Stop Trying to be Perfect (Learn to be Present Instead)

This message is for me as much as it is for you.  I tend to refer to myself as a recovering perfectionist, because it is true.  I have a desire for greatness, insanely high expectations of myself and the tendency to stress out about delivering a workshop that isn't "good enough".  

Perfection is the enemy of progress.

If I had a dollar for every time I didn't publish a blog post because I didn't think it was good enough or for every time I didn't submit a workshop for a conference or make that phone call to a potential client because I didn't know exactly what to say, I would be, well, not rich, but you get the point! 

What I am realizing is that perfection holds me back from really going for it, from trusting myself and from the opportunity to learn through trial and error, which is really the only way to get better at something.  The first time a baby starts to walk, they don't do it perfectly, and even though they fall down, they get right back up.  I know that I want to be a better writer, but that isn't going to happen unless I actually do it.  I also need to learn to just be present to where I am at right now and enjoy the continual journey of improving.    

My new mantra recently to pick me up when I am noticing myself spiral down the perfection staircase is: 


I am learning that it is more important to just be present with people rather than having to show up an be perfect.  When delivering a workshop, it is more important for me to be really present with those that showed up rather than it having to be "perfect".  There are people I know who want to be the perfect teacher, advisor, mentor, parent, friend, etc.  And by all means, strive for greatness in the work that you do and in who you are, but remember to let go of the perfection and learn to be present with yourself and the people around you. This is truly the greatest gift you can give others. The presence of yourself and your time.  Presence is about being real with people, showing your messiness, communicating my passion and authenticity. 

People won't like you because you are perfect, they will like you because you are REAL! 

The pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect all the time is a tiring mask to wear.  I encourage you to take off the mask and just be present with the people in your life.  When we practice being authentic, rather that being perfect, we allow the other person to be real as well and to share their insecurities and imperfections.   This is what builds the beautiful, genuine, and meaningful relationships we are all looking for. 

Where in your life can you let go of being perfect and learn to be present?