I find that no matter how much we work on improving ourselves, we will still have ups and downs. This is the natural progression of life. What becomes problematic is when we expect ourselves not to get off track. We tell ourselves we must do more or work harder at the first sign of backsliding.
Julia Cameron, in her book The Artists Way, says: "Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop–an obsessive, debilitation closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details…"
To expect perfection is counterproductive; causing unnecessary stress and anxiety.
I wonder why we do this? I am sure some of this has been instilled in childhood, but even those who did not have this experience get caught in this web.
There is a saying in Twelve Step Recovery programs that reminds us to ease up: Progress, not Perfection. Even a honing device must realign its path, and so do we.
Let me know in the comments below how you deal with sliding back from progress. Are you able to more forward or do you get stuck in perfection?