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Giving 100% vs Being Perfect

You know the drill. You’re staring at that email you’re about to send, but you hesitate:

“Is it perfect yet? Should I send it?”

If you’ve proof-read it, then yes woman, send it! You can always send another one later.

That new course you haven’t launched yet? Freaking launch it. You can course correct along the way.

Or bought a course, and you haven’t even started it yet because the “timing isn’t right”.

Oh boy.

Listen, if you’re reading this, I know you get it.

You’re afraid to “fake it ’til we make it,” to get started without being perfect.

But that’s not giving 100%. And it feels gross. You’re not someone who only gives 60% or 70% or even 90%. You’re a 100% kind of person.

Now here’s the fun part… (phew!)

You’re probably giving 100% in most areas of your life, but the need to feel perfect can blur your ability to see how often you give 100%.

I was chatting with a friend of mine about this just last week. She wakes her daughter up early every morning for orchestra practice.

Last Wednesday, they realized half way to school that they’d forgotten her cello. They had to run back home and pick it up.

She felt so scattered and while she was laughing, she was frustrated. I mean, by now, she “should” have her mornings “handled,” her kids should always be on time with everything they need ready to go.

But that’s perfection, not giving 100%.

Giving 100% in this moment means being there for her daughter, laughing and then suggesting maybe leaving that damn cello by the front door next time.

She didn’t hit her daughter, or swear or blame. Nope. That woman fixed the problem and moved on.

That is giving 100%.

But she couldn’t see it.

Instead, she was focused on the “How could I have forgotten it” and the “Why didn’t I notice earlier?” and even, “Why can’t I get it together in the mornings?”

She was focusing on the lack of perfection, which skewed her ability to see how much she’d done well and the fact that she was 100% there for her daughter.

See, somewhere along the way, we’ve collapsed perfection with giving something our all, but they’re not the same thing.

In work situations, there are things you know you need to be doing. You just know it. Giving 100% means getting those things done, asking for help when you need it and moving forward with the project.

It does not mean that everything you do will be perfect, that every talk or e-mail will be the best thing anyone has ever seen.

But it does mean that you’re giving 100% to what you know you need to do.

I’ll bet you’re thinking there is a little bit more to it than that, and you’re correct, there is.

Don’t cut corners, do the hard tasks first and give what you do your attention, love and focus.

You’re going to have to face the “I don’t wannas” and be honest with yourself about where you’ve been phoning it in and where you’ve checked out.

The need to feel perfect has done a lot of damage to relationships and it’s a serious dream killer.

But not for you any more! You can let go of that crazy idea that you have to be perfect.

So give yourself a little breathing room over the next several days and try out the idea that giving 100% does not mean you’ll be perfect.

Do what you know you need to do, with integrity and focus.

When we show up like that you’ll produce some pretty amazing results. Maybe not “perfect” results…but I’ll take amazing results any time.

Here are three things you can do this week to get yourself going.

  1. Start with the one task you don’t want to do.

  2. Plan how you’ll react when you’re feeling overwhelmed, or something pops up you didn’t expect, you know, like your kid forgetting her cello.

    Do you want to be graceful, find the humor, be focused?

    If you plan it out before it happens, you’re much more likely to react that way in the moment.

  3. Each morning, ask yourself how you’d like to feel when your head hits the pillow later that night

    Do you want to feel accomplished? Successful? Loving?

    Start with the end in mind.

Go get ’em.


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