I have a confession to make.
I've fallen into the Venus fly trap of perfectionism when it comes to writing this blog and sending out email newsletters. It's been on my to-do list since February to 'send another update' or 'write another blog post', but I've found myself unable to sit down and write. Why? Because I kept letting the fact that my schedule isn't completely sorted, that I haven't finished making future event planning decisions, that I haven't managed to take those pictures yet get in the way of writing anything.
I kept thinking 'I should wait until X has happened/I have decided Y before I send an update', letting myself believe the lie that I would be helping my community by holding back on saying anything until I had perfect, clear updates to provide, The gift of clarity.
Actually, the opposite is true.
Every time we step out into the public space and admit that we aren't totally sure what's happening yet, that things have been difficult or plans have gone awry, we are revealing our own humanity. And every time we reveal ourselves as flawed human beings, we are helping others to feel more comfortable in their own skin. We can all relate to that feeling of 'not enough-ness', of worrying that we don't have enough to say to warrant speaking, of feeling inadequate; in fact, by not saying anything and holding off until everything is sorted, we end up perpetuating the lie that everybody else is fine and sorted, leading us to believe that it is only us who are struggling.
So, here I am, openly admitting that I don't have everything sorted out. That I've had a hectic and disjointed summer, feeling mostly that my feet were never really touching the ground. Things haven't gone to plan, I'm not completely certain of where my business is heading over the winter, I haven't confirmed my entire schedule for the Autumn term, but - crucially - I am still here and wanting to serve you as well as I can.
The one thing that gives me the confidence to step out and admit that I don't have everything figured out yet, is that I know for a fact I am not alone in waiting until things are perfect before springing into action. Take a moment to reflect and think about all the times in your life where you have fallen prey to this inaction too?
Are you waiting to come back to regular yoga classes until you're feeling 'more yourself' again?
Are you holding off on updating a colleague about a project because you don't know the final outcome yet?
Have you ever held back on replying to a text message because you don't have all the answers to the questions being asked of you?
Are you holding back on launching a new business because you don't have the perfect website?
Waiting on clicking send on that job application because you don't have quite the right qualifications for the position?
If you're waiting until everything is perfect, you could be waiting forever. And - more often than not - the doing of the thing achieves what you are seeking in the first place:
a feeling of achievement and relief.
Nervous about coming back to yoga becasue you don't feel physically fit enough? Get on the mat, remember how good it feels to be moving with a community of like-minded people (who probably all have similar hang-ups too, by the way) and you will already be on your way to regaining that physical fitness and confidence.
Holding back on updating a colleague on a project because it's not yet finished? By updating them, you will ease your own fear that they are breathing down your neck waiting for news and give them a feeling of trust that, when things have changed, you will update them again.
If you reply immediately to that text message with answers to the parts you know the answers to, and a promise to get back with the rest of the answers soon, the person at the other end won't be left waiting on a response and will feel heard, even if you haven't responded to everything.
There is never a perfect time to launch a business, there is always going to be something you haven't got around to doing yet. So, just get started. Get talking to people about what you can offer them. When you finally do get around to launching that website, you will have clients to signpost to it and more experience and wisdom to share within its pages!
Apply for the job! Whether you have the right qualifications or not, they will be the ones whose job it is to decide and let you know. Worrying about it, holding back on chasing dream opportunities because we don't think we're quite ready for it, is a surefire way to NOT get the job. So, why not just give it a try?
When we remember that nobody has all the answers, that perfectionism is the thief of joy and connection, it is easier to wade in anyway. So, here I am wading back in! I don't have all the answers, and I'm confident that I never really will. If we aren't growing, learning and working on ourselves then we aren't truly living. and I - personally - want to LIVE!