Waiting for Perfection
I put something flawed out into the world today. It was something that I had poured a lot of time and passion, and personal belief into. And with so much invested in it, it was hard to fathom the idea of it not being 100% perfect. But, deadlines loom, and I sent The Journey Into Wellbeing, a one hour PBS pilot, off to KET. I was proud, certainly. But having viewed it hundreds of times and being able to recite most of it from memory, I found myself at the same place I find myself at the end of most projects—able to only to see the flaws.
But then, I had a realization. And a quote from Lemony Snicket echoed my sentiments much more eloquently:
“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”
Ironically, this was the entire point of the health and wellness show I had directed, but I didn’t realize it until the end. Host Debra K says in the opener, “I’m going to put myself out there. I know I’m not perfect, but it’s all about taking small steps.” She admits she isn’t a size zero who eats only supermodel portions while working out twelve hours a day. But, she had a powerful story to tell, and she overcame her fears of criticism and showed up, even though she knew she wasn’t flawless.
When it hit me, I was flooded with so much gratitude and pride for what our team had accomplished. None of us, by Lemony’s definition, were quite “ready” to step onto set and start rolling when we began producing this program. We shot ferociously, nearly guerrilla-style, and on a micro-budget. But we showed up, gave it our best and I hope put a story out there that will change peoples’ lives.
I think the conclusion is that there’s a beauty in imperfection. It’s something we all share—it’s a universal connection. And those imperfections are the beauty marks that make us human, and add a powerful human element to the work we touch.
I know I have put off so much in my life because I’ve felt “close-to-qualified,” but not quite ready. The application is that I now must challenge myself to risk showing up in spite of imperfection, because in that, my imprint is left on the world.
I would invite you to do the same. Go for it. What are you waiting for? You’ll never be ready—so there’s no time like the present.
jparm1 February 19, 2013 Blog