place of progress rather than perfection. We establish a radical momentum that allows us to show up for the situations, goals, objectives, work relationships in our life with a very high vibe, positive attitude, vision forward, and a lot of love, a lot of love.
So give yourself this opportunity today to just check in. What area of my life could I bring in more progress perception rather than perfection perception? In what area of my life can I let myself off the hook more and focus on the progress rather than the perfection? Beautiful episode. Excellent work. So proud to be with you guys here right now, seeing so many of your faces come through on this show is just unbelievable.
I wanna really thank everybody for being part of this community. Thank you for sharing your experience. If you love this show and you’re a regular listener, please share your experience on Apple. Leave a review, share your experience. Inside those reviews, we’re taking questions then sometimes do Dear Gabby shows with questions from people that send in their reviews and just keep coming back because I will continue to show up for you.
And my only ask of you is that you continue to show up for yourself. I’m proud of you. I am so grateful that you’re part of this community. Have a beautiful, blessed day, my friends.
If you made it to the end of this episode, that means you’re truly committed to miracles. I’m really proud of you. If you wanna get more Gabby, tune in every Monday for a new episode. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the guidance or special bonus episodes. Your experience at this show means a lot to me.
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