Are you waiting? Rather than living out their dreams, many people wait and wait and wait. What are you waiting for? Clarity on what direction to go in? To get really, really good at whatever it is you want to do? For a sign that it’s the right time to move on? For a guarantee that you will not be rejected or fail? These are just a few of the thoughts people have which keep them from moving forward. Stop and think for a minute about what thoughts usually stop you.
Often these thoughts are tied in with the need to do things right or perfectly or with the need to know what to expect. This is the nemesis of perfection. Simply put, if we wait for everything to line up perfectly before taking some kind of action, we will be waiting forever.
I had to be pushed by my coach to lead my first workshop nearly 10 years ago. I kept saying, “I wasn’t ready.” What I meant was, “it wasn’t perfect, yet.” What I have since learned and keep re-learning is perfection and refinement come in the doing. That is where the real learning takes place. I led my first personal mission statement workshop for a group of acquaintances at no charge. The workshop wasn’t great — but it wasn’t terrible either. I got incredibly helpful feedback from the participants. From there I was able to refine it and teach it in the adult education programs of the local colleges. The feedback I got from the participants is not anything I could have learned on my own. The learning was in the doing. Now I teach and certify other people to facilitate that workshop and have turned it into the workbook in an ebook, “Is Your Ladder Leaning Against the Wrong Wall?. None of that would have been possible had I not taken that first step nearly ten years ago.
When I was proofreading my book, “I Can’t Believe I Get Paid To Do This!” for the 5th time, that same fear of missing a mistake was present. But this time it would be printed and there would be no taking it back. Eventually, I had to get over that and send the book to print. To my knowledge, there is at least one typo in the book (my mom caught it :)). And when I go back for a second printing very soon, I will correct it. In the meantime, the book is in the hands of a lot of people who are moving forward with their dreams.
The fear of failure is tied in with the nemesis of perfection; i.e., if I don’t do it right or make the right choice, then I fail. Failure does not have to be devastating. Rather it can be viewed as an opportunity to learn. Everyone fails sometimes. The people who have the most successes in life also generally have had the most failures. That is because they keep coming back and try again and again.
Where are you willing to take a chance this week? Here are some possibilities to choose from or create your own.
* Create or write something and allow it to be okay if it’s not perfect.
* Do something you’ve never done before.
* Ask someone you’ve been admiring or would like to get to know out for coffee or a meal.
* Share your creative work with someone whose opinion you respect.
* Submit your idea, work, talent to someone who has the ability to hire you or purchase something from you.
What are you waiting for? Take the leap (or at least one small step) and let me know how it goes.
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