PERFECTION IS HOLDING YOU BACK. THE DIRTY SIDE OF BEING IDEAL.

As I head into my first Balanced Life Seminar, I have learned some lessons.

5 months ago I pulled the trigger and bought a website domain and began building my online persona, and business. I cold emailed connections, held meetings at cafes, and applied for a grant from the University of Guelph. I knew that one of the important keys to Balanced Life was releasing writing pieces on a regular basis. Writing has never been my strong point and self doubt would creep in around this weakness of mine. I had convinced myself that if my writing wasn’t up to par, Balanced Life would not become what I want it be.

About a month ago I started writing about goal setting. My first seminar is on goal setting so that makes sense, right? I searched through academic journals and read as much as I could, but I would still get the jitters every time I typed away.

These kind of feelings are not uncommon. We all know people who have great ideas/ products/ art/ projects that don’t believe they are good enough to show the world. They convince themselves it won’t measure up to the rest of the content out there. Even if that may not be true, the feeling of self doubt and comparison can be a toxic occurrence. But I do recall a time where I conquered this fear before.

If you didn’t already know, I spent my early years as a competitive figure skater (ice dance to be specific). If you google my name you will find many photos of me in brightly coloured outfits with blades on (See below). At one point it, I needed to take my training to the next level. I began skating out of the Kitchener Waterloo Figure Skating Club Under Paul MacIntosh and Rebecca Babb.

Insert “This is what Peak Performance Looks Like” joke here. Me in a past life, or possibly 10 years ago…..

Insert “This is what Peak Performance Looks Like” joke here. Me in a past life, or possibly 10 years ago…..

 

Ok so picture it, you are getting on the ice with some of the best skaters and coaches in the world on regular basis. Your only thought is keeping yourself from being a complete embarrassment in front of the elite. I remember being so nervous I skated badly on practice because I was treating it like a competition in my head each day! But I was lucky to get a little bit of confidence from a very unexpected place.

The coaches at KWSC obviously expected your best. But they also understood that you had to suck a little bit to get where you need to go. If you are nervous about being perfect then you won’t get better in the first place. Because perfect is not a tangible place. As we grow and change, the goal post to perfect will shift once again. So you had better get used to doing the work and learning that failure is just one hurdle on the process to getting to what ever the next goal post may be.

I learned to accept the fact that you need to suck a little bit to get where you want to go. And I actually started getting better at a surprisingly quick rate.

I remembered this when it came to writing for Balanced Life. If I didn’t get over the fear of putting out something that wasn’t perfect out there I would never put out any content at all. So I bit the bullet and started publishing content on LinkedIn and Facebook via this blog. I set a schedule for myself to release a new subscriber email every Monday. This means I have to work under deadline and to put out whatever I have instead of waiting for the perfect blog post.

Then a funny thing happened.

And by funny I mean nothing happened.

I have yet to receive any hateful comments or negative reception to my thoughts on health, wellness, or Balanced Life. I barely even get negative comments in general. It seems like the boogeyman I thought up didn’t really exist.

I would guess that many other people have the same sort of doubts that keeps them from achieving their goals or bringing their ideas into reality. You believe that the only way to do anything is to be perfect at it. And if you can’t be perfect, there is no point in starting at all. But I think we all know that isn’t true. And when you think a little bit deeper into it, it sounds a little absurd to believe it.

In the words of Voltaire “Perfect is the enemy of Good”

Perfection is not tangible or expected. But you have to start somewhere to progress. Perfection may be the enemy of good but initiating is the catalyst of moving towards the next goal post.