When’s the last time you did something totally new? Whether it was your first day at a job or your first time playing a sport, your palms may have grown sweaty, and some self-doubt, shame, and anxiety may have crept in.
Now, what happens when you do that job (or play that sport) every day for a couple of years?
You get good at it! You improve. You learn. The fear and discomfort dissipate. And you grow.
As we grow into adulthood, many of us stop taking those risks. Fear of failure, financial ruin, or relationship loss can hold us back and keep us confined to a small, limited world.
Many of us would benefit from a mindset update. What if we could appreciate the journey of life, instead of always anticipating future results? What could happen if we actively pursued getting uncomfortable in life?
As usual, I find it’s best to have a guide when pursuing these types of challenges and recently found one in author and coach Marie Forleo. In her most recent book, there’s a chapter called: “Progress, Not Perfection.”
This phrase has been an ultra-effective tool for myself and our whole team at B2X Global as we enter into uncharted waters, attempting to grow the reach of our company exponentially.
Let’s break down the two gifts contained within the phrase “Progress, Not Perfection.”
First, “Not Perfection.” Here’s a fun secret: Perfect isn’t possible. Literally. It’s a concept and ideal to keep our human brains striving for better. However, if we hold ourselves to a measuring stick of perfection, we get stuck in other people’s opinions, avoid trying new things, and don’t get to achieve our full potential. Think back to our opening example – who’s going to be perfect at a brand-new job? Or the first time they swing a golf club?
Next, “Progress.” As we follow our individual paths and do good work, we’ll see improvement happen before our eyes. Remember that we can trust in the process. Simply by taking that first, and then second step, we know that progress is around the corner.
Here’s what I’ve learned along my journey, and I strongly recommend remembering these, so you can experience the power of progress > perfection.
- Everyone starts as a novice. Experts aren’t born, they’re developed.
- The only goal is to improve. You’re going to do this again, getting a bit better each time.
- The process of improvement is a journey that includes messing up and short-term failures. We must view these as a gentle guide showing us the path to confidence and expertise.
Eventually, with patience and purposeful effort, we’ll repeat our best attempt over and over until we get it right.Not perfect, but just right.