I just finished listening to an incredible podcast where the guest was Jon Acuff, whose impressive credits includes being an entrepreneur, best selling author with the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and a much sought-after speaker.
He spoke about how to significantly increase your chances of finishing what you start.
And that REALLY resonated with me.
I don't think I'm alone in being one of those people who is great....in fact brilliant!.....at starting things. But have a pretty abysmal finishing rate.
Whether it's making a commitment to eat more "real" food vs. pre-packaged/take-out, or get more active by walking & going to the gym, or expanding my mind by reading a new book a month, or starting a great new revenue-making initiative with my business.
I'm totally obsessed and gangbusters when I start, and already picturing what the end will feel like - more energy, having more clothing options because I'll be able to fit into more, feeling more enlightened and creative, and getting closer to my financial goals.
Then that feeling starts to wane as I start to do the work.
Then I start getting distracted by other things.
Then work gets busy.
And the new season of my fave show drops on Netflix. (there goes a weekend with bingeing!)
And I'm too tired so it's just easier to pick something up for dinner so I don't have to cook and wash up.
Ugh....this list could go on and on.
But one of the biggest challenges I face: I want to make sure that it's perfect. The moment it starts to be less than perfect (or at least my perception of perfect), then I start to seriously lose momentum....or stop altogether saying to myself "I'll start again next week/month when I have more time."
And that's typically the kiss of death. Because when I stop working on Project A, it will be quickly filled with a million other things.
When Jon Acuff said "A perfectionist would rather get a 0 than a C-. We'd reather do none than some.", that stopped me cold.
I could totally relate. And when I look back at when I've either stopped doing something, or never even started, a huge component was exactly that kind of thinking.
The problem is, as Jon said, perfectionism doesn't scale.
Over time, none is always none.
So if for a month I do nothing on my terrific new business idea, because I'm worried that I'm not really bringing my "A-game" to the task, I'll be zero further ahead with it.
If I don't go to the gym because I only have 30 mins, and I really want to do 1 hour, I just deprived myself of some activity that would have helped me get further towards my goal.
Over time, a little is a lot.
And if you keep doing a little, then over time you will finish.
So here's to recognizing that perfectionism is actually a hindrance, not a virtue, and embracing to taking imperfect action every day.
Many thanks to Jon Acuff for sharing his golden nuggets. His website is https://acuff.me/ , and I can't wait to dive into his latest book on Audible aptly titled: Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done
Until next time!
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