A concept I first heard about from Carrie Wilkerson, the Barefoot Exec in early 2009.
The idea behind it? Take action, imperfect action, ANY action, today. Now.
Recovering perfectionists like you and me know the drill.
We don’t take action unless it’s perfect.
There can be nothing left to chance. Especially failure.
All the I’s have to be dotted, the T’s crossed. Ducks neatly in a row. Then, and only then can we take action.
Or not. Invariably, many projects and ideas get left by the wayside because A hadn’t happened for B to have happened.
And weeks, months or even years down the line, you finally take action on that thing you couldn’t and almost always think “That wasn’t so bad / hard to do! Why did I wait so long? Wow, I sure wasted a lot of time being scared / under-confident / unsure”.
Now sometimes it may turn out that the timing was perfect when you finally DID take action and on the flip side, there’s nothing you did today that you couldn’t have done yesterday.
All it required was some courage. The extra knowledge, resources and opportunities you were waiting for? Could have done without them.
If something is really important to you, do yourself a favour and get focused.
Commit to making your dreams a reality and ask fear to come along for the ride instead of holding you back.
I learned this lesson YET again last week. For 9 months I’d been talking about doing a teleclass and / or starting a radio show. 9 months of watching other people do it and thinking “I’ve got to do that soon”.
It was a chat with a friend that propelled me into action. I had NO idea what I was going to talk about but I decided I was going to announce it in my August 15th ezine (sign up for the next issue on the top right of this page), which was 2 days away.
At the last minute I picked a topic, “Overcoming Procrastination”.
Oh, The IRONY!!
Once done, I decided on a date and announced it to all and sundry. Next, a moment of panic. What would I say, how would I structure it, what if no one showed up? Omg I was going to fail, who was I to think I could pull this off?
Wanna guess what happened?
I stayed up the night before researching procrastination and remembering all the times I indulged, and why. Along the way, I worried some more that no one would show up and even told my mom she had to call in case no one else did 😉
Finally, after a couple of hours, I asked myself why I was doing this, and what I wanted from it. Realised that if taking bold, imperfect, inspired action could inspire even one person to do the same, it was worth it. The rest of it was a buh-reeze!
When you focus on what you can do for someone rather than what something can do for you, it takes the fear away. There’s no charge, no desire to look good anymore. It’s all about giving. That focus, that goal makes it all the more worthwhile.
The tele-call was informative and interactive, many people showed up and it was hugely fun for all involved! And I thought “OMG this was so easy to do, WHY did I wait so long!”? Ha! You can catch the recording here to know more about WHY we procrastinate (and why it isn’t all bad).
Let’s go over a quick recap of how you can take Imperfect Inspired Action today inspite of all your excuses:
- Commit to an idea, name it, put a ‘use by’ date on it
- Tell someone (or many ones) about it
- Fill the gaps – do your research
- Take action now, don’t wait for the big “AHA” moment – we all want the *lighbulb* to go off signifying some great moment of truth…
- But the reality is, it’s often the small steps that lead to big changes.
So give up waiting for that perfect moment, till you have more confidence, practice, experience, knowledge, resources, support, time, money, energy, motivation and what have you, to take action on something you’ve been putting off for a better day.
Just get ready, fire that torpedo and let loose!
After all, the best part is that you can keep correcting course till you get to the destination.
An airplane doesn’t fly in a straight line from A to B, it changes course and altitude depending on the weather conditions …. if it waited till the weather was absolutely perfect, you wouldn’t be flying home for Christmas!
The path to success is paved with Courage and Commitment.
Promise yourself you’ll do what it takes and ask for help and guidance from your higher self if you need a dose of the 2 C’s?
Would love your take on this: where could you do with more action instead of timidity? What are the payoffs keeping you stuck in “tomorrow land”? What’s ONE thing you’re going to do today that you’ve been procrastinating on?
For more on Imperfect Action, check out this great read by Christine Kane, a fabulous inspiring blogger.