Permission to . . .
2019 has only just begun, so let me also ask the question you may have heard a few times over the past days and weeks: Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
Personally, I usually don’t—not because I’m against starting the new year with a new habit or two, but because I have learned over time to recognize when I am ready to tackle another change. That may coincide with the turn of the year and often does as it’s a time of contemplation for me. (If you don’t have kids and stop the gift-giving machine, your chances for a couple of really quiet weeks are excellent!) But it may as well not.
This year, however, I have something like a resolution. And I am not talking about dropping the five pounds I gained over the holidays. That will make it to the top of my priority list eventually, but not quite yet. There’s still German chocolate and some of my husband’s fabulous shortbread cookies, and there is no way I would let any of those go to waste!
But back to my resolution: A few weeks ago, in my wonderful new accountability group we got permission slips and decided what to give ourselves permission for in the weeks to come. Believe it or not, the moment the question was asked, I knew with absolute certainty what I wanted my permission slip to say and that I wanted it to be my 2019 resolution (or whatever you want to call it) as well:
PERMISSION TO SUCK!
Yep, there it is in all bold: I am giving myself permission to suck. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to suck. Neither will I be happy if I do. But it might happen, and if it does, I will not beat myself up, learn from the experience, and move on. Maybe that sounds like a little thing to you, but for me it’s huge. Because it means that, from here on out, I am a recovering perfectionist.
For a long time, I didn’t mind being a perfectionist, despite all the stress it causes. I even thought it was an inherent part of me, something I couldn’t—and shouldn’t—change if I wanted to be authentic. Guess what? It’s not! Doing your best is a good thing, and I am not planning to change that. But being perfect? Nah. “Perfect” is the carrot we chase after and can never quite grasp. And the only thing all the running after it does is waste our energy—energy we could dedicate to other beautiful endeavors.
Giving myself permission to suck has already allowed me to do things that are totally outside of my comfort zone: Painting, for instance, which I haven’t done in probably 30 years (and I am still no good at it, but it’s fun!). Or sharing my new website with you despite the fact that I have an entire list of things I wanted to consider/write/do before the launch (approximately in 2027, judging from the length of my list).
This year, I am again giving myself permission to suck: I will offer new workshops and concepts without running them by 137 friends and colleagues first. I will blog away about whatever comes to mind. And I will do my best to be a successful entrepreneur as well as a loving wife and dog mum. I guarantee you, I won’t be perfect at any of it—but I’ll pour my heart and soul into it. If my clients and friends and loved ones are happy, great. If I am happy with myself, even better. If not, I’ll just suck it up and learn from it. That’s at least the plan. And I have my permission slip as a reminder. It will be right above my desk all year long so that I won’t forget that everything is okay, as long as I show up and give it my best—or say, no thanks and step away. (But that’s a topic for its own post.)
How about you? Do you like the idea of the permission slip? Any permission that comes to mind that you should give yourself? Or how about joining the recovering perfectionist movement in 2019?
Whatever you do—here’s too an exciting 2019 with tons of opportunities to connect and grow!