The New Professionalism: Unapologetically Imperfect
Today is my day to breathe. Take space. Drop my shoulders.
The Organic Parenting e-course is complete, sent out, and officially off my To Do list. It was such a huge project, with so many components and dozens of contributors, making it my biggest project to date.
Over a year in the making. The last three months of which were flipping crazy.
I’ll admit. I have a bit of a perfectionist streak. Especially when it comes to the work I love to do, sharing my heart and soul. And the parenting topic is such a big, tender one that I spent a lot of time stressing about how it was coming together, how the audios turned out, the right formatting, the right voice, if it all made sense, and so on and so on.
This project alone was a full time job.
As I inched closer to today’s date, I began to inch closer to my perfectionist saying all sorts of things:
“You must have all the audios completed before you go to Wide Sky Days.”
“You’ve got to send out at least 4 emails next week.”
“You need more blog posts! What happened to the 5 other posts you had planned?!”
According to my project and marketing plan, I was far from perfect.
And this would have really stressed me out in the past. I would’ve been a big old ball of nerves trying to do it all, be it all, have it all together.
But this time I adopted a very fitting motto as I worked…
“I’m going to unapologetically create a course I believe in, without fear that it must meet every last person’s needs…”
“I’m going to unapologetically say what’s on my heart without fear that I’ll sound crazy to people who don’t get it…”
“I’m going to unapologetically take breaks, or complete postpone pieces of the project that aren’t inspiring me in order to play with my friends and family or read or work on the part of the project that is calling my name…”
“I’m going to unapologetically get the last audios created and uploaded in their own timing…”
“I’m going to unapologetically screw up my marketing plan this time around…”
“I’m going to unapologetically be happy about it all too…”
No amount of stress can make time slow down so we can get more done and still have time to play. No amount of trying can make every last person happy, can make this everything to everyone, can possibly simplify such a big topic, or can get those last audios uploaded by my chosen deadline. No amount of stress is worth missing out on our family throughout any project either – something I did too much of at the start.
So I let it all go. And embraced something different.
Imperfect entrepreneurship. Without apology.
Of course, there’s a balance there…leaving people hanging isn’t cool. Creating less than your best isn’t cool. Not taking into account the needs of others while you meet your own needs doesn’t actually meet anyone’s needs at all.
But there is a difference between professional and perfectionism.
You can be the first without trying to be the second.
I let go of the idea that I’d have all the audios from all six modules edited and uploaded by the time the first module started. I let go of the idea that the contributors goodies would be organized and formatted before the third module.
I just let go and leaned into joy and trust.
If this “trust” thing is good enough for parenting, you’d better believe it’s damn good enough for our passions as entrepreneurs.
Of course, letting go changes everything.
I did, in fact, have all the modules completed before Module One began today. And I got the Village Wisdom contributors PDF formatted and uploaded this afternoon.
I could’ve stressed over doing these things, and likely not done them.
Instead I just adopted the same philosophy I have toward life itself: Joy and Trust. And it all fell together without the stress, because I just let go and leaned into joy and trust.
What Have I (Re)Learned?
The same lesson life is teaching me again and again…
I don’t care if you’re talking about parenting, or your partners, or your work…you’ll never regret the sense of ease, wonder, and perfection that comes when you stop trying to be perfect, stop forcing it to happen or controlling how it does, and let the current carry you where it will.
Make and follow a plan. Just don’t marry the damn thing.
And stop apologizing – to yourself or anyone else – when you follow where your heart pulls you.
Ask yourself: Where do I need to let go and allow?