I’ve been thinking about the word perfect a lot lately. And how striving to be perfect can be more of a hindrance than a badge of honor. Almost everything I do, I want it to be perfect. And that may be keeping me from living the best life I can.
I can agonize over a decision for days, weeks or months. It takes me what seems like forever to muster the courage to pursue something I want to do. What if I fail? What if I make the wrong choice? What if I embarrass myself? I often find myself waiting until everything is “perfect” before I take the plunge and try something. Like opening a photography business. But the truth is, nothing is ever going be perfect. So either I’m going to wait a very long time or I’m going to have to accept this and give it my best shot.
My husband is my biggest cheerleader. He encouraged me to open my photography business long before I felt ready to do so. I made one excuse after another (some were valid), but his reply was always the same. You’re waiting for perfect and it’s never going to happen. Do it. Now. With what you have. With what you know. You’ll figure it out. And it’ll be ok.
Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Plenty of them. I’ve forgotten to change a setting on my camera and had to delete files that were not savable. Or spent too much time “chimping” by looking at the back of my camera to make sure I got a good exposure, missing a super sweet moment between a dog and his owner. Or ended a session because it appeared as though the clouds have rolled in and we’re not going to get that awesome golden light that I love. Only to see the clouds part and the sky awash in color on my way home. If only I had stuck around and waited. I’m sure you relate, maybe you’ve made the same errors.
While I'm not proud of my mistakes, I’ve learned more from them than when I accidently did something right. I find these can be some of my best teaching moments. I make note of it and vow to do better next time. It’s amazing how much you can grow when you pay attention to these lessons. And while I may have questioned my skills, or felt stupid at the time, looking back, I’m always grateful for these experiences. They helped make me better than I was before.
I love this quote, “Be real, not perfect.” I bet all of us know or have met someone who seemingly is perfect. Honestly, I find that I avoid those people. They always make me feel less than worthy, not good enough or simply inadequate. I’d rather hang out with someone who shares her true self, the person who falls every once in a while but picks herself up and tries again. I relate to her. Not to the one who hides all her mistakes or exaggerates to make herself appear flawless. Because there isn’t a single perfect person on this planet.
Sure, I strive to be perfect…to never make a mistake, to have all my projects go smoothly, to create stunning images every single time. Sometimes I even get lucky. But no matter what, I've always been true to myself. Flaws and all. I guess you could say I'm perfectly imperfect doing the best I can. And that's as real as it gets.