Starting can be tough.
Whether it’s a life goal or something as simple as going on Meatless Mondays, getting started and building momentum can be a pain in the bedonkeys.
But we all have to start somewhere. And if you’re a beginner, chances are you won’t have the slightest clue what you’re doing.
As our favorite cliché goes: Practice makes perfect.
If the need to be flawless keeps you from showing up, it becomes a counterintuitive and fear-driven barrier. Consistency, on the other hand, is your best friend.
In the words of author and renowned Thought Leader, Robin Sharma, consistency is the mother of mastery.
What Consistency Over Perfection Looks Like In Practice
1. Get good at accepting the bad. You can learn any skill if you’re willing to be a beginner. That means approaching your new craft with the openness and humility to accept every blunder as part of the learning curve.
Our aversion to making mistakes is often informed by the ego’s demands not to be seen as vulnerable and lacking. But you and I both know this is a trap. Vulnerability and humility can be great sources of strength. So embrace the drudgery and allow yourself to be a beginner.
2. Make the psychology of habit-forming your BFF. In James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, he says you should start with repetition, not goals. What did he mean by that? In simpler terms, the goal is repetition.
When I began publishing articles online, I made a deal with myself that I’d release one weekly article. Sometimes I’d hit the bullseye. Other times not so much. But I was hammering the habit into my routine.
Repeat the process without dwelling too much on the quality for two (2) months. That’s the average amount of time it takes for something to become automatic. As Jodi Picoult says, “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” Build the habit and improve on it later. The great news is you’ll also get better along the way.
3. Don’t let your best get in the way of progress. The ideal can be both inspiring and paralyzing. It is an aim to strive towards and a challenge to surmount. How you view the gap between who you are and who you want to be determines whether your actions come from a place of fear or a place of purpose.
4. Know that you will fail and that it won’t matter. Not all days are created equal. Some will be harder than others. It’s the hard days that will put your grit to the test and decide whether you make it or break it. The question isn’t ‘are you going to be knocked down’ because it will happen. It’s whether you care enough to get back up when it does.
How will you practice consistency over perfection today?