The 80/20 RuleOctober 11, 2017
I’m sure you’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different outcome. Well, if we’ve heard that before, and know it to be true on at least some level, then why do we still fall into this trap? A situation recently transpired that inspired me to do a little inner reflection on this topic.
In my quest to lead a healthy lifestyle I set the goal to live the least processed, all-natural life I possibly could, without being obsessive. This included being conscious of the home and beauty products I use. I give myself a huge pat on the back for getting 80% of the way there with the switch of all cleaning products, laundry detergents, soaps, deodorants, hair products and so on that I use (major shoutout to my boyfriend Isaac who spearheaded this endeavor). However, each and every time I try to switch my skin care routine to all natural products I react negatively and break out in tiny bumps (my compassionate way of referring to pimples) all over my face. It does not matter what the natural ingredients are, as each product I’ve tried has never contained the same ingredient, there is just something about the fact that it’s natural that disrupts the microbiota balance on my face/ Fun fact: our skin has its own colony of microorganisms independent of the gut, and just like how our gut flora can become unbalanced so can our skin. I’ll discuss more about the gut-brain-skin connection in a later blog post.
My repeated adverse experiences with natural skin care products begs the question: why do we continue to do the very thing that has repeatedly caused us harm in some way? Maybe it’s because we are trying to will or force a certain outcome that we want, but are not meant to have, at least right now. Or, maybe this serves as a reminder that too much of a good thing can actually cause harm. Whether that’s too much exercise, or being too strict with your diet, or in my case, trying to be too straight-and-narrow with the natural products I use.
We need not forget that life is about the pursuit of balance, not perfection. It is not realistic to expect 100% compliance all of the time. We can strive for 100% and do our best to get there, but we should be happy with reaching 80% – and this goes for everything in life.