I put a French braid in my hair recently – one that would have made my high school self cringe. As a teenager, I’d often try to french braid my hair, but give up because of one tiny bump. I thought it looked messy because it wasn’t perfect. But these days, I wear the braids anyway. They are less than perfect and I don’t care. No one pays that much attention! To my regret, it’s taken me most of my 40 years to realize this, but life is too short to be spent chasing perfection.
Several months ago, I came across this fantastic article about not being perfect: It’s Ok To Be Good and Not Great. I’ve bookmarked this article and refer to it often.
Is striving to be great what is holding you back? If I answer this question honestly, then yes. Too often, I allow perfect be the enemy of good – and I completely give up. It’s the daily grind, though, what we do consistently, that will lead to greatness. I love the way the authors speak of this in The Happy Runner. “You’ll get most of the way to your potential just by being consistent….” You don’t have to have a perfect training cycle, perfect nutrition, or anything of the sort – just put in the work and enjoy the process. Elite athlete, Eliud Kipchoge, demonstrates this probably better than most and he shows up to do big things at big races with this consistency fueling his confidence. Consistent performance that compounds over time and allows us to achieve our goals. Think about it – this is true at work and at home, with your nutrition, your fitness, and most any endeavor. Consistency is also sustainable.
Please read the article and understand that it is ok to be ok with where you are now – accept it. Then be patient, be present, be vulnerable. Avoid perfection, perform relaxed, and do big things!