Saturday, July 6, 2013

Guess Who's Back ... Back Again

So, um ... yeah ... that happened. An eight-month hiatus, otherwise known as disappearing off the face of the (Internet) earth.

I could tell you it was because I was busy. (I was.)
I could say that life got crazy. (It did.)
I could explain that I needed to focus on my job and other activities. (Partially true.)
I could say that there wasn't much going on with our Girl Scout troop worth writing about. (Big fat lie.)
I could blame writer's block. (Too cliche.)

While there's a kernel of truth in each of these explanations (excuses), I know the real reason.

Perfectionism.

I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I harbor any delusions that I will be any day soon. Yet, since childhood, I've struggled with the constant need to "get things right." Even more importantly to do things right the first time.

Don't get me wrong, perfectionism, in the right hands and in the right amounts, can lead people to strive for excellence, to accomplish more, to achieve great things.

But it can also be paralyzing. Too often, my perfectionism kept me from trying new things, because I couldn't guarantee I'd be good at them. It kept me from starting new projects because I didn't have all the answers at the outset. It kept me from painting the white walls in my new home because I was afraid I'd pick the wrong color.

It made me give up on a blog, something I'd been wanting to do for years, after just two months because I was afraid I'd do it wrong. What if I couldn't keep up with it? What if the content I'm posting isn't helpful, or worse, what if no one reads it? Who says I'm an expert on being a leader, especially considering how often I get it wrong with my own troop?

I doubt I'll ever fully get rid of my perfectionist tendencies, but I hope that I can teach our girls that perfect isn't the goal of Girl Scouting. That it's better to try your best and try new things, than to stick to what's safe. That it's better to be competent than to be perfect. That character is often more important than accomplishments. That great leaders often make great mistakes, and that we learn more from our failures than our successes.

That doing something you love, poorly, is more important than doing something you hate, perfectly.

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