Hello, women and womxn! How are things? I hope your September has been going well, overall, and that new beginnings (like school years, transitions, or ending 2021) are working themselves out as best as they can.
Today’s memo is about some of the best advice I’ve ever been given or have applied in my life: progress not perfection. And, yet, I am such a stubborn perfectionist or go-getter sometimes. Even to the point of not doing The Thing that needs doing because of a few beliefs that pop up:
- No Time: I have other things I need to do…
- Little Confidence: I’m not even sure how to get this done…
- Second-guessing Myself: Why’d I sign up to do this again?
I’ll be honest with you, these questions have come to my mind (and out my lips in conversation) from small things (like a quilt project) to large things involving house buying, projects, other responsibilities, etc. You name it, I’ve thought about it, Womxn.
If you can relate to some of the feelings above, how about we help each other download and process some of the barriers to getting small (or big) things done in our lives? Let’s dive in!
Pro Tips for Making a Shift A.S.A.P.
Tip #1: Do a Check-in with Yourself with 100% Honesty
Are you able to sense when you’re focused on other things, except for the task that needs doing? What about when you add ten other distractions into the planner, that are in addition to what you already have going on? And finally, do all ten need to happen? *Yep, I’m raising my own hand as a pro of this skillset.*
To be fair, many of us have seen this in our work or personal worlds for years: the award-winning practice of full schedules that make our heads hurt. But as a People, especially after the last year and a half, we have a lot to consider and manage… maybe even change.
If we quiet the noise “out there” for a second, and focus on ourselves and our lives, what’s calling you to shift? What have you been putting off? Not ten things, just one. Is there a key shift that you could commit to that would be worth the time, the mental bandwidth, and more? So… what’s stopping you?
Go ahead and list it out. I’ll wait… And we’ll use this list again in a few minutes, so keep it close.
Tip #2: Imagine Your Daily Life After that Shift Has Been Made or the Task is Done
Before we dive into a little more work, go all sensory with this one. To make this easier, I’ll just list ideas out here, but go ahead and make this your own exercise:
- Picture what your life would look like if you made this key shift or got the task done. Envision all the details: people in your world, your work, what your mornings, days, and nights look like. How would you know this shift was worth it? Picture that, too.
- Enlist your body: How do you feel internally? How are you carrying yourself? Are you acting uplifted? Stronger? Grounded? What are your senses telling you?
- Feel out your happiness and fulfillment. Imagine the symbolic weight is lifted off your shoulders because this is complete (or you’ve at least started the process).
Again, do this little exercise however you want to, but go deep with your feelings and senses so you can really grasp the big picture.
Tip #3: Be Your Own Antithesis, Your Own Opponent (But as a Buddy)
Remember that list that you wrote up a few minutes ago? Great.
Put the “what’s stopping you” list on the left.
Now, take another piece of paper and put it just to the right of the list. Or, if you’re low on paper just write next to these “reasons why you can’t do something.”
Go line by line and imagine either a friend or a “’Yeah, but…’ Person” (we can all think of one we know) is turning it around. Open up enough so this shift is framed with possibility. Even if you’re not sure yourself.
Learn and Then Live: Reflection + Action = A Deeper Progress
Here’s an example to be helpful and while it may seem low-key, it’s a real-life deal I recently worked through.
Activity: Finishing a quilt (my first one)
- I have other things I need to do. —– The quilt is 95% done and has been staring at you for weeks. You’ve felt guilty and don’t like that.
- I’m not even sure how to get this done. —– YouTube, baby. Or Google, “hand-stitching a binding.” You’ve done sewing before, too.
- Why’d I sign up to do this again? —– Because you want to learn this skill, it’s a gift to a friend, and you started off really liking this project.
- What if they don’t like it? —– They will, and see point #3 for further reinforcement.
- I don’t live in a good enough space to finish this (to perfection). —– Do you have a lap, a needle, thread, and scissors? Thought so…
- What if this distracts me from the other things I need to do? —– It’ll be done and you can refocus on the next priority with more clarity.
Yes, it’s a lighter example, writing about a quilt. The point is: this project has been sitting here for weeks, in the RV, and my perfectionist standards were just making this harder to do. I definitely have other things happening in my life—much “deeper” than a quilt project—but it doesn’t mean this reflective work can’t apply here… Best part is: after the reflection happens, we can move on to action with more intel.
Sometimes I feel that the “just dive in and do it” attitude can miss why we do what we do. Why we’re distracting ourselves. Why we’re avoiding a task. Or why we’re afraid of messing up. Either way, if we can assess why we do what we do, and learn from it, then we can try to course correct later when facing another deal we’re not sure about.
If we dive a little deeper, know ourselves, and still love ourselves through the process, we can empower our work that much more in the future. We’ll be able to take even stronger steps in the right direction, activity by activity, shift by shift.
What do you think about this: diving into fears, whys, and then action? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below or feel free to contact me 1:1 here. If you’d like to know when new content hits FSW, sign up for the FSW Circle and you’ll also get to hear of an upcoming project that’s in the works! And the FSW Quiz can offer specific feedback on living a full life for yourself, so go ahead and check that out if you want to do your own research. Wishing you a great week ahead!