Stuck to freedom in 3 steps

Have you heard the saying, “Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance”?
It makes sense, right?
Do your research and be prepared.
I get it.
But when you’re a (recovering) perfectionist, you change the PROPER to PERFECT.
And when you do that….

Well, PERFECT preparation doesn’t prevent, it actually LEADS to piss poor performance.
Or, even worse, no performance at all.

Allow me to explain.

When I was in college I was taking an improv class.  An EXTREMELY challenging class for a perfectionist like myself.  I was too tense and always trying too hard to “get it right”. Improv requires trust, confidence, and presence.  If you’re in your head the whole time {Raises hand}, you won’t be connected to the team, you’ll care too much about how you look, and the comedy won’t land.

I was awakened by an unexpected phone call the morning of my improv final.  A collect call from my boyfriend.  He was in jail and needed me to come get him.
Lovely.

I fled my dorm room in a frenzy, drove to bail him out, and raced back into town.  I arrived only minutes before my final.  I threw down my things and within moments we were in the middle of the room performing.  Truthfully, I only remember one thing about the final.  My personal feedback was extremely positive.  Not only did my group crush it, my teacher said that I had my best showing and commented that I should do whatever I did THAT morning moving forward.
Great.  {Rolls eyes}  
I need to bail my unstable boyfriend out of jail in order to “be in my body”.

Frankly, I don’t know that I really got the big lesson until a few weeks ago.

You see, that morning, I didn’t have time to practice.  I didn’t have time to over-think.  I didn’t have time to perfectly prepare.  I didn’t have time to do anything.

I simply had to be present and go for it.

I see this same thing showing up in my life right now.  It’s so much easier to remain in student mode.  Always believing that I need to learn more, study more, prepare more, and practice more before I will be perfect and officially ready to GO FOR IT.

Here’s what’s up for me right now:

  • I am certain that don’t have the perfect blog.  I mean, am I supposed to have pictures? Should I be writing more often?  How often?
  • I’m confident that my video setup is unprofessional.  I’m either sitting on the floor with my phone leaning against a vase, I’m standing with my phone balanced on a pile of books on my bookshelf, I’m shakily holding my phone “selfie-style”, or I’m outside on my patio and my “AV set up” is my cell resting on a plant stand.
  • I’m pretty sure I’m not actually “doing Instagram” right.  For example, what are stories?  I’m playing with them, but am I doing it wrong?  Do people really care about what I’m posting?  And how do people have SO MANY followers?!
  • I don’t have a website for my coaching business. Should I?  Do I “need” one?  If so, how do you even begin to set that up?
  • I don’t have my speaker pitch nailed down.  I’m just over here trying to talk to anyone who’ll listen.  What if I suck and people laugh and make fun of me?
  • I am still awkward when it comes to “closing the sale”.  I mean, I’m selling ME and the breakthrough I can facilitate.  Do you wanna discuss how THAT is bringing me nose to nose with all of my shit???

And, let me be extra real…

There is ABSOLUTELY a part of me that stresses about all of those things.  I’m concerned about not being perfect.  I can sometimes obsess about your potential judgements and how I’ll handle them and I’m afraid that I won’t handle them well.

That’s my truth.

What’s also true, is the fact that there is a part of me that is screaming to be seen. However, I have to be really quiet to hear her.  Her yells are muffled, almost as if they are coming from really, really far away.

She’s screaming, “HEY. F#%K PERFECT!!!!”
She’s screaming, “GIRL.  Get your message out!!!!”
She’s screaming, “JUST TRY!  It’s the only way you’re gonna get good.”
She’s screaming, “GET IN MOTION!  You’ll get better the more you practice.”
She’s screaming, “JUST DO YOUR BEST!  People don’t want perfect, they want REAL.”
She’s screaming, “DO THE DAMN THING!  You’re not going to really learn any of this by reading online articles and watching YouTube videos.”
She’s screaming, “CHILL OUT!  Nothing you’re doing has human lives at stake. YES.  The work you do has the ability to impact and shift and transform the planet, but no one is going to DIE because your IG story sucks.  Your imperfect blog, unprofessional videos, Instagram, website, and sales/marketing pitch aren’t THAT F#%KING SERIOUS!!!!!”

