A few years back I heard a great saying that really resonated with me and I would like to share it with you today.
Perfection is the opposite of done.
Let me give you a glimpse into my world for a moment. I was consistently falling to the mercy of perfection – it’s honestly still a struggle. This tendency – of wanting to attain perfection – kept my bookshelves a cluttered mess for years as I pondered the perfect organizational structure that allowed my ethnographies to be separate from my histories and to be alongside my biographies but not my research studies and never ever touching fiction, which had to be segregated from poetry and where in the world does philosophy go? Don’t even get me started on movies.
What it all came down to was fear.
Not of doing something wrong – because I always knew I could re-do it if I found a better way. It was actually deeper than that.
It was fear of how others perceived me. My bookshelves were a metaphor for my whole life. And perfection was my shield. After all, if others perceived me as perfect, then I was safe from feeling shame, being blamed, or ridiculed. Right?
But perfection was also the barrier that was holding me back from really having the close and supportive relationships I craved. Perfection was keeping me trapped, surrounded by haphazard piles of unorganized books just as I was surrounded by unfinished projects that all fell apart when I got too scared to keep going and fell back on the excuse of “I don’t have the time/resources/skills/money to really do it the way I want to.
Just like I was surrounded by haphazard relationships with people who wanted closer relationships with me, and whom I just kept running away from when I got too scared that they might see how imperfect I am. I didn’t have the job, the dress size, the pottery barn styled home, the income statement that would make me perfect and be worthy.
But I realized the world doesn’t need perfect. It just needs me. Doing what my passion is. Connecting with people in all the ways I am able.
The world needs you too – just as you are. Let it embrace you as you really are. Stop waiting for the moment where you have “enough time to do it right” and – like Nike told us – just do it. It doesn’t have to even come close to perfect – and sometimes it will feel like it really doesn’t. You know what? You can try again. And it will be even better the second time around because of all you learned already.
So, what are you waiting for?