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On Releasing Perfectionism

I admire excellence. A commitment to proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect for the reader.

Early on, in my executive recruiting days, colleagues would send me our weekly client reports because I never missed a detail. I would spend hours making sure each document was 100% perfect.

There is a negative side to this, as there is to everything. Perfectionism overwhelms us and prevents us from getting started on the things we need to do. The extra few hours you spend making sure things are absolutely perfect are hours you could spend on creating and serving others.

Shooting for a solid B+ in many of our endeavors would serve us well.

That said, agility is essential. There are critical moments when we need to strive for perfection. We would hope a surgeon, for example, would avoid any errors while operating.

However, she doesn't need to also be in impeccably tailored clothes and have a pristine house. We have to be aware enough to know when to really lean in and excel and when we can take our foot off the gas.

Ever since I started a regular meditation practice, I've noticed my eye for details in my writing is not as strong. Sometimes I forgot how to spell words. I believe this is because meditation expanded my mind, so I'm now operating from both the left and right brain.

Both my logic and intuition are firing on all cylinders. This means someone's arbitrary grammar rule is just not as important to me as the big picture things I need to do. 

At a workshop I hosted this weekend, I mentioned housework as one small example of where we (as women especially) often waste energy on perfectionism. I encourage anyone with the means to invest in a house cleaner. For those whom that is not feasible at the moment, my invitation is to consolidate: pick one hour per week, or 10 minutes a day, or whatever it is, to focus on straightening up -- and then forget the rest. 

Our days are filled with distractions that throw us off course. The world has never needed us more. It's critical that all of us step up as leaders, whether that's as an employee, an entrepreneur, a sole practitioner, or in the home. Everything you do has a ripple effect on the collective. 

The world doesn't need you to be perfect. It needs you to be creative, conscious, and present. 

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