There are some cases when, if you don’t know what to say the best thing to say is nothing at all. But that doesn’t apply to every situation.
In fact, in some scenarios saying nothing is one of the worst things that you can do.
Sometimes we hold off from speaking up because we think that less than perfect is not good enough. However, the perfect composition of words shouldn’t always be the aim.
At times it’s better to speak up in the moment, to perhaps let someone know that you care instead of staying quiet. The alternative is to wait until what you have to say is closer to perfect but by then it will be too late.
When you think of a perfectionist, what comes to mind?
Almost every time it’s the type A personality who is incredibly organised and competitive. The sort of person who is particular and also explicit about wanting to get things right.
But there is a different kind of perfectionist too.
The second is the sort of person that procrastinates and fears their best will never be good enough.
Beneath the surface they seek perfectionism too. They have such high expectations that they won’t even try if they think they can’t meet them. This sort of person feels disappointed if they produce something that isn’t ‘perfect’.
The difference between these 2 people is that the first is willing to try.
Nobody is living their life exactly as they would like right now. But in this space of uncertainty, limited in person interaction and staying inside you’ll get a pretty good idea of how you want to live your life.
Ask yourself: What do I miss?
What do I want to do with my day?
And give yourself time to daydream.
Lie down maybe even sit outside in the sun if possible and just daydream. Daydream about your job, how do you earn a living, what is your working life like.
Daydream about how you spend your free time, the people in your life, how you dress and any other bit of your life that’s on your mind.
Then come back to your reality and think about how different the daydream is to your current life.
It’s not bad if they greatly differ but it might serve as a reminder that you’re not living the life you truly want.
If you go on social media you’ll find an abundant amount of people policing ‘perfect’. They’ll criticise, comment and assume as though people aren’t human beings.
But the thing is, you can never please everyone and you will make mistakes.
And as great as the internet is, nobody needs 4658 strangers criticising them for something they said or did, even if it was wrong. Ganging up on someone is never a good way to get them to change their ways.
The internet and social media in particular is a great place to practice ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. Just because you can send a comment telling someone off for doing something that you don’t think they should have done, doesn’t mean you should.
Better yet ask yourself ‘is this useful or helpful?’, ‘what will I achieve by doing this?’.
Chances are you might find it’s actually better to say nothing at all.
It’s hard to balance tense and triggered aspects of self with the softer more malleable bits.
My anxiety makes me tense and rigid but it also deeply influences the way I write. But my softer more malleable side deeply influences my writing too.
It is often through writing that my anxieties subside and I am able to go with the flow, follow the words and not worry about the order or things making perfect sense but to instead stay inflow allowing the words to pour.
To be able to follow the flow no matter how brief or specific is something worth cherishing. When you’re tense and rigid or feeling overwhelmed by life it seems impossible that there’s any other way, but there is.
The flow is always there whether you choose that path or not. You can go back to it at any point because the moment you realise that what you’re doing isn’t working or should be different is the moment the solution becomes available.
It’s a new day, a new month, a new year and a new decade.
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to begin, that time is now.
Start the blog, writing the book, writing songs, writing poetry, take that class, visit that new city, initiate plans with that person you met recently, start that podcast, share your photography or whatever it may be.
So, often we hold off from starting because we think that we’re not ready or we’re waiting for the right time.
But there is no right time, it’s a myth and you’ll always be able to find an excuse as to why you should put off that thing for just a little bit longer.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable enough with how your voice sounds to start a podcast. But maybe if you just started the comfort would come with time. Plus most people don’t like the sound of their own voice when they hear it back, so you’re not alone.
The difference is they choose not to indulge in that feeling because they know that they have something worth sharing.
If you’ve been waiting for to start, start now.
The words I shared in January weren’t perfect. In fact they’re on the opposite end of the scale and I winced last week reading through them.
My writing style was not where I thought it was. It’s wasn’t witty, clear, concise and well written like I had hoped.
It was scattered with errors and I’d forgotten to take words out so some things didn’t quite make sense.
However, I was doing something new and getting the hang of writing something I felt comfortable sharing everyday.
But the beauty of doing this daily blogging thing is, each day I have the chance to write something better.
And then bit by bit (or even drip by drip – a reference to something Seth Godin has said many times) I’ll improve. Maybe practice won’t ever make perfect (what would the perfect blog post look like anyway?) but it will (almost) always make me better.
I think the problem many people face is the feeling of overwhelm when the compare where they are with where they want to be.
Instead of focusing on what they can do from where they’re currently at they focus on the gap.
And sometimes that gap is vast.
But like I said at the start it’s just a matter of practice. And that might be to practice voicing your thoughts in a group setting when someone asks of anyone has any points they want to add.
Practice going to events alone and making an effort to talk to strangers despite the discomfort or nerves.
Pick what you want to work on and see how it goes. It might be challenging the first time but don’t be put off because we all know that practice makes perfect and if not perfect it makes you better than you were yesterday.