I regularly listen to Gretchen Rubin’s “Happier” Podcast – short episodes all about little life hacks and things you can try to make your life, well, happier! The one I listened to today was called ‘Do Something Badly’, and in it Gretchen talked about how sometimes it’s worth doing something, even if you do it terribly – just to get it done, or even just to start yourself on the road to doing it better. Not waiting for perfection to come, just launching into action, because sometimes done is better than perfect.
This really landed with me, as my god am I a perfectionist. I really struggle with wanting to be the best, to get something right first time – but mostly with accepting the fact that I’m never going to get everything right or perfect every single time. The realisation that I’m not going to be perfect, that I’m going to get things wrong, makes me very self conscious, worried about what other people think, and can sometimes paralyse me – afraid to try new things, push myself outside my comfort zone, for fear of getting it wrong or looking stupid.
But really, all of the the best things that have happened to me, all of my biggest successes, the things I am most proud of, have come from trying something I’ve never done before, from being ok with the fact that I might do it badly, but doing it anyway.
I’ve never had any coding experience, but I fumbled about, built a website and launch my blog two years ago.
I have no journalism experience, but I applied for the FEI’s social media competition last year anyway.
I’ve never produced a young horse from scratch, but I went ahead and asked for help to learn how to do it.
I might not be the most amazing rider, the most confident jumper, or the most popular blogger. I might not be able to see a stride, ride the perfect square halt, or take the most Instagram-worthy pictures. Sometimes I forget how to ride, and sometimes I put up a blog post that no one reads or cares about.
But at least I’m doing it. I’m giving it a go, and learning how to be better at it along the way from trying all the things that don’t work!
So whatever it is that you’re waiting for perfection to do – just do it now. Enter that competition, attempt that new dressage movement, put that jump up a hole or two. Accept that you might do it badly, give it a go, and look at it as your first step on the way to perfection.