I realised something pretty important this week: In order to improve, you can’t be perfect. You’ve got to start from a point, which you’re less than happy with.
It’s simple, but I found it revolutionary. Especially, since I probably slot pretty snuggly into the category of A-type personality: I don’t do clutter, need progress and can’t go too long without doing something worthwhile. But us A-types have bigger problems than our friends rolling their eyes at our ridiculous sense of urgency and admittedly irritating highly-strung tendencies.
A-types are perfectionists. We need things to be perfect, and if you refer to the first line of this post, you’ll begin to see the issue. I can’t speak for you, but I know that I avoid things that I know I won’t be absolutely flawless at.
Learn a new skill? Nah, I’d rather stick with an outdated one that I will be praised for.
Put myself in a new situation? Nah, I might mess up.
Try a different way of doing things? Nah, I might not be perfect.
It’s a problem. And a seriously limiting mindset!
Call to Action
- See the bigger picture: What are you goals? Is your need to be perfect getting in the way of improving and reach those goals.
- If so, what’s the first thing you can go to step a little closer towards vulnerability and imperfection? Maybe get a side hustle that’s going to require some skills development. Ask questions about topics you don’t understand and be okay with your limited knowledge. Or try something entirely new: surfing, candle making, whatever. Choose something that’s a step out of your comfort zone (in a positive direction), but nothing too life altering/threatening or likely to turn into something to cringe about for months. Baby steps.
- Check in with yourself and notice your thoughts. If you’re anything like me, your brain will find numerous reasons why you shouldn’t be trying new things. It’s just uncomfortable and it will soon get over itself. Your goals and progress are more important that your temporary discomfort.
So, what are your thoughts?
I’m taking my own advice (for real this time) and starting a new Philosophy course this Wednesday evening. This will most likely be accompanied by a decent number of self-pep-talks and anxiety, but also (presumably) greater self-confidence and success.
Are you going to choose the mountains you need to climb in order to be where you’d like to be?