I want to be clear for a second here.
Simply because I preach about the idea of being braver, doesn’t mean I have it all figured out.
I preach what I am practicing myself.
And being brave enough to move beyond perfection is one of those things I’m still working on.
On Monday, it was #wethenorth day. Well over two million people attended the parade and the celebrations that ensued at our famous Nathan Phillips Square downtown Toronto in honour of the NBA Champions our amazing Raptors! (I still have FOMO as I write these words!)
Instead of being a part of the festivities, I was at Starbucks working on my powerpoint presentation for a talk I’m giving in Las Vegas at the annual SHRM convention next week.
Now the deck was almost complete, and yet I was making tweaks here and there, changing the sizes of fonts, switching some of the graphics. Really, I was fiddling unnecessarily.
In that moment I allowed my inner recovering perfectionist to come out. I didn’t feel it was ‘perfect’ enough.
As a result, I missed out on a day to go down in history.
And ummm, I LOVE parades!
Here’s the thing, I am STILL making changes to that presentation, and likely will up until the day before I present.
Is it going to get closer to being perfect the more I work on it?
What does perfection even mean, anyway?
Funny you should ask.
Here is the definition:
the condition, state, or quality of being entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings
How is that even possible?!?
I don’t know about you, but it seems a pretty tall order to be entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings. Especially when it comes to something we want to create, the job we are hoping to land, the regular workout routine we want to stick to, the loving relationship we are striving for. How can anything when it comes to real people’s actions and behaviours be without any flaws… I mean we’re human after all, right?
And yet, unfortunately perfectionism is what prevents far too many women from starting the thing before they feel ready, going after the job they really want, doing the thing that really scares them.
What’s more, far too many women take pride in being perfectionists! They wear it as a badge of honour. And if we’re talking about being braver, as I’ve written and spoken about before, perfectionism is one of the biggest bravery killers!
Of course we are going to make mistakes every now and again. It’s how we learn. And quite frankly, life would be pretty boring if everyone had everything figured out all of the time!
And so, instead of aiming for perfection – which is an ideal that doesn’t even exist and therefore will inevitably evoke disappointment anyhow – let’s instead be okay with a little bit of imperfection.
Fellow speaker and friend Jessica Pettit is in town from California right now and staying with me. Her company is called ‘Good Enough Now’ (Now if perfection did exist, that name would be it!) Over the past few days we’ve had some very interesting conversations on this very subject.
Maybe along our journey to be perfect we’ve forgotten to be real, to be human, and to recognise we are good enough now, exactly as we are.
My presentation is good enough now.
The project you are working on right now is good enough now.
YOU are good enough now.
Moreover, imperfect action is better than no action at all.
And done is better than perfect!
Have you been putting off taking that first step for fear of it not being perfect, or you not being perfect?
Have you been procrastinating completing that project or thing in case it is not perfect?
Have you been stuck in perfectionist paralysis instead of trying the something you’ve been thinking about and might end up really loving, or sharing the thing with the world that may really make a difference?
I just did a once over of my presentation, and I’ve decided I will not be making any more changes to it.
It is good enough now.
And indeed done is better than perfect.
What is something you are currently working on that is also good enough now? How are you going to apply ‘done is better than perfect’ to something this week? I want to hear from you in the comments below.
Have a FAB week!