How perfectionism keeps you benched. GET OFF the BENCH!
May 6th, 2013 by Katie Morton
Photo by challiyan / Creative Commons
I’m working on creating a program for people who are tired of their bad habits – habits like drinking, overeating, procrastinating…the list goes on. The problem is, I could go on creating this course forever! There is, in all truthfulness, an infinite amount of experiences and materials I could write about.
This is perfectionism in action. Perfectionism is a state many of us strive to achieve…only we will never get there. There is no such thing as perfect, except maybe in theoretical physics. And guess what – note the word theoretical. Perfectionism is a mythical place on earth, a land where unicorns and dragons roam, yet so many of us keep seeking and striving and working towards this imaginary destination.
What are you putting off in the name of perfection?
In the last week, I’ve been watching some technical tutorials on video that will help me make my program available to you. One thing that jumped right out at me about these videos: THEY WEREN’T PERFECT. The instructors sometimes stumbled over their words. They might have even blatantly “messed up” – they did what they were showing me how to do WRONG – and they had to go back and correct their work.
These instructors went ahead released these imperfect videos for which I paid money. And I sssooo appreciated the fact these videos contained mistakes for 3 reasons.
1. Perfect is the enemy of done. If they had waited until their videos were “perfect” (a state which doesn’t even exist) before I was allowed to watch them, I never would have had the opportunity to learn the things that I need to learn.
2. I learned from their mistakes. When they went into the wrong menu and then had to go back and fix their error, I actually got a better understanding of the capabilities and features of the software they were demoing! How about that: their videos actually contained more learning material because they were “imperfect.” How ironic that imperfection can equal improvement. Mistakes almost always offer an opportunity for learning.
3. I learned from their example. At some point, I need to stop researching, stop fiddling, and get my solution out of my head and into your hands so you can apply it to your own life. Maybe it won’t be perfect for everybody. But I know it’s going to work for so many people.
One more example for you.
I’m going to be speaking at a health conference in two weeks. Am I ready? Heck no. I’ve never done this before. Do I have the body of someone who should take the stage at a health conference? I’m 5 pounds overweight, a vast improvement from several months ago, but the audience won’t know that unless I make it a point to tell them.
My point is, I could have seen this opportunity arise and bowed out. But then I wouldn’t get to practice speaking about my ideas in public. More importantly, I would miss sharing my ideas with people who could benefit from them. It would be tragic to allow the size of my butt to prevent the possibility of positive change in someone’s life.
What are you putting off because you don’t think you’re ready, or the conditions aren’t perfect, or some other variation of sitting on the bench until “someday” comes? Will you shake free and take action anyway?