Embracing Imperfection

I was speaking with one of my clients recently (Hi, Michelle!) and I’ve been so appreciative of her support of my work. She was asking what my next article would be about and, at the time, I wasn’t sure.

At any given time, I am sitting on a handful of drafts: ideas that popped into my head that I started working on and gave pause to because a better or more pressing idea came up instead. Sometimes I revamp the drafts and give them life and some times I shift my way of thinking and trash the draft to leave room for something else.

And Michelle made a comment that inspired this week’s post: “I wish I could write like that. I keep telling myself I should write but I never do.”

To which I replied: “You should. Just start writing.”

Michelle responded: “No, I would misspell things and my grammar wouldn’t be right.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I said. “It matters that you put your thoughts to paper instead of just letting them sit on your mind.”

However, Michelle’s concerns are indicative of why a lot of people never really accomplish what they want to; not in their jobs, not in their relationships, and not with their health and their bodies. They’re too focused on it all being just right.

I probably should give credit to all the years I spent writing songs and poems that the good stuff came with consistency. It took writing when I was in the mood and when I wasn’t. It took writing when I felt inspired and writing when I was down on myself. Improvements came with consistency and there was never a perfect time to write nor was there a perfect way to write. I just had to do the task.

I think about how many years I’ve dedicated to this website, with a weekly blog (without fail) for over 6 years. What many people may not know is that despite the fact that I read and re-read each article several times before I hit “publish” to catch any typos, I frequently publish articles and catch a typo after the article is released. Only after eyes have been on it by others, do I go back and make the edits. I don’t wait for perfect. I write, I release, and edit later if need be. I embrace and expect the imperfections.

I think also about how many years I’ve dedicated to my podcast (also roughly 6 years) and the issues I’ve dealt with regarding sound quality, vocal nuances, inconsistent internet speeds, etc. which can all play into the final product of what a listener will hear. Unlike my blogs, once I publish a podcast episode, that’s the way the world hears it unless I want to go through the effort of completely deleting an episode just to touch it up and try to re-release it (I don’t). My podcast remains full of imperfections.

My diet is never perfect.

My training is never perfect.

My sleep and recovery patterns are never perfect.

My coaching skills are never perfect.

My marriage is not perfect.

My ability to parent is not perfect.

My life, as great as it, and it is great, is rarely ever perfect.

Waiting for the perfect time to diet or the perfect time to start training will net you a lot of wasted time.

Train with purpose, nourish your body with purpose, sort the details out later.

And to Michelle: write. Write until your fingers ache and cramp, write until your tears hit the page (or the keyboard), write as if you’re writing for the world to read (even if you have an audience of one). Write to tell a story, write to be a better storyteller, write because words breathe better in black and white.

Color comes from the details…those messy, imperfect details.

Kind of like life.