“Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.”~Robert Schuller
I was sitting in the car the other day, listening to my daughter teach my son to read. He clearly was making mistakes and he clearly was trying. The fact that he was learning and that his reading was absolutely not perfect didn’t deter him.
I thought of all the times that we, as adults, resist doing something because we don’t think we can do it well. We don’t want to fail. We don’t want to be imperfect. I thought of myself and my relationship with skiing. I know I’m not good at it, so I don’t even really want to try. I thought of many of the leaders we work with who are convinced that they need to know all the answers to every situation and to be able to handle anything that comes across their plate. At times they are frozen in one spot because they’re afraid of being, or even seeming, imperfect in front of the people who work for and with them.
Listening to my son I realized that the only way to learn is to be willing to be imperfect. The only way to truly be effective as a leader is to be willing to reveal that you don’t have all the answers, and to move ahead anyway. We may be flawless when we do nothing, but nothing gets done – we learn nothing, we improve nothing, we evolve nothing, and we solve nothing.
Where are you not acting because you’re afraid of being imperfect? Where do you need to take a risk and simply move ahead, rather than flawlessly doing nothing? Find an area in your life where your fear of failure is holding you back and simply move ahead. Take an action and note how it feels to walk through your hesitation. What have you learned? How can you keep moving forward?
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