In a world where perfection still rules, we must choose bravery.
I think there’s a connection between failure to act and the pursuit of perfection. Of sitting outside the ring, instead of fighting in it. That the brave get in the ring, and the perfection-seekers stand outside the ropes judging, doubting and criticizing the technique of those in it.
I’ve been outside the ring most of my life. It’s pretty darn comfortable there. Very comfortable. But it’s also self-limiting. Boring.
Regardless of who you are or what it is, today is your day to choose bravery over perfection. I can tell you from personal experience, it feels good.
By deciding to start — getting into the ring — you’re not guaranteeing to yourself or others what the outcome will look like. Instead you’re agreeing to the process. Of being open, engaged and willing to be an active participant. You’ll have to relinquish control. You will learn. You will probably sound or look dumb. Your action may take you places you never thought you’d go. You’ll need to trust the process, and to go with the flow. Can you do it?
Of course you can. But first, it’s helpful to know what may be holding you back. If you’re a woman especially — it’s likely you’ve never been taught to act like this. As Reshma describes in her TED talk, society has conditioned women to pursue perfection over bravery. Which is layered with meaning and implications. All of them inspire me to act, to change what’s been conditioned.
It certainly begs the question: What kind of life do you want to live? One where pursuits of perfection prevent you from trying things because you may mess up? Or one of bravery where you are constantly doing stuff — you’re in the ring — and rather than judge the outcome, you participate in defining the outcome? I definitely want the life where the only expectation I have is as bit of discomfort as I follow my curiosities. It’s terrifying and exciting all at once.
The circumstances may not be perfect. The outcome unclear, but just as I have— I urge you to participate vs. judge. To be the action instead of judging others’ action. You are the only permission needed to get started. Choose bravery over perfection. You can do it. We can do it. Let’s do it.