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    The Perils of Perfection

           The other day, I asked myself why the book I’m writing is progressing so slowly. The book is based on what I’ve been blogging about in MuscleHeart for over five years, so I’m not exactly starting from scratch. Moreover, my writing has been very consistent since the middle of 2012; I’ve done over 125 posts in a little over thirteen months. And, I’m working with a writing coach who’s a published author. So, let’s review: I’ve got some of the raw material already; my writing has been strong and steady for well over a year; and I’ve got help. But my book is crawling along like a snail. What the fuck?
           Well, the “fuck” in “What the fuck” hit me yesterday morning as I was journaling. Somewhat perplexed as to why I wasn’t making better progress, I spontaneously wrote the following phrase: “I feel like I have to have the book already written before I write it.”.  
           That sounded crazy, but breaking it down, it became clear. Basically, I’m not letting myself be a beginner; I’m not allowing myself to fumble my way through the book writing process, making mistakes, getting off track, taking detours, hitting potholes, and figuring it out as I go. I’ve never written a book before, but I somehow expect to know what I’m doing. Now, that’s crazy.
           I’m doing the same thing with my business. I see the endpoints; the videos, the podcasts, the multi-media presentations, the speaking in front of an audience, giving my message and helping people live fuller, richer, more expressive, more heart felt lives. But I’m short sheeting my own bed because I’m not letting myself figure it out as I go. I’m trying to out think everything first. And when I can’t out think it, what's my first tendency? Well, think about it more! Think about it harder! That’s like trying to put out a fire with more gasoline.
           Over the past month or so, it’s become clear that I bring a certain amount of that obsessive perfectionism to lots of things, and it messes me up. My mind believes it’s supposed to figure everything out first, then do it. And do it right. I have to step outside my mind and tell myself, "That’s not the way it works". I actually have to remind my mind that I figure it out as I do it. It’s a process, and it can be a damn messy process. If I can’t get past my fear of the mess, I’m doomed. Not only in writing a book, but in anything.
           I never realized how much perfectionism derails me, even cripples me. What I see is how afraid I am of not doing something “right”, even when I have no clear definition of what “right” is. It’s an insanity loop. And I want off this ride.
           The only way off the ride is to do. Make the damn omelet. Break the feakin‘ eggs. Then do it again. And again. And again. The omelet will never be “perfect”. But if I bring the best of myself to it, and I keep at it, no matter what, I will create something. I will create something I’m proud of. I will create something I love.
           And that’s really what I’m in the game for anyway. My mind may be invested in perfection. But my being is invested in creating love.  

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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