Before I chat about perfection and how it can paralyse you, let me make you smile. I reckon that if you can make someone smile each day then it’s been a great day. This my beautiful Livvy who has just conquered walking at 26months old and she makes me smile every day.
She’s also taught me some valuable lessons this week about just getting it done, even if it’s not perfect. . .
Sometimes in business we get paralysed by fear and often it’s the fear of not being good enough. When you have a boss fear can be motivating; for example when you have to finish the project or else you’ll get a b*llocking.
But when you’re self employed, and you ARE the boss, fear of not being good enough can be crippling.
Every day I see clients who haven’t completed their marketing goals for the month (their website is just a few more weeks away, their flyers just need some changes before printing, their blog post just needs a few tweaks before publishing). And week-on-week it’s the same story, just with new reasons for the marketing not being completed. And when we dig deeper we find that the simple reason the blog/website/flyers are still in a state of limbo, is because my client doesn’t think they’re good enough. They want them perfect before they take action.
But, you know what? Perfect doesn’t exist, and aiming for perfection is just a bloody good excuse to procrastinate.
So I always tell my clients: “Don’t get it perfect, just get it done.” And then it will evolve and, over time, you’ll get good at your blogging and website.
But if you don’t put anything out there for fear of it being less than perfect, you’ll stay rooted to this spot forever and have NO website/flyers/blog; never mind naff ones.
So what’s Livvy got to to do with this?
For 26 months Livvy couldn’t walk. She bum shuffled everywhere, destroying roughly a pair of trousers a day! It got to the point that despite her having physical difficulties we were equally as concerned about her mental progress. Her consultant said that if we didn’t get her walking soon her brain would pretty much accept walking was too difficult and scary and she wouldn’t even try.
In short, walking would become something she was afraid of. The fear of walking would literally paralyse her. And every time we tried to encourage her to walk she would cry and scream; it was heart breaking.
Then, one glorious day, she took two tiny steps between chairs. It was amazing! Then the next day she started to push her dolly’s buggy, that was staggering. And the next day she walked all by herself. YAY!
But here’s the thing. . .
She was really rubbish at walking. She was like a mannequin, totally rigid, and she fell down more than she walked. But bless her, she kept on going. She wasn’t perfect but she just kept cracking on. And now, just two weeks on, she is starting to bend her knees and she looks much more natural.
She’s now trying to jump. And she is ridiculously bad at that too. But something tells me that she’ll nail it, she’ll just keep trying, not caring that she isn’t perfect, and then one glorious day it will all come together.
So, what can you take from Livvy’s story?
If a 2 year old can be so terrified of something but still overcome it, why can’t you?
What is really stopping you?
I reckon that for most of you, you aren’t really afraid. . . ‘The Fear’ is simply a convenient excuse for putting stuff off.
What can you finish today and put out there, in all of its imperfect glory?
Tell me in the comments below or on Twitter using #DoneNotPerfect