Hello and welcome to my blog. I'm going to use this space to share new stuff I've learnt, update you on what we are doing and anything else that comes to mind. Today I have been thinking about perfectionism. It seems like a starting point, for, without letting go of it, I wouldn't be launching affinitysmith.
While creating this website I have battled with perfectionism. Speaking to friends and colleagues I am aware that I am not alone. I think we all know that while perfectionism can be a common aspiration it can have the effect of restricting creativity, preventing risk taking and slowing life down to a crawl: bombarding the mind with unresolvable questions in the quest to get everything absolutely right. As a past coach of mine once put it 'perfectionist are great, but I wouldn't want to be one'.
One of my driving interests is in helping people to find happiness and meaning in their careers and I draw on my own experience in this work having run the gamut of highs and lows in my own professional life. I'm aware that I am at my unhappiest and least productive when I am trying to be perfect, I find it exhausting and occasionally even paralysing. I see it in people's frustration and disillusionment when they talk about their work - worried they are not doing a good enough job. The environment they are in, the colleagues they find difficult - these are not good enough either. It can be a vicious cycle. So how do we break that, where where do we find the courage to be imperfect and to allow others to do the same? And through it releasing creativity, confidence and capability.
For me it is about leadership and inspiration: finding people who can show me the way through their teaching, writing or example, showing me their comfort with not being perfect. Today I was given that gift by Brene Brown in her 20 minute talk on vulnerability http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html . It's funny and honest and for me an inspiration. I hope you enjoy. And what's the benefit? For me progress, released tension, more space for happiness. And for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. When have you found the courage to be imperfect?