Earlier today I needed a little “inspiration” to get moving, and as I was (unproductively) scanning Facebook and Pinterest, I came across the wise words of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey:
It seemed as though that was my cue to get some stuff done…
Ironically enough, I realized that most of my recent motivation was, in reality, coming straight from Tina Fey’s playbook…..And so, I hereby create this blog post in celebration of all good things “funny” and “real” and “scary”….
Speaking of “scary”, I was recently invited to lead a webinar series of classes for a group of pretty awesome entrepreneurs. Now, I say scary, but let’s be real…I’m almost always scared to start anything, even if I’ve done it before. So yes, I was scared. And also, I was excited – I LOVE teaching, I actually really enjoy public speaking, and I adore creating and sharing new ideas with eager minds. Luckily, I have a quite a bit of experience with all of those things, and some “bones” for various topics, which I eagerly proposed: purpose, leadership, communication, gratitude/abundance, courage/vitality and business planning. It was going to be awesome.
Around the same time that I was offered the opportunity to teach these classes, I was also invited to speak at a series of 3 professional trainings about conflict management and maintaining personal vitality.
And I was asked to speak at a women’s networking group.
And at a Health Shifts class.
So I was beside myself and pretty giddy with excitement…because a huge part of what I want to offer through my coaching practice is speaking, teaching and training with groups of people (it is, after all, on my Vision Board for the last quarter of 2015…weird how that stuff works!)
Buuuuuuut……there was this one little tiny detail that I chose to….semi-ignore.
When I looked at the dates of these various things, I realized that it equated to no less than 11 engagements that started within 3 weeks of each other, and that started just over a week out from the date of the last one I accepted.
Annnnnnd….while I had skeleton outlines for the various topics, I always like to review, massage and tweak them to meet the audience’s needs.
“HAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s just crazy!” I said to myself.
Of course, I said yes anyway. Because, in the wise words of Tina Fey:
(Told ya! She keeps inserting herself into my blog post!)
I said “Yes”, because this is EXACTLY what I wanted! (By the way, HUGE thanks to those that have trusted and invested in me…I adore you!!)
Now….the thing that I know about myself is that I have a pretty robust tendency to procrastinate. And also, (as I’ve mentioned before) I’m a bit of a (recovering) perfectionist….which means that I wait until the last minute to try to get it all perfectly perfect, in a lovely, shiny, nice little package. (Know this before you judge me….it takes a LONG LONG time to recover from perfectionism….I’ve come a long way, it just doesn’t look like sometimes).
As a procrastinating perfectionist, occasionally I find that I’m having conversations with myself that go something like this: “Self…..you have done it again. WHY DO YOU DO THIS? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST START WHEN YOU KNOW YOU KNOW YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO DO? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. PERFECT IS THE ENEMY OF DONE. JUST DO IT! GET. MOVING.” And I do….it just takes a little yelling pep talk from…myself.
So anyhoo…yesterday I got to teach the first class (in the series of 6), which is the first of the 11 that I’ve lined up. Scary.
Monday night I ran through my slides, I tested the video, I tested the sound….I made sure it all worked as it was supposed to….I already knew my content pretty well so that felt good. I also knew I was going to be flying into my home office from a client session to get the class started on time. So before I left I got everything set up, so that all I had to do was walk in there, click the “Zoom” link and sit my butt in the chair to get going. Planning, of course, that it would all go perfectly.
Well…..funny story….um….you might already have guessed this….it wasn’t perfect.
First, I forgot to “resume” my slide show, so the group couldn’t see the entire first half of the class (not to worry, they could still hear me). Also, when I did finally remember to “resume” it, I chose the wrong window, so they were looking at my email instead of the slides. Oh yes…and then the Zoom call closed on itself after 40 minutes so everyone (including me) got cut off and had to call back in.
After I hung up, this is how I felt:
I’m not sure if I’m the camel or the little girl, but either way…I burst out laughing.
I have MAJOR anticipatory perfectionism….AND….when things don’t go right, the reality is that I actually end up being totally ok. It’s funny. It’s laughable.
To call what happened yesterday on the call “Failure” wouldn’t be quite right….but in my mind, before I got started, that was exactly what I was trying to avoid: Failure.
As I’ve gotten more and more used to putting myself out into this crazy world, saying yes and figuring it out afterward, facing the possibility of failure in order to achieve success, what I have come to discover and REALLY TRULY believe, is that it’s NOT failure….it’s feedback. And, we can all survive feedback.
Because, here’s the cool thing: Despite all of the funny, weird things that happened yesterday, it was a pretty dang good class (if I do say so myself)! It was a fun time, with an awesome group of people, and we got it done.
So the next time you start thinking about how perfect it has to be in order to get started, I just want to invite you to picture that camel up there laughing about how funny it is that we think we’re ever going to achieve “perfect.” Then, feel the fear and do it anyway.
PPS: If you’re interested in being my 12th (or 13th, 14th or 15th or 100th ) speaking/teaching/training engagement, I’d love to visit! Send me an email and let’s set up a time! And don’t worry….I’m sure I’ll get it just perfect for you…. 😉