Photo Credit: Giulia Bertelli, Unsplash.com

Accepting Nothing Less

There’s a lot of romanticism that surrounds the idea of being single-mindedly driven towards our goal. We applaud and idolize stories of people who relentlessly pursued their dreams until the world yielded what they demanded.

I’m not trying to knock the dogmatic mindset that surrounds ambitious and goal-centered people, I just think lots of people are doing it wrong. It’s a beautiful thing to be driven by an outcome. The trick is being unyielding in your goal while maintaining complete fluidity in how you get there.

An unfortunate byproduct of an ambitious, goal-oriented demeanor is tunnel vision. One acceptable destination unconsciously translates to there being one acceptable path to get there with paralysis being the subsequent symptom.

The fear of not going about something in the “right” way leads to inaction. Not only that, it leads to endless amount of prep work– list making, researching, etc– activities that allow you to tell yourself you’re working but without actually moving yourself forward.

Paralyzed Perfection

We obviously want to make sure we’re going about achieving our goals in the most effective way. However, ask yourself this:

How much is getting it perfect keeping you from getting it done?

If we’re honest with ourselves we can retroactively examine our productivity and realize that, in our obsession to do something the “right” way, we barely got anything done at all.

I’m the first to admit I’m the exact archetype of the recovering perfectionist. I’m the king of outlines, lists, and multiple opened tabs. When working on my book, I won’t begin actually writing until I have a completely flushed out skeleton for what the chapter will contain.

However, I began to realize the adverse effect this mindset had on my coaching practice and career. In my quest to find the “right” networking groups and organizations to reach out to, I’d barely attended any events or reached out to anyone.

Improving In Motion

I needed a change. I decided to pivot from focusing on building my coaching practice the “right” way to “anything but nothing’s the right answer.”

Since then I’ve attended more events, reached out to more groups, and booked more engagements. Also, I’ve realized that just deciding to start the task at hand without a plan actually leads me to great “a-ha!” moments while in motion. You can’t get into flow state if worrying about getting it “right” is keeping you on the sidelines.

It’s a beautiful thing to be so taken by a dream or goal that it animates you from the inside out. These things make life worth living and cause us to live true to our values and what we’re committed to. Hold fast to those things, but let go of the concept that there’s a “right” way to be going about it.

Let the “what” be written in stone, let the “how” be cast in water.