It’s often drilled into our heads that we have to be great at everything we do. Sounds like a lot of pressure, right? Well, what if the key wasn’t in being great but simply showing up–all the time, over and over?
Lasting progress isn’t about being consistently great; it’s about being great at being consistent. That means, instead of focusing on doing things perfectly, you simply focus on just the doing and getting better as you progress. When we focus on being consistent, we give ourselves more of an opportunity for greatness.
We’re constantly seeing others online who are seemingly achieving greatness overnight. Leaving us feeling stuck. But what if I told you that the true power is in the process?
When we aim for consistency over perfection, these are the benefits:
- You’re taken more seriously by those around you. You can tell people until you’re blue in the face what you want to do, but if you don’t actually do it, they’ll stop listening. However, if you show up each and every day, and make a consistent effort, you’ll be synonymous with what you’re putting out there. Others will see from your actions that you’re passionate about what it is you do or believe in.
- You’ll get better or become more knowledgeable. No one has ever learned from doing something perfectly on the first try. Making mistakes, finding new methods, improving or tweaking things along the way all help make you more successful in what you do.
- You’ll actually make progress. How many times have you prolonged doing something, until it became practically nonexistent because you kept waiting for it to be perfect? It was a hard pill to swallow, but a few months ago I found out that my fear archetype is the procrastinator. I’ve always considered myself a perfectionist, and come to find out procrastination is one of our key traits. We tweak things over and over hoping to make them perfect and end up never actually taking action. When we show up consistently, despite how perfect something may or may not be, we increase the possibility of progress.
By bringing more consistency into our lives, we’ll have the opportunity to see true change in our circumstances. When we harp on perfection, it can often stunt our ability to grow. So, how do you become more consistent?
First, understand that you might mess up. And that’s okay.
The biggest thing holding us back from being more consistent and instead relying on perfection, is that we’re afraid of making mistakes. When we mess up, we feel discouraged, and a way of protecting ourselves is by trying to control the outcome. So we wait until the time is perfect, instead of taking the risk.
Allow yourself the space to be brave with your life. When faced with that fear, remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes. To help, try reciting mantras like, “I may stumble, but I’ll continue to learn and get better along the way.”
Uphold the promises you make to yourself.
When it comes to fulfilling tasks and being there for others, we’re more likely to show up. But with ourselves, we’re quick to renege on the promises we’ve made. Treat yourself with the same thoughtfulness and respect you do to those around you. If you set a goal, prioritize completing it, because you and your well-being are what’s most important.
Try to curb your comparison.
With the lives of others practically in the palm of our hands, it’s hard not to compare yourself to the success you see from others on social media. At times, it feels as though everyone else is worlds ahead and has so much more opportunity or luck than we do. But let’s face it, social media is often a highlight reel. Most of us don’t know what actually went on behind the scenes to help that person get to where they are. And more than likely, they had to put in the work, day by day until an opportunity arose to help them finally ascend.
Though we all have different circumstances, it’s important to understand that your path is your own. And with consistency, you’ll absolutely see the fruits of your labor.
A small step is always better than no step at all.
The most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves if we ever want to see change is take action. Whether big or small, putting yourself out there and doing the work consistently adds up. When we settle into the comfort of perfection, we stifle our potential.
So today or tomorrow take one small action that will help move you in the direction you seek. And after that, do another small thing.
Along the way, praise your small wills and honor your process. With time and a steady effort, the things you desire will begin to manifest themselves.