Be willing to show up imperfectly

perfect enemy of good

For today’s blog post, I am providing an excerpt from my book, Failure is Not Final. You can order your own copy by clicking the button below!

“Many of the experiences I have shared with you throughout this book, all started with me being willing to show up as my imperfect self. My first year of triathlon, I didn’t even own a bike, I borrowed one from a friend at the gym for the season. I stood at the starting line of an ultramarathon without ever having run more than one marathon before, and here I was about to give 100 miles a try. I showed up at CrossFit very overweight and far from being fit. I started at church not yet knowing how to truly express my faith or having developed a relationship with God. Although I might be limited in my understanding of various concepts, that doesn’t prevent me from opening up my Bible each morning to try and learn a little bit more.    

Even as I showed up for those things, I had to embrace the idea that it won’t always be perfect. Just showing up to start is one part of the battle. An even bigger part is continuing to show up even when things aren’t going as you envisioned them. My experiences with completing a full distance Ironman triathlon or a 100-mile ultramarathon did not go as I had originally planned, but I persisted even in the face of various obstacles and unfortunate outcomes. My weight loss journey has consisted of many ups and downs (and not just with the scale); however, I had to just keep dusting myself off and keep trying. When it comes to my faith, I may not have the confidence or the understanding others do, but I continue to embrace the opportunity to develop a closer relationship with God.  

Too many times, we allow “perfect” to be the enemy of “good.” With anything I have done (or will accomplish), had I waited to be 100% ready, I would have never done any of it. Especially with social media, many people are exposed to the idea of perfection. As my friend, Coach Bruce would say, social media is the “Grand Illusion.” People won’t hesitate to share the experiences and instances where things have gone smoothly or according to plan. Please realize, anyone who has become great at something did not start great at those things. Prior to those experiences where the stars aligned and things went off without a hitch…there were hundreds, if not thousands of instances (days, weeks, months, years) where things were going far from perfectly.  

I too have had to struggle with the idea of perfection. There have been times where if I had one unplanned food item in my day that didn’t necessarily align with my goals (i.e. a cupcake at work), I was severely disappointed in myself and would view my actions as derailing myself from accomplishing my goals. In other instances, there would be times where maybe one part of my workout went terrible and I would consider the day ruined or that because of it there was no way I was going to be able to accomplish the big goals I had set for myself. I have since learned to reframe many of those thoughts and strive to recognize that perhaps not everything in a day will be great, but there is something great in every day. Without a doubt, I sometimes need to look harder for those “great” things on some days, but they are there.   

I can remember messaging Coach Mike one time about how my nutrition that week wasn’t 100% and how upsetting it was to me. He then remarked that I wouldn’t want it to be perfect. At the time, to be quite honest, I thought he was being ridiculous as how was I ever going to be able to achieve my goals if I couldn’t even do that right?! It took me a while to understand what he had meant. Without realizing it as I was going through it…I was showing up imperfectly, yet still making progress towards and accomplishing my goals. My triathlon training wasn’t always perfect yet I still saw my goals through to fruition. My nutrition hasn’t always been perfect, but it hasn’t stopped me from improving my body composition and overall health. Being OK with not being perfect has helped me to enjoy the process all that much more. Pondering it further, I have since embraced the idea that what good would it be to be perfect in pursuit of my goals, if it meant I wasn’t enjoying life along the way.  

What I have since learned is the impact of consistency. We are what we repeatedly do, not what we occasionally do. I get in way more very good workouts than I do very bad ones or perfect ones. I get in way more days of ideal eating than I do very bad or perfect ones. One day of not reading my Bible or devoting some other part of my day does not take away from the many more days where I have ensured it was a part of my day.  

There is a saying, “you don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”  Be willing to show up day after day, even when it feels like you can’t get anything right or that nothing is going well. It is on those days where we learn the most.

Be willing to be perfectly imperfect!

Not sure how to even just show up imperfectly? We are here to help! Click the button below to schedule your free consultation!