Ironically, it’s taken me a few attempts to write this post. The quest for perfection can be a killer, especially when it comes to writing. Organizing and delivering my thoughts in a way that says what I mean and is easy to understand ain’t easy. Even though I have a good understanding of the English language and am articulate under most circumstances, writing is still a constant challenge for me. On top of that, my ego undermines my efforts with thoughts like, ” ‘I don’t have a degree in writing.’ or ‘What makes me think I’m a real writer? What credentials and experience do I have?’ and especially, ‘Am I even making sense?’ ” I used to let those thoughts prevent me from writing. That’s the problem with perfection, which is really a manifestation of the ego. It makes you feel like you’re not good enough to do what your soul is called to do. It holds your spirit hostage, keeping your dreams at bay.
Over the last few months I’ve been blessed to recognize when ego is at work, especially when it comes to shifts in thinking that bring me closer to realizing my dreams. Here are four things I’ve done to make “done” my new perfect:
Stop the comparison. Comparing myself to others is probably the worst thing I could do to stifle my process. I would read other blogs and think that the writing was so much better than mine. I had to realize that my journey is my own and that I can’t compare where I am to where someone else is. I’d rather publish an imperfect post than not one at all.
Push past the fear. Putting yourself out there, whether through writing or not, is scary. The vulnerability of sharing your thoughts and talents with others can push you to feel like you must get things right or you’ll be ridiculed, never to live it down. The reality is that people are rarely that harsh and usually praise you for your effort. We are usually our biggest critics, and that feeling comes from the quest for perfection. Instead of pushing myself to be perfect I use that energy to get things done. When we shift energy to be productive, and not for the pursuit of perfection, we feel better, which makes us do better.
Let go of the outcome. Worrying about how things will turn out is not only pointless, it robs you of enjoying the journey. The fairytale ending rarely happens outside of a Disney movie. Releasing the need to control how things end makes you happier and more in the moment, which, if you think about it, it usually perfection. I had to accept that I am always where I need to be right here, right now. I find comfort in that. Every minute of the process can feel like a perfect moment. It’s all about perspective.
Learn and grow. The only way we can become better versions of ourselves is to learn and grow from our experiences. The simplicity of doing manifests lessons that we need in order to become better. If we stop doing because of the need to do things perfectly, then the lessons that we actually need to learn can’t come through. Therefore, we must remain open to the perfect opportunity to grow, rather than the attainment of perceived perfection. That’s a huge reason I’m committed to publishing a new post everyday this year.
In this new year, let’s work towards doing something everyday to make our dreams a reality. Let us let go of the pursuit of perfection, and instead, focus on energy on having joy in every moment. Because that’s pure perfection.