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Ditch Perfectionism Choose Excellence Instead.

In a in previous post, I encouraged you to join me as we learn to let go of perfection and embrace progress.  It was a war cry for you and me to move forward in life and make an impact even as we are in process ourselves. There is one more point I would like to make. Being released from perfectionism isn't a buy out to be sloppy. Instead, it is a call for excellence. After all, I believe progress is excellence in motion.

Here are a few differences between excellence and perfectionism:

Excellence performs every task to the very best of its ability.
Perfectionism performs every task believing that no matter what, it is never good enough. 

Perfectionism lives in a constant comparison of external circumstances.
Excellence charts internal development. 

Excellence embodies growth and continual learning.
Perfectionism believes they are an indication of failure. After all, a perfect person lacks nothing.

Perfectionism leaves one discontent.
Excellence brings satisfaction.

You don’t have to be perfect. Be excellent instead.

Where can excellence provide balance in your life?

Progress Not Perfection

In my last post, A Leader in Chains, I shared with you a question that shook my world a little (okay a lot!). The part I left out was this: I didn't know until I heard those words that I was allowing my own chains to stop me.  

I just thought I was preparing for leadership. You know the “don’t share anything until you have it ALL right” mentality. Yeah that one that is also named fear! 

While waiting to figure out the key to life, I stopped writing. My desire to see people live a life of freedom never changed. I just didn't think that I could be a voice in that journey until I became “perfected”. Recognizing my own fault and knowing I too was fighting the battle for freedom, I laid down my passion and sulked. Yes I sulked! Don't act like you have never done it.

Although I practice what I write, it is just that – practice. Some days it’s beautiful.  Other days it’s sloppy. Then there are the days I think I lost the directions altogether. 

What I've realized is that I’ll never be perfect or complete in myself. That only happens through Christ. And the perfecting part is a process that takes a lifetime.

I can be better. I can be greater. And so can you.

Let’s agree to forget perfection. Let’s work on progress.

Progress propels you. Perfectionism stalls you. Perfectionism keeps you set on everything that will go wrong. It never boasts about what can go right. 

You can’t afford to be stalled. You have a story to tell. You have a life to change. You have a dream to realize.

What will you do this week to seek progress rather than perfection?

Be sure to check out what I share on striving for excellence.  

Send a friend here to be encouraged as well. 

A Leader in Chains

“How can you speak of freedom when you are still in chains?” – (question modified from a recent podcast at min 32:43-33:00.)

It was a question that riveted my soul.

I blog about living free yet I still have my own chains. Over time I have believed the lies that have said, “Just quit! You’ll never make a difference. You are filled with fears and inadequacies. No one will listen.”

I bet if you were honest, you have heard the same voices. I want to encourage you and me not to allow those voices to be the final word.

Let’s face it. We don’t have it all together. Chances are we never will. Don’t stop trying. Be great anyway.

So here is what I would say:
Understand that you CAN make a difference. There is someone somewhere in your life that you can speak encouragement to. There is someone that you can share your story with and spread hope.  I bet there is even someone that could use your leadership.

Focus on the small steps:
Live each day being better than the day before. Be a leader to those that are behind you. Be a student of those that are ahead of you. Make personal growth a priority. Learn to listen. Be gracious enough to share. 

I’ll leave you with this thought:
Nelson Mandela emerged from 27 years of prison and led his country to freedom from decades of racial and moral injustice. Never doubt that even in his chains he was leading. He led who he could where he was. Then one day a country was changed!

How will you inspire someone this week from where you are?  

Let's Get Real - Who Are you Really?

My last blog post received the largest number of reads of any post I have to date. That’s right a whopping 144 views. Not impressed? I understand. I wasn't either until I changed my perspective.

In all honesty, I haven’t written since that post and wasn't sure that I would. Then I realized the story continues. There is more to share. My blog and my life is a process not a mere project that I can complete with a few simple steps.  Because life is a process, I think we can all use insight, challenge, and encouragement along the way.

So let’s go back to perspective. Although in the overall mega-blogging world 144 views may be laughable. In my world it’s actually pretty awesome. I gained an audience with 144 people and shared insight on a topic that would most likely not happened any time soon except through this blog.

Then there is the exponential perspective. If each reader of that particular post would share the ideas found with just two other people then the message reaches an additional 288 people. If that were to happen just once more, another 576 people would be impacted for a total of 1,008 people. Sharing at this pace would reach over 9,000 people in just 6 cycles.  These numbers may not show on Google Analytics (I’m sure Google still knows), but that is where I had to get real with myself. I had to know my goals and be confident in them!

This is what I found: I blog because I truly feel that I have something to share with others that can be of benefit to their lives and purposeful to mine. Although money is wonderful and we need it to get by in this life, it is not my motivation. When I pressure myself to run my blog with a “business” purpose, I fail! I am not trying to gain the massive influence like the great bloggers we know today: Seth Godin, Jon Acuff, or Michael Hyatt. I like small settings and hands on influence. Quite frankly the multitudes scare me! (Which is actually a realization that I embraced after listening to a Seth Godin podcast. The idea starts at minute 15:44.) At this stage in life I would rather lead 100 than a 100,000. I am okay with that.

Now before you judge me and believe that my dreams are too small remember my exponential perspective from above. My goal is to influence in such a way that lives are so drastically changed and leaders are produced who go out and spread the message in exponential form.  

You have leaders of the multitudes like I mentioned above (all of whom I love by the way!) and you have leaders of the few. When I finally got real with myself, I learned that my strength is helping to change the world a few people at a time.

So here it is, time to live in “real zone”! Are you ready to join me? Here is the journey.

What do you need to get real with yourself about today? What purpose is uniquely yours that you have avoided while trying to live a flashier one?

Freedom is found in knowing your strengths and weakness and learning to work accordingly
– Shante Kiefer