Perfectionism in diabetes is a bit like ‘yin and yang’ or ‘chalk and cheese’ – they don’t go together. Striving for perfection in diabetes management is not only unrealistic, but can also result in disappointment, frustration, sadness, anger, low motivation or burnout for the person trying to achieve it.
The nature of diabetes is imperfect,
despite how perfect you are.
Seems unfair doesn’t it! Despite all your hard efforts – there’s always going to be times when your blood sugar is not what you had hoped for or expected. I’m not telling you this to say you should give up on your health or achieving safe blood sugar readings – in fact, the exact opposite. I think it’s important to have this understanding and expectation of diabetes in order to maintain your motivation and enhance your journey.
Diabetes is perfect at being imperfect –blood sugars that aren’t what you’d hoped for DO NOT mean you have failed, but that… diabetes is rebellious and likes to keep you on your toes. The good news is that research has shown…
High perfectionism in Type 2 diabetes reduces
risk of death by 26%
This results from the greater attention given to blood glucose and adherence to dietary guidelines. Thus, if you consider yourself a perfectionist – all is not lost, as you most likely possess many skills beneficial in diabetes management including;
But nonetheless, I know diabetes can be disappointing when it appears to have a ‘mind of it’s own’ and this is what threatens overall success.
When a perfectionist encounters diabetes a change in perspective is important in order to minimise feelings of disappointment, frustration, sadness, anger, low motivation or burnout. Instead of focusing on EVERY blood sugar being perfect, think about the following:
This expanded time frame increases the number of blood sugars readings you’re scrutinising – thus reducing the power and distress caused by one undesirable blood sugar reading.
Remember a blood glucose reading is a sign for what you should do next. First, address it (especially if it’s a hypo). Then examine WHY this reading is higher or lower than you expected. If this reading is a regular occurrence (i.e. a particular day or time) then your detective skills will pay off! Make the necessary adjustments to cease this common annoyance, this may mean asking for assistance from your diabetes care team.
Don’t get into the trap of comparing your diabetes management to someone else (real or imagined). We are all unique and diabetes functions differently in everyone. Use yourself as a guide as to how you are going.
If you feel your diabetes management isn’t ideal (despite your efforts) unfortunately this can promote feelings of stress, shame or guilt in perfectionists and limits their ability to access support or help from health care professionals. Remember your diabetes care team’s objective and MAIN PURPOSE is to help with diabetes challenges (I mean when have you ever gone to a doctor because you feel well?), so make sure to ask for help if you need it!!
Success in diabetes is less about EVERY blood sugar being the best and more about TRYING YOUR BEST at all times– that’s the most perfect approach with (imperfect) diabetes!!!
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and would like to know more about how best to manage your condition, you can join our personalised 12 week diabetes program. We can tailor your program to give you more of what you want to see, for example tips of carb counting or exercise. Plus, the first week is completely free!
You can also read about what other people thought about the program on our Testimonials page .
Please see the following articles for more information: