“They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you that practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds.”

~Winston Churchill

Oh perfectionism, the beast that rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times.

It prevents us from beginning, stalls us in the middle, and can even make us throw in the towel at the very brink of a breakthrough.

Perfectionism knows no bounds, takes no prisoners, and will never stop trying to stop us from stepping out and taking risks.

Because, of course, it’s fueled by fear.

America may run on Dunkin’ but perfectionism runs on fear.

Perfectionism is our defense mechanism of choice when we blame our standing still on our high standards. We pull it out when we’re afraid of putting ourselves out there in the big, scary world and facing the possibility that we’ll be criticized or not liked or made fun of.

The truth, hard as it may be to hear, is that if you put yourself out there, you will be criticized. Probably not by everyone, but definitely by someone.

Not everyone will like you or like whatever it is that you make or share or do. This doesn’t have to be a tragedy. I mean, some people don’t even like pizza.

Some people don’t like chocolate for goodness’ sake. But plenty of others do.

(Some of us maybe just a bit too much.)

Oh, and it’s probably a good bet that someone, somewhere, at some time, will make fun of you. To which I say you should feel completely free to ignore those people. They don’t count. They probably don’t like chocolate or pizza.

We might love the saying that “practice makes perfect” but it doesn’t. It only makes you better.

This, too, is not a tragedy.

No, you will never be perfect.

Then again, neither will your critics.

Which leaves you and me with a choice: stay small, silent, and trapped by fear, or step out and tell the truth of our lives by taking authenticity’s dare to share our own unique gifts with the world.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather show up in the world perfectly imperfect than not show up at all. I’d rather take a couple of knocks as I keep showing up knowing that even though I will never be perfect, I can get better with practice.

Life is a journey but if you never step out of your comfort zone you’re not taking it. Which would be a shame because you’d miss all the fun and the world would miss out on all your gifts.

And we need your gifts, and need you to share them in the way that only you can.

Your own amazing, perfectly imperfect, way.


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