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Do It Imperfectly

Did you know that most people give up before they even start? Yup, it's true. The biggest predictor of if we do something is simply thinking we can do something.

Think about a baseball player: if they go up to bat and think they're going to strike out, they will likely do exactly that. On the contrary, if they believe they will hit a home run, they will show up to the plate with assurance and focus. Statistically, they are much more likely to hit that ball because they believed they could.

That is the power of a thought.

Here's the thing though, most of us let insecurities get in the way. We are in our heads. We doubt ourselves. We feel like imposters. We don't believe we are good enough. We let anxiety and perfectionism stop us, often even before we start.

Think about your own life. Maybe you want to invite people over. A beautiful dinner with friends sounds positively delightful, but you look around your house and all you can see is the piles of clothes on the floor, the projects you haven't finished yet, the decor that needs updating. Maybe you are worried that you are not a good enough cook to host, or you have a nagging fear that no one will show up or have fun. All these worries gather and ultimately you decide against a gathering.

Or... maybe you have always wanted to take a Zumba class. It sounds fun and you used to love moving your body, but you are worried about how you look in gym clothes now that you have gained weight, or fear that you aren't coordinated enough to get the moves right. In the end, you never sign up.

Maybe you have always envisioned taking a solo trip. It's been a lifelong dream but you have never had the time, or the money... or the courage. Your brain keeps reminding you that you have never traveled alone. What if there are delays? How will you cope? Are you brave enough to trust your own instinct? What if you miss home? What will people think about you leaving your life to take time for yourself? Maybe you'll come off as selfish or irresponsible. It's all just too much so you never do book that trip.

In all of these scenarios, fear wins. Anxiety wins. Doubt wins. It turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The chance-not-taken lead to a net loss.

I have fears too. I let them get in my way too. Or...I used to.

I used to worry that if I wanted to be a therapist, I would have to be fully healed myself.

I used to worry that I couldn't write a book because I was too old.

I used to worry that no one would take me seriously as a thought leader, because what-the-hell-do-I-know anyway?

And then I stopped. I stopped fearing the unknown. I got more flexible with my expectations. I challenged my limiting thoughts. I shifted my mindset from doubt to confidence. In truth, there was a bit of "fake it until you make it". But, in the end, I accepted that I am a work in progress and I gave myself permission to just try the thing, even if I mess it up, even if I get it wrong, even if I make mistakes.

Now...I make content online every single day despite not being very artistic. I help people find themselves even though I am still exploring myself. I write newsletters and posts even though I don't usually have time to properly proofread. I take time off without apology. I travel the world. I am pursuing my dreams. I am taking a leap, going in blind and trusting myself.

Here's the other thing: I am not special. You can do this too. Dreams have no limitations, no age restrictions, no need for perfection. There is no prerequisite for finding your legacy and going after it.

So, if you are struggling with getting started on something, I urge you to do it anyway. Stop getting in your own way (I say gently). Do it scared. Let it be imperfect.

The world needs you. It needs your unique impression. It needs your aspirations, your ideas, your hopes, your dreams and your vision. It doesn't matter if you don't have it figured out just yet. Let the act of experiencing something be the goal.

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