Hello, I want to talk to you today about Imperfection.
I think we can all agree that one of the keys to any type of personal growth is to steadily move toward your Goal.
Getting better and improving usually means doing things imperfectly, which means engaging in positive behaviors that move you in the direction of your goal, even if you make a mistake or don’t achieve the goal every time.
For example, consider the following choices and you tell me which is better?
- Imperfect workout vs. no workout
- Work on that paper vs. doing no work
- Spending some time with a Friend vs. spending no time with that friend
Imperfection is something we should embrace and permit ourselves to engage in every day. You don’t have to be perfect to make progress. Give yourself permission to do things imperfectly as you accumulate more accomplishments that move you toward your goal.
And your goal should be
MAKE PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION.
A question to ask yourself is, what do mistakes mean to me?
Some people believe that mistakes are fatal and final. It’s almost as if the mistake means the world is ending. Other people think of mistakes as “trial and error” or “I can learn from my mistakes.”
Which way of thinking is more helpful?
If you are the type of person that thinks you shouldn’t make mistakes then you will probably take very few risks, seldom try anything new, and avoid anything that takes you out of your Comfort Zone.
You might see things like this: If I make a mistake, then….
- I am a failure
- I can never learn
- I should give up
- I shouldn’t make mistakes
Or, if you embrace the idea that imperfection is a tool, you might think: If I make a mistake, then….
- I am human, everyone makes mistakes
- I am in the process of learning, mistakes are part of trial and error learning
- I can try harder and persist and keep going
- Of course, I should make mistakes, no one is perfect, especially me.
In an attempt to clarify this a little further, let me give you an example from my personal life.
My wife and I have been attempting to learn different languages. We use an app on our phone that gives us daily lessons. I started off taking the low road, I chose Spanish (I took 2 years of Spanish in High School). My wife however decided that she was going to learn French and Italian at the same time.
Fast forward two years to the present, I am still learning Spanish, but can only speak in a broken, half-sign-language, version.
My wife knows and has been conversational on the few times that she’s been able to use it, both French and Italian. She has started studying Spanish, and is actually better able to understand and speak the language than I am, with all my “studying”. We laugh about my inability, but as of yet, I haven’t stopped trying to learn to be fluent.
Here is how I look at it. I realize that learning a new skill involves mistakes, I am able to accept the Laughter and the possible humiliation as something that comes with the territory, and I am willing to put the effort into repeating mistakes and learning from them. The more I practice, the better I get.
Everyone makes mistakes, but you can think about mistakes as learning experiences and as steps toward improvement, or you can give up.
Every athlete loses a game, every poker player loses a hand, and every investor loses on an investment. Losing is part of the process of winning.
This process is just a different way of thinking about mistakes and imperfection. You can fix mistakes and keep engaging in Positive behavior that leads you toward your goal.
Ask yourself whom you admire most and then ask that person, or research, what kinds of mistakes that they made and the ways they learned from them.
The simple fact is, winners are not perfect; they are simply people who are honest about their mistakes and willing to do what they need to do to make things better.
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Finally, if you have any comments, questions or thoughts on dealing or learning from imperfections, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below or contact me directly at email@example.com.
Thank you and have a great day!