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I often find that a common theme seems to emerge in my coaching sessions from week to week.

Over the last week I have had the privilege of coaching (amongst others), three incredible women. They differ in age, race and career stage. What they all have in common is that they are well respected in their professional circles, and yet, they all suffer from that old saboteur – procrastination. 

Sure, the reasons for procrastination are cloaked in different words, and I’d like to share the words of one of these beautiful women with you today because I think the theme is a universal one.

During our session it emerged that this young lady (let’s call her Jackie), delayed doing things that stretched her because when she did something, it had to be perfect. Perfect ?!?  Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t think we attain perfection. Excellence ? Yes.  Mastery ? Most certainly, even if it takes 10 000 hours.  But Perfection – when will it ever  be perfect ?

Through the coaching session, Jackie came to the realisation that she procrastinated due to a fear of failure which was fueled by a need to do something perfectly.

As Jackie stated so clearly “I tend to procrastinate when I have to do something big, something that will help me to make strides in my life, especially around my career and future growth. The reason for this was because I was fearful of failing. I have always believed that when I do something I must do it right and it must be perfect the first time.  So because of that I am always scared to start because it is never perfect.”

How many projects have you been too scared to start because something is not perfect. Will it ever be perfect ?  Instead of aiming for something unattainable, how about striving for realism and discovering the magnificence of your excellence ?

And what if you try and you don’t succeed ? Fantastic ! Now you’ve got feedback as to what to do differently next time. How to tweak your performance so that the results improve.

In Jackie’s words “So I have now realized that it will never be perfect, but I can allow myself to start, fail and learn as I go. That there is no failure, but only feedback, and this allows me to learn and do it better the second time.”

 To your magnificence, and continued success.

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  1. Nicole Kretzschmar says:

    Wow what an insight … allowing yourself to ‘fail’ so you can start again. I think that in itself would take massive courage. Here’s a little analogy: On my fist commissioned botanical piece I painted a seed pod too dark so took it to my art teacher for assistance. I immediately told her – “if I have to start again I will but I was too scared to touch it in case I damaged the paper”. She said ‘watch this’ and took a sponge and rubbed the entire painting off. Others in the class couldn’t watch. She said – dry it and lets see what happens. It dried, I added a touch of colour and it was the best thing that could have happened: because the paper damaged slightly it gave me the texture of velvet which is exactly what was needed. Aaah – but to have the courage to take that step … 😉 And to have the wisdom to realize that the universe was helping me out (thanks for that realization in your post today) xxx

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