I’ve come to realize, just how important it is to pursue my interests, dreams, and desires unabashedly. As adults, we often hold ourselves back from things that we want to do or from the person that we want to be because we are worried that we won’t be perfect. For me, this usually comes in the form of not pursuing new hobbies, a career change, meeting new people, or not changing my physical appearance. We are afraid of taking risks and of seeming imperfect, bad at something, stupid, silly, or childish out of fear of social ostracism, self-doubt, or embarrassment. To protect ourselves from these fears, we spend considerable amounts of our time in adulthood trying to always be perceived as professional, skilled, put-together, and attractive. In other words, perfect. And NOT pursuing what we really want to do, OR waiting and telling ourselves that someday we will be perfect and that we will pursue our dreams then.
While we think that we are keeping safe from our fears by just not pursuing new things, this only allows those worries to root themselves deeper within us and this leads to significant consequences. It can make us feel unproductive, lazy, unaccomplished, dissatisfied, and eventually can impact our self-esteem, confidence, mental health, and our overall enjoyment of life.
Two simple words: Who. Cares.
You’ve heard it before, but who cares what other people think! Don’t worry if you aren’t good at something, no one is when they just start and are learning. We wouldn’t tell a kid that they had to be good at something right away, so why do we feel that way as adults? I think we feel this pressure because of a culture obsessed with perfection. Honestly, maybe you’ll never be the best at it, but if you enjoy it than that’s a good enough reason to do something. Because at the end of your life you won’t care if you were perfect you’ll just want to be able to look back at all of the experiences you had. Period.
Just because you’re not good at something, does not mean it is not worth doing.
Sometimes being vulnerable and making mistakes helps us to grow, learn, connect on a deeper level with others, and also with ourselves. We can discover new aspects of our personality and express ourselves more fully by trying new things. It can also bolster your confidence, even if you “fail”. You’ll learn you were strong enough to start, to fail, and to get back up again.
One of the things that I waited to start for a very long time was this blog. I was worried about what others would think. I was worried I would be a bad writer (maybe I am). I was worried I’d start it but wouldn’t be able to keep it up. But most of all I was afraid it wouldn’t fit the perfect image I had crafted of it in my mind. Waiting to pursue this goal made me feel like I wasn’t having the impact on the world that I wanted, and that I wasn’t innovating like so many of my peers. It made me feel self-conscious and like I had unexplored potential. Now, even though it’s not perfect, my blog is bringing me a sense of productivity, self-exploration, and creativity. I feel happy that I am pursuing my dreams, gaining confidence, and remembering that I can do the things I put my mind to. There is a beautiful sense of freedom in setting-aside my visions of perfection and just enjoying the process.
So my advice is if there’s something you’ve been waiting to do or start, just start now. Don’t let the judgment of others hold you back. Push yourself to let go of your judgments or limiting ideas of yourself. Stop waiting for the perfect time, stop waiting to attain the unattainable standard of perfect that you have created for yourself in your mind. Stop waiting for perfect, start now.
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