It’s not about perfection – it’s about correction

Is my new favourite personal mantra especially when I’m learning something new or focusing on improving something in my life.

I’ve realised that perfection is overrated, it’s the enemy of getting things done and more than that it stops us living fully and enjoying life.

I’m embarrassed to say that I was one of those people who gave ‘being a perfectionist’ as my flaw in interviews back in the 80’s thinking I sounded cool and hard working.

Eventually I woke up to how limiting and joyless striving for perfection is. And still, under stress, I default to trying too hard to get it right – hence this mantra is on a yellow sticky note above my desk.

This phrase keeps me going because it gives me permission to do the new thing less than perfectly and to expect to fail a few times before I start to get the hang of it. I have learnt that any change that matters requires me to get out of my comfort zone – to actually do something differently, and that always feels uncomfortable.

It reminds me that making mistakes is part of the process of learning because only by experiencing what doesn’t work and making a correction do I grow and improve.

Awareness is everything and when I notice I’m off course, I’m kinder to myself and by not wasting time on self judgment I can correct what’s not working and move on.

Life seems less serious too, lighter and more fun – like a series of personal experiments by my crazy inner scientist!

Try it out for yourself.

What mantra will you create to help you move forward this week?

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” Sir Richard Branson

Carol Conway CPCC
Coach & Collaborator
eight circles