While taking the first step of any journey is the most important one, too many of us get caught up in making it "perfect." This keeps a whole lot of us from ever even beginning to pursue the life that we really want to be living.
I, myself, have some "perfectionist" tendencies that up until the last year or so I thought were good qualities. Through a series of painful learning experiences and eye opening "failures," I've learned there is no such thing as perfect. In fact, I've discovered that most people's idea of what's perfect is exactly what's keeping them from taking that first step toward their REAL happiness and freedom.
Throw me in with that group. Guilty as charged!
"Perfection" is just another stumbling stone that many of us place in our own way, and if you could really see it for what it is, it's fear.
Fear of not being good enough, fear of falling down and making a fool out of yourself in front of everybody, fear of exposing your true feelings, fear of failure, fear of what other people will think, and a thousand other nasty little fears that keep you from embracing your true self.
Not only that, but they keep you from sharing your gift with the world. They jam you all up inside and convince you that what you have to offer isn't valuable. Perfection is kind of a selfish thing actually, because you're hoarding all of the good stuff you have to give to people. You're keeping it locked away in some deep, dark dungeon inside of yourself where it will never see the light of day.
Guess what? You can change. Here's where you begin.
You Have To Be Willing To Trip and Fall on Your Face
Do you know that most people who are "successful," will openly admit that they failed a dozen times or more before they became so? I'm serious; I didn't know this until I started reading the stories of the people who I looked up to.
I used to think they were extremely lucky, and I'd say things like "Oh, that must be nice," or "Right…if only I were so lucky," or the best one, "They're just really gifted. Who am I?"
I know better now. I've since learned that the the only reason they succeeded where many others have failed is that they kept at it.
They were willing to stumble and fall in front of others. They literally embraced their fears and just put themselves out there.
How many times can you say you've truly done that? Not when you were completely comfortable and assured of the fact that you'd be ok, but when you were unsure and uncertain of what the outcome would be?
How many times have you put your true self out there for others to see, knowing that you might seriously fall flat on your face in front of them all?
That takes courage, honesty, and a willingness to show yourself, flaws and all, to the world. The thing is…
People Need That Kind of Thing
The world needs you with your flaws and all. You aren't a perfect person; the truth is no one is. Most people know when they read a "perfect" script, page, story, or a "perfectly written" blog post or article that there's something missing. There's a certain flavor, a feeling, a soul you could say that's just not there. They know it in the way that it makes them feel.
The most successful people are textured, real, flawed, and they walk through their fears all of the time. It's not that they don't have any fears. It's that they work on them and then hit that publish button or go ahead and perform regardless of whether they still feel them or not.
They share themselves with the rest of the world as unfiltered as they can be. It's not that they don't use tact; sure they shape what they create, carefully, making sure that what they intended to communicate made it through, as crystal clear as can be.
You may not read the first draft of their thoughts or feelings. But in the end, they end up in front of you; nevertheless. You are able to read them.
If You Haven't Started, You Might Still Be Trying To Find Your Voice
A fellow blogger, Ryan Biddulph, who I've been following for some time, but recently really started digging his stuff, is good at helping people to get into the right mindset to get off of their butts and get started creating a life of financial independence through blogging. I was stuck in writers block from hell right before I finally got to writing this very first article for The Living Journey blog.
I know… Here I am writing an article about not letting the idea of perfection hold you back, yet I was completely jammed up and unable to get started.
Thanks to his eBook How To Find Your Writing Voice, I was able to clear up some cobwebs, get out of my head, work through some fears, and finally put together this first article. I knew what I wanted to write about but was in a thick fog about what tone to write in. That was keeping me from moving forward and completely stuck as I kept trying to create the "perfect" tone for my blog.
He helped me to clearly see that the only choice for me is to write in my own tone. No one else can be me, like me.
After reading his awesome eBook, I got to work on this article you're reading now.
One Foot After The Next
As I'm writing this, there's still a part of me that wants to scrap it and just start over. Something inside remains that wants this first article to be "perfect."
I wonder if it's inspiring enough. Or if I'm even making sense.
I'm beginning to understand; however, that this is my fear; this is what's been keeping me from publishing this here first article.
I'm glad that I'm waking up to the fact that nothing's perfect. As I let go of this being a polished, unblemished, pinnacle of absolute perfection, I'm finally ready to begin my new journey.
I'm not going to start over. I'm not going to write another version of this article. I'm going to leave it, in its raw form, as it is.
Every journey begins with a first step, and this is the first step of the journey for this blog.
If you're waiting for the perfect moment to begin your journey towards creating a better life for yourself, remember that your journey will also never begin if you don't take that first step.
If you want to read more articles that will help you along your way, be sure to subscribe to The Living Journey email newsletter.
When you do, you'll receive updates every time I've published a new article or other piece of content. I will be writing about topics that range from mindulness, spirituality, personal development, and the blockages and self-limiting beliefs that keep us all from pursuing the life that we know we want to be living.