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.
I once wrote that perfection is a falsehood. I stand by that statement. Perfection doesn’t really exist becuase of 2 things: perception and possibility.
What may seem perfect to one person will be viewed differently by another. Perceptions of others might end up changing your own view of your work. But perfection will never be universal because not everything is for everyone.
The end result of anything you do is based on picking one option out of several. But if at certain stages you found yourself caught between perhaps 2 out of the 5 options, when you’re finally done you may wonder about the possibilities of the other options. You might find yourself thinking, maybe it would have been even better if you chose the other option.
So why not let go of the perfectionism, something you’ll never truly achieve. Instead focus on the joy joy of creating your work and getting better and better over time.
If you find yourself experiencing a difficult situation, similar to something you have faced in your past you have the opportunity to handle it differently and with new knowledge and experience.
Don’t just caught up in the thought of ‘why is this happening to me again?’. Instead thing about what you can do to get the outcome you desire.
Answer the questions:
What did you do last time?
What did you want to happen?
What was the outcome?
What can you do differently this time?
Even if things don’t turn out perfectly, it’ll feel good to know that you handled things better than you did in the past
When you hold yourself to certain expectations it’s likely you’ll end up disappointed if you can’t meet them.
That tends to happen when you put too much pressure on yourself.
Furthermore, how you feel toward yourself will override how anyone else may feel about you falling short.
You could be told that ‘it’s alright, you did your best’, or even ‘it was good, you have nothing to worry about’. But the thing is when you hold yourself to a standard of ‘nothing less than perfection’ it becomes difficult to be comforted by the reassurance of other.
It’s hard disappointing yourself, feeling let down and having no one else to blame. But it gives you a great opportunity to think about what can do better next time.
Good things take time.
When you start something new you’re likely to be unpolished to begin with, you’re still learning afterall.
But that initial stage is what puts many people off. They get caught up in the idea that they’re not good enough. They play the comparison game, often looking at people with much more practice and experience.
The reality is that it takes time to find your rhythm. After a couple of weeks you can’t expect to be perfectly polished. That’s not even reasonable.
It’s so helpful and a much more enjoyable process, when you put the focus on doing the work instead of the end result.
Would you rather do something average and deliver it on time or to a high standard and late?
Many people get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. It can get to the point where it’s difficult to hand in the completed work because that means letting go. Now the work is in someone else’s hands and you’re open to their critique or feedback.
On the other hand, submitting something average might seem like the wrong thing to do but that’s not always the case.
Firstly, let me clarify that by average I mean something you haven’t spent an excessive amount of time on. Some thing that is good but if you had a few more days or weeks would be so much better.
The thing is that sometimes progress is better than perfect.
In the case of my original question, you have two options.
You can submit late and to a high standard and then hope overtime you get better at meeting deadlines.
On the other hand, you can commit to always delivering on time and know that with practice your average will get better.
Do it now.
There are 100 cliches about the right time to begin
You’ve heard them, I’ve heard them and sometimes i even write them.
But the truth is now is really as good a time as any.
If you think something is worth putting off and doing later instead, ask yourself why.
Do you genuinely have more work to do behind the scenes. More planning, learning and preparing.
Or are you using it as an excuse to hide.
You don’t have to wait until you’re perfect to start putting stuff out out there, learn to see the beauty in your growth.
You say you’ll do it later but later may never come, so why not do it now?
Shortcuts might be enticing but you can’t escape doing the work.
Write more than a post a day
You’ll have days when its easier to write so take advantage. I’ve had days where I’ve written a weeks worth of posts which is a stark contrast to the days where writing a single post feels as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree.
Dedicate a set time in your day to write
If you make it part of your routine it’ll find it’s way into your subconscious and then you’re set. My writing time is the journey to and from work. It’s around 90 minutes daily and I find it easier to use that time than make time before or after work to write. Granted I can and often do write at other times in the day but never as consistent as I do on my journey to and from work.
Don’t aim for perfection
You have to put more importance on having something to publish instead of it being perfect. I often refer to this blog as a writing practice because that’s what it is a place for me to practice writing. It isn’t a place for me to be perfect. I understand that perfection is a falsehood. Focusing on trying to make every piece perfect is a waste of time when you can just write something better tomorrow.
That’s all you need to successfully daily blog. There’s no trick to it. Sure, it might he hard to come up with ideas sometimes but the more you do it the easier it gets.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about risk, personal growth and trying new things.
When you do something that challenged you it’s only normal that you would want the risk to pay off.
And when things work out it’s great. You feel good inside because you were brave and it payed off. You’ll probably do that thing again because the good outcome taught you that there was nothing to be afraid of.
But what about when the outcome is not what you wanted. You muster the courage to speak up in the meeting and your points are dismissed.
What do you do?
Do you speak again?
The part of the brain that deals with fear and survival will set off the safety alarm and maybe even go into shut down mode.
When you do something and it doesn’t work, it’s not considered a ‘safe’ option which is why you often end up retreating.
But what I’ve learnt is that the act of being brave is where the focus should be. When you place too much importance on the outcome you don’t acknowledge what it took to do the thing you were afraid of in the first place.
Things can’t work out the way you want all the time, perfection is a falsehood.
It’s very rare that I write a blog post on the spot with no prior planning and minimal editing, I’m too rigid for that. I like to have that spark of an idea come to me which spurs me on to write and luckily I get it often.
I have enough thoughts and ideas to write at least daily but what I often find challenging is extracting the idea from my brain. Sometimes the final product is disappointing its like making a cake without a recipe and when you take it out the oven it’s flat, or burnt.
But I’m learning (and constantly trying to remind myself) that it’s okay if not every blog post turns out perfectly. Some days no one will read what I write and other days I’ll publish something that becomes my most viewed post.
Not every post can be absolutely perfect and considering I’m only on day 29 of daily blogging that is okay.