For a couple of years now, I have chosen a "word of the year" - something to focus on all year. In 2014, it was Grace. In 2015, it was Embark. 2016 was --- nothing. I could never decide. This year, I spent several weeks, trying to pick the "perfect" word. Gratitude? Service? Learn? Explore? Finally frustrated at myself for not being able to decide, I realized I need to just take action - imperfect action, if need be, but by golly, I need the reminder to just do it. And there is was. "Take imperfect action."
For many years, I did not know I was a perfectionist in some areas because I definitely am not in all areas. But, once I had it pointed out to me, I can now often see myself procrastinating and not taking action because things aren't quite perfect. This website? Under construction since MAY of 2016. Published in January, still imperfect but for the love......it took almost as long to "birth" this baby as it does to make, grow and birth a human baby.
Want to know one of the things I am still missing? A logo. How can I possibly publish without a logo?! Seriously. If I were advising anyone else, I would tell them that a) a logo is not that critical, b) people and businesses change logos all the time and c) they are avoiding getting their work out into the world. Maybe ideas for a logo will come after a few months of writing and getting feedback. But, when it's me, if I don't have a logo, I can't get business cards, so I better do nothing......
Steven Pressfield said in "The Work of Art:"
Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.
Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That's why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there'd be no Resistance.
So, here are some things I've learned on my journey.
What "Take imperfect action" means
- It means feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
- It means breaking through the resistance.
- It means consistently taking action toward your goals.
- It means knowing that you will learn along the way.
- It means knowing you know enough to get your work out into the world.
What "Take imperfect action" does not mean
- It does not mean sloppy, shoddy work.
- It does not mean having no goals or no focus.
- It also does not mean just planning to prepare to get ready to plan.
- It does not mean being timid about your work.
- It does not mean "verbally vomiting" on your audience.
- It does not mean beating yourself up for not being good enough.
So, I am committed to taking imperfect action this year. Will you join me?
PS: I know about the typo in the title. That one was deliberate. Any others happened spontaneously.