Note: This post is inspired by preparation for 21 Days to Reset (sign-ups will be open September 7 for this 3-week guided journey to enhance balance and calm. Every time we have a 21 Days to Reset program, I get equally as much out of moving through the journey as in its facilitation. It’s inspired by my ongoing quest to find balance … and my ongoing reminder-to-self that balance is a verb, not a noun, and our lives will always be a process of moving in and out of that state. What we CAN work on, is learning how to be in that process with grace.)
I’m a recovering perfectionist. Except if I’m in that process of recovery I’m somewhere back towards step one of recognizing when my perfectionist tendencies take over. The mantra “don’t let perfect get in the way of good” has been invaluable to me over the past year, but it’s shown up even more so for me in the past few weeks.
A couple months ago, I was feeling overwhelmed and a bit lost. I took a step back to gain perspective, in order to thoughtfully step back into what I was doing. I began to notice some of my tendencies in regards to setting my own goals and working towards them.
If the conditions weren’t exactly right to get something done I wanted to do, I couldn’t move forward. If I was working from my kitchen table but there were dishes on the counter or clutter around the living area, I couldn’t sit down to plan out classes until everything had been put away.
I always knew I liked to knock out small tasks before big ones (that’s just one of the ways I like to work), but I could clearly see I was striving to achieve such a level of perfection in order to get one thing done, that I actually wasn’t getting anything done at all.
I was letting perfect get in the way of good.
Case in point: Whenever I create mini workshops for members of my website (like this one) I have such a hard time distilling information into bite size bits; I think about how it’s not the whole picture, it isn’t enough info, there’s always something else I could say … the list goes on. There have been at least five workshops I’ve deleted or did nothing with, and at least that many additional blog posts left in the draft graveyard because I didn’t think they were worthy enough to share.
So often I let seeking perfection get in the way of good work, that I end up not doing anything at all.
And I always like to be completely honest in these shares, in the hopes that you might read a word or two that resonates with you. These human experiences of striving for perfection and feeling totally inadequate aren’t mine alone, I know, but I also know it can often feel as though everyone has their stuff together except me.
You feel me?
Well to this I say, okay, human emotions, I see you. And I feel you. But I won’t let you steer the ship. Recognition of when those tendencies sneak up is huge win all by itself. Every little decision to move forward with good heart, intention, and our best foot forward is all we can ever do.
Like that photo above. Taken on a massive sheet of ice, a friend and I tried to capture a handstand for both of us at the same time. More than five attempts later, our hands were frozen and we had this shot to show for it. At first I thought, well that’s a bummer. But now looking through a different lens, I see a photo that brings back a great memory. I see an honest moment of real life. Not the perfect shot you’d ooh and ahh over. Just real life, and that’s GOOD enough for me.
This is honestly why I created a 3-week, guided yoga + strength program that is one hundred percent the invitation to NOT be perfect. The goal is not to do all the workouts or fill out all the journal prompts. I created it because it’s the kind of commitment I need to feel connected and successful. As a recovering perfectionist, competition doesn’t suit me well.
And so I choose not to view anything about 21 Days To Reset as that. I choose to see it as simply the opportunity to relate better to myself. To get to know myself at this moment in time. To celebrate the “good” moments without needing them to be the “perfect” ones.
If the mantra “don’t let perfect get in the way of good” resonates with you, awesome. If it doesn’t feel quite right, that’s okay, too. Just remember that you have a lot of good to share, and now – especially now – the people you know, love and are surrounded by daily need it. Take this gentle reminder to take care of you so you can keep sharing your goodness with them.
(PS: 21 Days to Reset sign-ups are open September 7 and we kick off together October 3! Read the details of the program here.)