And, I hear her.  And, I notice that the more I listen, the louder she gets.

The real deal is:

  • I am more comfortable if I have time to rehearse and I don’t like it when I am unable to do so.
  • I’d prefer to know all of the answers to your possible questions before we even start our conversation.
  • I wish I could speak fluidly and not stutter or say umm when I talk.
  • I like it best when I look pretty and my hair and makeup are done to my standards.
  • I frequently doubt that you’re going to read what I write or listen to what I say and I wonder if you do, if you really connect with my message.
  • On that note, I wonder if my message is even relevant…
  • I desire to be different, but I get uncomfortable when I think about boldly standing out.
  • I would like it MUCH better if I could immediately propel myself to mastery level.  At all things I try.  I do not like not being good.
  • I get nervous thinking about dialing a cold lead call.
  • I freak out at the thought of sitting down with people who are deciding if I’m a “fit” and if they want to book me to speak.

What’s different for me now, is despite the fact that I am deeply feeling all of my worries, doubts, and fears, I am taking action.  And, you can too.  And, it’s not as hard as you are imagining it to be.

3 steps to shift from stuck to freedom:

Awareness

You have to become aware of the problem.  If you’re pretending that it doesn’t exist or that it’s not that big of a deal, you’re going to stay stuck.  This is your “come to Jesus” moment.  Look at your life.  What’s NOT working?  Are you struggling with the same things you were struggling with a year ago?  Are you perpetually unhappy in your relationship, business, body, or career?  What about your finances?  Are you ALWAYS broke?  Look at your reality… REALLY look… and without judgement, write down what’s going on.

 

Acceptance

Here’s your chance to own your shit.  The only way you can be the solution is if you’re the problem.  Stop playing the role of the victim and accept your responsibility in the creation of your current circumstances.  All of them.  This isn’t about resigning yourself and giving up.  This is about accepting your reality so that you can use it as a launching point for transformation.

 

Action

You have force yourself to take baby steps and then you have to celebrate each and every one you take.  I know you want to go from 0 to 10, (I do too!) but it’s completely unrealistic.  Get a coach and a mentor to help you create your PERSONALIZED game plan.  You’re an individual and you’re going to require individual support.  Figure out WHY you want the thing you say you want.  That WHY has got to be bigger than your fears because (spoiler alert!) your fears aren’t going anywhere.

 

Look, I’m not gonna tell you to stop trying so hard to be perfect.  I’m not gonna tell you to stop being nervous or freaked out or concerned about doing it wrong or messing up.  I’m not going to tell you stop any of that because in my experience, there’s no switch you can turn off.

What I want you to do, just for today, is act in spite of.  Go ahead and feel every single one of your worries, doubts, fears, AND …
Write anyway.
Post anyway.
Record the video anyway.
Speak your truth anyway.
Make the pitch anyway.
Go to the meeting anyway.
Dial the phone anyway.

I need you to know that there are people waiting for YOU.  There are people longing to experience YOUR unique gifts.  There are people waiting to learn what only YOU can to teach them.  There are people longing to hear YOUR message.

And those people, the ones waiting for YOU and longing for your message?

They don’t care if it’s perfect.
In fact, they hope it’s IMPEREFECT.
You wanna know how I know that?
Because I know they’re afraid of the same things you are.
And if YOU’RE perfect, that means they have to be perfect too, and the thought of that terrifies them.

I fully believe that if you are judging me for my imperfect blog, if you roll your eyes at my messy and unprofessional videos, and if you shake your head at my Instagram feed, I am not the coach, the speaker, or the teacher for you.
And, truth be told, I’m (mostly) good with that.

Either way, I’m patting myself on the back for acting in spite of.
It’s a big friggin’ deal.

I’m perfectly imperfect and finally proud of it.
Most days.

 

Image via thinkwealthmagazine.com

 

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