The Farmer's Wife
You Proved me Wrong and 3 Ways to Overcome Feeling Stuck
I think we have something in common. Let me explain.
365 Days ago, I held my breath, closed my eyes and hit ‘publish’ on my first blog here.
It was nothing short of terrifying for this perfectionist.
I’m talking *actually painful* to put my inevitable imperfection out on the clothesline for the ‘neighbors’ to see. But GUESS WHAT?! I SURVIVED something scary - and you can too.
At the time, I didn’t realize that my life was “moving in the direction of my strongest thoughts” (Craig Groschel; Winning the War in Your Mind). That direction wasn't positive.
I had been white-flagging my life to uncomfortable feelings of imperfection and the opinions of others -- and it crippled me.
Are you doing the same?
March - May 2020
It is said that you cannot change what you have not defined. (Craig Groschel)
So where do you feel stuck or uncomfortable? What thoughts are you thinking about that stuck feeling?
June - July 2020
Maybe you feel ‘stuck’ with a cluttered house. Maybe it’s a tantrum child. Maybe you’ve plateaued with your weight. Maybe with a negative friend group that doesn’t encourage you to live the way you want to live. Maybe your marriage is emotionally distant.
Wherever you’re stuck, I’m here to help.
I just lived the wildest “unstuck” year of my life and I want to share the juicy details.
August - September 2020
1. Focus on Progress Over Perfection
My “word” for 2020 was “Progress over Perfect”. Let me tell you. If you’re a perfectionist, those words will take you for a ride you never thought you could survive. But I couldn’t have needed anything more.
Our brains are funny things. If you’re like me, it is easy for you to delay just about anything under the umbrella of waiting for the “right conditions”.
Why is it that we can create 1,000 excuses in 10 seconds flat and then hand over the keys to those excuses like they deserve to drive? You name it - we can make excuses for it.
Don’t believe me? If this isn’t true, why do we put up with things in our lives that we don’t like? Why do we put off things that we KNOW need to happen?
Here’s what shattered 2020 for me:
What if perfection wasn’t the goal?
What if PROGRESS was the goal?
What if winning looked like doing ANYTHING instead of waiting for something?
I’m in a leadership group at my church where we meet with a coach every 30 days to discuss the month’s trajectory and track the success of our goals.
This might sound impressive, but do you know how small those monthly goals are? >TINY.<
We literally map out the next tiny teeny little step that we’re going to take in our 5 key areas for the next month. We are not “graded” on grand accomplishment. We’re “graded” on faithfulness. Did we do the next step? Did we move the ball towards progress or did we let it sit at our feet waiting for perfect conditions?
Hal Elrod says, “You are where you are because of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.”
So who are we going to choose to be?
October - November 2020
What does progress look like for you?
Maybe progress over perfection looks like going to get a BIG glass of water right now because NOTHING is better when you're dehydrated.
Maybe progress over perfection looks like taking 5 minutes to declutter 10 toys that are frustrating you because you keep stepping on them.
Progress over perfection looks like picking up the phone and scheduling a play date with a new friend because you know that spending time with her will make you a better person.
Progress over perfection looks like watering your own marital grass by writing ONE positive thing about your spouse and putting it on the bathroom mirror.
Progress over perfection looks like a 5 minute stretch break because everything is better when we stretch.
You get the idea.
December - January 2020
2. Failing is OK - and *maybe* a little positive :)
When was the last time you failed at something? Do you let yourself fail?
I actually hate failure with most of the fibers in my being. --- BUT I’m learning that I need it.
Albert Einstein said “Failure is success in progress”.
The more I live life, the more I realize that failure is an essential part of growing and trying new things. Einstein also said that “Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new”. What a sad way to live! Can you imagine going to your grave never trying anything new?
Would we praise this sort of behavior in our kids? “Ok kids, whatever you do today, make sure you don’t learn anything new!”... YIKES - I want the OPPOSITE for my kids… so why would I want something different for myself?
I NEED to be growing, and growing often looks like skinned knees.
It’s part of life. And it’s ok.
3. Go with a friend
Don’t have one? Go with me! Tell me where you want to be and the next baby step that is going to get you there! (Even if it is as simple as drinking water)...
What would that be for you?
The American Society of Training and Development reports that you have a “65% chance of completing a goal.” I’m not a mathematician, but I see that as a little better than a 50/50 shot at getting something done.
GUESS WHAT HAPPENS when you have a specific accountability appointment set up for that same goal?!!!
“You will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.” (!!!!!)
WHY wouldn’t we do that?!
I’d like my chances of success to increase by 95%!!
I know you do too.
And a GIANT Thank you.
YOU proved my inner critic wrong this year. The critic that said I should stay safe. The critic that told me it was all too hard. The critic that wanted me to stay the same.
What started as a terrifying “Progress Over Perfection” letter board on my wall, turned into this blog being opened and read 5,400+ times this year. I am SO humbled and SO thankful. I’m completely honored each time you share it, comment, or even click on it! You're the best.