Done is Better than Perfect
This month we will address a theme that will advance you and your clients in powerful ways. We will face and handle your beliefs about not being ready, and move you into a state of readiness.
At this moment you have visions and intentions for your coaching practice that you have not yet manifested. Perhaps you wish to post your website, set up a coaching office space, establish a fee, or present the seminar you have envisioned. But you have not done it, or you struggle with whether or not to do it, or how, or when.
Let us begin by recognizing that:
The ego is never ready.
The spirit within you is ready.
The ego’s motto is “seek but do not find.” This belief plays itself out whenever you are considering making a move ahead in your career, relationship, or any other important endeavor. When confronted with a step ahead—especially a big step ahead—the ego tells you that you are not ready. There are all kinds of things you need to do first. You must increase your skill, get all of the aspects of the project right, avoid criticism, and overcome the personal issues that keep you from feeling worthy. You must traverse the gap between who and where you are, to get to who and where you want to be.
Yet there is no gap. The gap is a story you have made up. You can just as easily—actually far more easily—make up a story that you are ready.
You may have already noticed that even when you fulfill some of the requirements you believe you need to handle before you can be ready, the ego finds new things you need to fix first. Thus the ego stays in the driver’s seat, continually pushing your vision back to a future date.
Understanding the “ego is never ready, and spirit is already ready” principle is valuable not just for you as a coach, but for your clients. When you recognize that “then is better than now” is one of fear’s strongest dictates, you can begin to dismantle it by claiming your authentic readiness.
Here are two Course in Miracles statements about your already readiness:
You are prepared.
God has already done all things that need to be done.
These statements do not mean that you should give up all forms of preparation or lay back and become a blob. They address the notion of anxious preparation and the idea that our good lies somewhere in a future that is not available to us now. In the realm of parallel realities, all the good we seek already exists and is available to us now.
Perfectionism is procrastination. It is tempting to get so involved in details and preparation that you do not move ahead. The story is told about an artist who became so fixated on sharpening his pencils that he never got around to drawing. His potential gifts to the world as an artist far exceeded his gifts as a pencil sharpener. So it is with the gifts you are capable of offering, and are, and will.
The ego defines the known as preferable to the unknown, even if the known sucks. While it is important to strive for the highest and finest expression, in many cases perfectionism is an avoidance or distraction technique.
A friend of mine said, “I used the think I was a perfectionist because I would find the tiniest flaws and nicks in everything I did and looked upon. Then I realized that because I was focusing on what was not working, I was actually an imperfectionist. If I were really a perfectionist, I would find perfection wherever I look.”
Here are some tips to help you and your clients move beyond procrastination and perfectionism into action and achievement:
1. Reframe your project not as challenge, but as an opportunity.
You may be so concerned about what could go wrong that you forget what could go right. A caller phoned in to my radio show and reported that she is unable to make a decision because she feels that she is “damned if I do and damned if I don’t.” I told her that the deeper truth is that she is “blessed if I do and blessed if I don’t.” Even if you make a mistake, you will be ahead of where you would be if you never acted. Mistakes can serve as information and inspiration for a course correction that leads to your best possible place. Sometimes your post-mistake position is even better than where you would have been if you had not made the mistake. So if you make the right decision, you advance. If you make a “wrong” decision, you advance. Ultimately there is no wrong decision. It all ends up in the good pile.
2. Reframe your burning question from “What will people think of me?” to “How can I serve?”
A publisher once asked me to make an audio recording of one of my books. I did so, but I had judgments about my performance. I didn’t like the sound of my voice, and so on. When I handed in the audio I told the publisher I did not think it was great. He answered, “If this helps even one person, it is a really worthwhile recording.” Then I realized that it was only ego that had judgments and resistance about the project. The Spirit was delighted in the opportunity to make other people’s lives better.
3. Occasionally do something wrong just to prove you can.
I learned this principle from SARK, who will be one of our guest presenters at our retreat in May. Once in a while, purposely make a mistake. Post a blog that might not be a bestselling book, or leave a dish in the sink unwashed overnight, or wear an outfit that doesn’t perfectly match. You will discover that nothing terrible happens when you make a mistake. Your idea of mistake is just that—your idea. There is no cosmic significance to your human errors. They come with the human experience. A Course in Miracles tells us, “All that you believe will come of your sins will never happen.” When you do something wrong and you realize there is no big problem or punishment, you defuse your fear of error and clear the path for progress.
4. Just do it.
Move ahead before you are perfectly prepared. My teacher used to say, “The dogs bark, and the caravan moves on.” Taking action will power you beyond your fears, judgments, and resistance. You will get positive feedback that lets you know the project was a great idea. Then you will wonder why you waited.
5. Take a baby step.
Just start. Gently lean in the direction of an action. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by having to post a whole website, do one page. Instead of struggling to figure out how out you will attract people to your seminar, just write an outline of the course description. Ease your way into the project. “Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch.”
At our Advanced Coach Training Retreat in May, you will have the opportunity to receive personal attention and coaching toward making your next step and/or project a reality.
- What project or step have you been procrastinating on doing?
- What does the ego tell you that you must do before you can be ready?
- What is the best possible result that could happen if you did the project?
How might this project help other people?
How might this project help you?
- What next step, even a baby step, could you take toward your goal?
- What fears do you have about bringing this project to life? What truth or affirmation can you use to offset those fears?
I can do it.
I am ready.
This project can and will serve me and many.
This project is guided by Higher Power.
What is guided by God must succeed.
It is done.
Movies for this month (in order of preference)
Our next teleseminar is Thursday, February 26