Getting things checked off the to-do list can be challenge for all of us at times. There are often those one or two things you’ve been dreading the most – and they seem to hold up the rest of the list.
For many people, this behaviour transfers over to those bigger life ideas and goals.
Are you someone who has a million good ideas and you just can’t seem to get focused enough to complete even one of them?
Or are you a more conservative person who has one idea, goal or dream – but the fear of it not being perfect holds you back?
Don’t worry, me too. I’m a bit of both and it changes in the season of my life. However, recently I’ve been able to overcome this (most of the time) and wanted to share with you my secret:
Done is better than perfect.
Sounds so simple, but it really is so impactful if you look closely at the way you justify not moving forward or completing a task in any area of your life.
Here are some of the ways I’ve hindered my own progress.
Maybe there is somewhere you can relate and learn how you hold yourself back, too:
ZERO CHILL! THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE MY LIFE! LIKE, RIGHT NOW!
(but wait nevermind, what if I fail again?)
I’ve always been the type of person who gets an idea and runs with it at full speed. It’s like an intense energy inside of me that basically knows zero chill.
I can’t control which ideas or tasks give me this fire and motivation (I wish I could) – but when one comes over me there is literally nothing else I can think about.
If you are like me and can relate to this intense feeling of having ‘no off button’ when you are excited about something; then you also likely have a ton of scrapes and bruises from falling (aka failing) many, many times.
That’s just the way it goes when you put yourself out there! The more you try, the more you learn.
Sometimes though, the way you learn is in the ‘doing’ and not necessarily in the outcome. I used to put my whole life and energy into every idea to make it ‘perfect’ and get so attached to it working the way I imagined it to be.
(Which basically fell into a category related to: making me a married, rich, thin, successful, charitable or a total boss babe).
When it didn’t work out that way, the fall was hard and painful and shameful. Truthfully, my failures have nearly killed me a few times.
After 30 years of living like this I stopped putting myself out there as much. If it couldn’t be perfect and change my life – then what was the point of getting scraped and bruised from falling once again?
If I’m being honest it took a few years for me to get my confidence back once I lost it. But more importantly, change the terrible mentality of no longer trying.
Luckily though, this fire in me never really goes away and is always sending me amazing ideas; so eventually I got back up.
Today I do whatever I am feeling driven to do, and then I let go of the outcome and see what happens. No expectations, I just listen to the fire inside of me, create it and then release it.
And guess what?
The second I let go of the vice grip I had on making everything perfect and trying to control how it would change my life; was the second that the universe was able to step in and guide me to exactly where I needed to be.
When I just get things ‘done’ and don’t obsess too much – somehow they naturally work out better than I could have imagined. Or they don’t work out, but the experience guides me to the next amazing step that will fill me up even more.
IDEA OVERLOAD – HOW CAN I GET IT ALL DONE?
(So let’s do nothing instead, okay?)
We all have so many ideas and goals and dreams. Sometimes when I think about all of mine, I get anxious and wonder: HOW?
Can you relate?
Maybe for you it’s not multiple ideas, but it’s one goal that seems too much on top of job/kids/life?
Maybe you are a person who gets excited about something for five minutes and then fear, distraction or something new and shiny pulls you away?
(This is pretty much every entrepreneurial-minded person I know!)
Maybe you get so many ideas you just can’t contain them all and never know where to start. (ME!)
Any of these scenarios can all just feel so overwhelming!
Author Gabby Bernstein did a webinar that gave fantastic advice on this. Listening to her idea literally changed my life and how I manage my idea-overload-overwhelm.
The 90-day rule:
Pick just one goal and give it all your fire, spare time and energy for 90 days. Getting it off the ground is always the hard part in anything (fixing a relationship, changing your eating habits, starting a business, buying a home, cleaning up your finances, etc.) — and once you’ve done the hard work, you can tend to it with small daily loving actions that help it grow and flourish.
The 90-day rule has helped me accomplish so much. I just figure out what I need to get done as a top priority and give it all my attention for a set period of time. I can fix the ‘kinks’ later. It may not be perfect at first, but it get’s done!
If you use this, you can focus on 4 huge goals, ideas or things to clean up (like taxes, or a home project) per year.
Compare this to the zero you would have accomplished if you stayed overwhelmed and did nothing (or a tiny bit of everything)
— You are basically the new queen of productivity! ?
IF I CAN’T GO ALL IN – WHY BOTHER?
(So let’s eat all the pizza and watch Heraldo instead, k?)
All or nothing mentality? We all suffer from this on some level.
Have you ever gotten super obsessed with a diet and exercise routine and you give it your absolute all. And then you change your patterns and beat yourself up and feel terrible?
Have you ever thought there is no point in starting that passion project because you have a ______ (family, full time job, million other things) to take care of?
I know you have in some area. (me too!)
It is so toxic, unhealthy and draining when you do go full tilt and unattainably extreme or ‘perfect’ on something.
It’s also super depressing when you beat yourself up because you can’t live that way all the time.
To me – done is better than perfect applies here the most of all!
Can’t workout for that 2 hours a day at the gym?
A 20 minute run or 30 minute free weights in your living room every day is just as effective as the once a month you are making it to the gym. No actually, its way more effective!
(For my husband and I, this mental shift around exercise has really changed our lives and motivation to workout daily. You can always fit something in and it does not need to be perfect!)
Can’t save thousands of dollars each month like you want to?
Start with 5% (or any set amount!) of your earnings, automatically taken off your paycheque. (Do it yourself for every sale if self-employed!)
The nest egg will add up quick and motivate you to keep going.
Can’t start a blog because: where do you start and can’t afford a website and (and, and, and….)?
There are so many free website builders out there. If you want to work in the online space you need to dedicate time every day to learning about it, practicing with your chosen builder and of course writing (or taking photos, or whatever your blog is about!)
You can start somewhere and get better as you go! That is what all successful people do.
Get the gist? Whenever you feel something nagging at you to get done but are hindered by one million excuses, affirm out loud: Done is better than perfect!
Your calling in this world will always start as an idea. You need to act on it in order live out your life’s purpose. Be open and trust that the things that work out are for you, and the ones that don’t just taught you the lessons for something bigger and better that is on the way.
I’d love to know – where are you going to focus your ‘get it done’ energy next?
(while removing perfectionism, of course!)
I have two:
Professional – Launching a new game I’ve created.
Personal – Buy a home with my husband.
What are yours? Leave a comment below!