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Perfection

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“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” ~ Salvador Dali

This brief article is excerpted from a weekly ezine (“Monday Morning Muse”) offered by The Coaching Corporation (www.TheCoachingCorp.com). Each Muse has been prepared under the guidance of Inga Estes, president of The Coaching Corporation.

A primary reason people don’t try new things is because we want to be able to do them perfectly the first time. Although this is impractical and completely irrational, it’s how most of us run our lives. Give a live presentation? Ridiculous, I’ve never done that before! Write something? No way, I’m an engineer! Go dancing? Impossible, I have two left feet.

What are you not doing because you don’t think you can do it perfectly? Do you realize that people don’t work out because they’re too overweight? Wow! How can we win in that little tiny box? Maybe it’s time to take a deep breath and rethink this idea of being perfect. Where did we learn it anyway–from our parents and teachers endlessly telling us to strive to be good, get straight A’s, and get high test scores? Did we also learn not to strive at all if we didn’t think we’d be best?

What immense limitations we’ve put on our talents, our ambitions, and our lives! What could we do if we weren’t so afraid of failing? For the most part, we never learned to set goals and to achieve them, and merely reaching the goal has never been enough, anyway. It has to be the right goal, reached the right way–preferably with aplomb, grace, and style; unwrinkled and our hair looking perfect. Talk about taking the fun out of life!

It’s time to set some goals that stretch us and blow our comfort zones all to pieces. How about if we relax our expectations just a bit so that it’s okay to be a success without being perfect? Oscar Wilde said that “experience is the name everyone gives to their own mistakes.” Mistakes are excellent teachers. Make as many mistakes as you can this week and learn from them all. If you’re not making any mistakes, then consider you’re living in a very tight comfort zone–and there’s no growth in a comfort zone.

Why is our comfort zone comfortable? Because we know the outcome; everything is known. All the pieces fit and there’s no worry about how things will turn out. Instead of planning to be comfortable, set out each day to look a bit foolish, blundering, or awkward. That’s how we all look when we try something new. Every successful dreamer makes many mistakes and learns from them all. Go learn something new about yourself this week. Just go do it . . . imperfectly.

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