Thursday, October 3, 2019

Take (imperfect) action, then adjust your approach

Do you remember your 'first' ____(go ahead and fill in the blank with your first -- blog post, podcast, speaking engagement)?

I do. And I cringe thinking about it. Well, I've had many firsts, but this particular one was my first Beneath Your Beauty event in 2014. I made up the website, and I'm pretty sure I used PowerPoint or Paint to design the graphics. We held a fashion show that night, and can you believe we used butcher paper for the runway? 😂 I clearly wasn't going to let my $100 budget stop me.

But you know what? I did it. A whole me. I produced a fashion show, and panel discussion in LA. I had no prior experience. But I got a team together. Made the Eventbrite page. Secured the venue, the designer, the models, and the guests, and here we are 5 years later, doing events in London and LA. (Shout out to the very amazing teams I've had).

I cringe even as I write this because I’m a (newly discovered) perfectionist...and the thought of just DOING something with no perfect first, second, and third step, gives me stress. 

But whenever perfection tries to rear its head, I'm reminded that waiting until we’re ready, or until it’s perfect, is almost never a good idea.

Looking back, I’m sure we can each remember our "firsts" …and appreciate the candid faith we had in simply starting. For me, I was just content with the idea of adjusting along the way where necessary. Perfection wasn’t a question. I knew it just needed to be done.

Truth is, it’s okay to strive for excellence. But when we make perfection our standard, we regressively welcome procrastination (waiting for the right moment), we miss out on opportunities (to learn), and we deny others the chance to be positively impacted by the gifts we have to share.

I recall an article that explained the negative sides of perfectionism, and why it's hindering your progress. The article was shouting and I felt attacked.

Impacts of perfectionism:
  • It adversely affects relationships by separating individual effort from a common goal effort.
  • It negatively impacts behavior by creating defensiveness to suggestions from others.
  • It leads you to unavoidably waste time striving for an absolutely perfect result.
  • You maximally focus on an all-or-nothing mindset, sometimes paralyzing any progress or never completing the task.
  • It slowly impedes personal development by preventing the application of learning.
  • You increasingly develop self-loathing by reinforcing a limiting belief of “not being good enough."
Do any of these stick out to you?

What you can do about it:

If you're reading this and silently nodding in agreement, think about "good enough" actions you can take in the next few days. A start, no matter how imperfect will eventually lead you to excellence (or at least done). Sometimes, it's better to take imperfect action and adjust your approach, rather than sitting so heavily on your dream, because chances are, the dream will pass you by 🥴.

So go ahead and do whatever 'it' is...without fear of imperfection. Remember just because it's flawed, doesn't mean you've failed.

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