If you have a goal or a dream you care about, odds are you’re going to take your time planning it and try to do it right. You might spend months researching and learning about the best ways to launch a business or to lose weight. You probably want to wait until everything is perfect and your plan is flawless before you start putting it into action. The problem is that oftentimes you get so caught up in perfection that you never actually start doing.
That’s what happened to me with starting this blog, until I was rescued by the “white screen of death” and lost everything. At that point I hadn’t actually posted anything publicly yet, though I had been drafting posts and doing behind-the-scenes work for a whole month. All of which was lost.
At first I felt disheartened. It was a bit of a blow to do so much work and to have lost it all before I even “started”, but after I shrugged it off and began building the blog for the second time I realized something- I was relieved that it was gone! I had built up such a perfect, unachievable plan for my “blog launch” that the very thought of working on it was overwhelming and not very enjoyable. Starting over was just that- a fresh start. And I decided to do things a little differently.
Rather than planning a big “launch” with a dozen perfectly polished posts (say that 10 times fast!), I decided that I would start small and imperfect. Why? Because then I could actually get down to doing instead of planning, which is what I wanted to do all along.
WHY YOU SHOULD START SMALL AND IMPERFECT
You see, a great deal of the time we prefer to plan the heck out of something to the actual doing of the thing. We prefer to wait until we feel ready to start, when most of the time we already know enough to start. And then when we start, we discover there is so much more to learn by doing than we ever could have known simply by planning. And suddenly our perfect plan isn’t so perfect!
You should start small and imperfect instead. Here’s 5 reasons why.
- You will start sooner. It’s much easier to start today if you decide to start small.
- You will get better at what you do sooner. If you start today, you’ll be better next week than if you wait.
- You will enjoy what you do. By starting small and giving yourself permission not to be perfect, you will take all the pressure of “perfect” off yourself and you will be able to focus instead on the doing and actually enjoy what you do.
- You will put yourself in a growth mindset instead of a “results” mindset. There’s nothing wrong with a results mindset per se, but in my own experience I enjoy things more and stick with them longer when I focus on doing rather than outcome.
- As a side effect of starting small and enjoying it, others can be encouraged by seeing how “doable” it is.
Although it’s tempting to have a perfect plan in place before you begin or to start “big”, oftentimes it just puts off the day we actually start doing the things we’ve been dreaming about. So this is me encouraging you. Do what you love right now. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, or for you to be good enough. Do it today, start small, and have fun doing it! If you’ve been dreaming of writing a novel, start today with a page. If you’ve been dreaming of running a marathon, start today with a lap around the block.
You don’t have to have a perfect plan all laid out- you just have to take that first step and you will find your path by walking. You will get better by doing. Make a small start today- you will be happy you did!