My apologies for being absent the last two days. I’ve been sick. Between sniffles, coughs, and sneezes I haven’t had a lot to write about. I’m pulling out of the fog…I see the light at the end of the tunnel…but I’m not 100% yet. But today might as well be the day I encroach on the topic in the title. After all, with a cloudy brain and a tissue shoved in my nostril, I’m far from perfect today. So here we go….
How Not To Be Perfect:
I’m one of those people who isn’t really good at any one thing. People don’t describe me in a word or two. I’m not “that really creative one,” or the “impeccably timely one,” or “an artist,” “a marketer,” “a writer,” “a cook,” “an athlete.” I’m not a one-word summary. I don’t excel at any one thing in a way that defines me….but the good news is I’m kind of good at a lot of stuff.
I’m no photographer, but I don’t feel embarrassed to share the photos I snap of my dogs with all of you. I’m not exactly a homemaker, but I have friends and family over regularly and keep the house clean enough so it doesn’t smell weird (I think). My style may not be top-of-line, designer clothes put together with a fashion-forward statement in mind, but I get a lot of compliments on my shoes. Writer I am not, and yet you’re reading this. :)
So, you know what, I’m not perfect and I like that.
There’s a lot of pressure on today’s 20, 30, 40, 50-something women to be perfect. It’s unfair and unnecessary. I’m writing to encourage all you lovely Type-A’s to grab on the challenge of being imperfect and accept every little bit of yourselves.
I’ve identified a few ways that I’ve come to embrace my flaws and throw the label of perfect out the window. Here it is …a list of how not to be perfect.
1. Have a back up plan. No matter what task you’re taking on, have a Plan B. Seriously, I’m not saying you shouldn’t believe in yourself or that you shouldn’t give 100% effort on the first go of a project, but have something to fall back on. Having a back up plan often takes the pressure off the original project and allows you to excel in whatever you’re doing the first time. And if you fail miserably, hello…you have a back up plan!
2. Give yourself enough time. This is a lesson I am painfully still learning. Every time I have ever failed at something, timing is most certainly the biggest culprit. Didn’t get your project done? Didn’t get the cookies baked? Didn’t workout this week? Why? Time is usually the answer. Prioritize and give yourself the time needed to get things done.
3. Share your goals. My 30 Before 30 list would have never happened if I didn’t have the support and eyeballs of readers. Sure, I didn’t succeed in finishing all 30 items (namely due to giving myself seven months to do it…read: #2), however it’s an adventure I’ll never regret and full of accomplishment. The encouragement of others will help you achieve whatever you set your mind to and even if you don’t do it exactly as planned, they’ll cheer you on anyway.
4. Don’t settle on the important stuff. There are times when the phrase “only the best will do” does matter. This applies only to the most important aspects of your life. Don’t settle in a bad relationship or a job you hate. Don’t sign up for a project you don’t believe in or plan to run a marathon if you dislike running. You’re not setting yourself up to be imperfect, you’re setting yourself up to be unhappy. Happy people can handle the ups and downs of life and can accept the good and bad. Unhappiness adds pressure and stress and makes the uphill battle to unreachable perfectionism steeper, more daunting, and more damaging.
5. Try everything. Who cares if you’re not good at it! That’s the beauty of being imperfect! What’s the worst that can happen? When I did my first triathlon, I thought I might drown. That’s a pretty big “worst that can happen.” But guess what, I tried it anyway. I did not swim fast. I did not swim gracefully. I may have drunk part of a lake and had minor freakout because the water was green. BUT, I did it. AND, I didn’t drown. And I’ve done two triathlons since then. So just try! (Woah! The TRY paragraph was about a TRI!? So not planned but super happy with the result here.)
And that’s it.
I’m telling ya, embrace your imperfections and use the advice above. You’ll be shocked at what you can accomplish and how happy you’ll be.
P.S. Did the misspelling in the title make this post any less effective? See…being perfect doesn’t matter.