Done Is Better Than Perfect: 3 Things Just Doing It Has Taught Me

6 minute read


adjective \ˈdən\

completed; finished; through:

1. "It" is worth it.

Most of it is in my head. The fear of failure. The fear that no one will like "it." But when everything is broken down to the bare bones, the "it" isn't so bad. Whatever it is that I'm striving for, whatever I'm working on, producing, creating is absolutely worth it. It isn't as stressful or subpar as I think. While, yes, it will cause me many sleepless nights it will return in value far more than was spent. What usually happens when I start putting off doing "it" for any number of fears is that I've allowed a narrative into my head and heart that centers me and my "it" running a gauntlet. As I run with "it" I become less and less convinced of "its" value and begin to wonder if this is all worth it.

It is. It's worth it all. I wouldn't feel the ache yet the awe, the weariness yet the wonder if there wasn't some gem of destiny waiting to be born.

 So, I keep pushing. There was a time when I would close my notebook and open up a social media window or Netflix to happily distract myself from the questions and tough stuff of being a creative. I would give up a million times in a day questioning myself, wondering if I've even got what it takes to bring such gigantic dreams to fruition. Wondering if any of it would even matter.

Just as creative and awesome as it can be, my mind can be absolutely crazy. It can (and has) talk me out of walking on water because of what I might look like in the process. But so what? I may not move like Naomi Campbell but the point is that I'm WALKING ON WATER.

It's worth it. Bottom line. I've learned and am continuously learning to lift up the value of what I'm purposed to do over the apprehension that tries to stop me.

2. "Perfect" is just my pride.

Pride is crazy.  It doesn't want to look stupid.  It doesn't want to risk anything.  It doesn't want to be laughed at.  It doesn't want to endure even the thought of failure. Pride never takes into account the possibility of success simply because it values comfort and protection above everything else.

In response to what my pride doesn't want, I will procrastinate until every last season is binge-watched and every piece of clothing is folded because I'm "not feeling inspired".

#MemoToMe:  most of the time all of that is complete and total BS. In the moment it doesn't feel like BS because it makes sense not to want to do anything halfway. But in reality it is just a defense mechanism. Pride puts me at what seems like an impossible crossroads in pursuit of the ever-elusive perfect opportunity, creation, moment. 

There is never the perfect anything. Our gifts and the courage to use them... that's all there is.

3. Imperfection is relatable.

Pulling stories and lessons from my life has been the one consistent thing in my writing since I started scribbling in notebooks as a child. When observing my life objectivity breeds real transformation not just the cutesy stuff that gets tons of likes on Instagram. It breeds the kind of transformation that's ugly and grueling and tearful and stressful but glorious once on the other side. Being able to look at my life objectively was not always a strong suit. For a long time, without realizing it, I thought I was perfect. I was always right and everyone else was wrong. Superiority, though unintentional, ruled my thought process and so I stayed stuck, stagnant in a life that could only claim a shallow depth.

But it LOOKED deep.

And that was enough for me for a long time until one day - I don't remember the exact moment - I got the unction to really be real with myself. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. No one wants to draw back the covers of their life to reveal all their imperfections and shortcomings. It topples a life and story we've told ourselves about ourselves that places  us at the center of the universe and only focuses on the positives. 

Everything I've written since that day has been as transparent as possible without being messy (that's a post for another time). Not only did being so honest about my imperfection lead me to enlightenment, it built community with others who may or may not have been looking for affirmation in their own imperfection. Sometimes our hearts and souls are calling for affirmation from others that our flaws don't disqualify us from being here, seen, heard, loved, called, chosen.

The trap of perfection keeps us from connecting with those who may need our message - our TRUE message - most. 

12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

In the excerpt above from Paul's letter to the church at Philippi he was honest about his imperfections. He made it known with no hesitation. He said, "I'm not perfect but I'm still striving to be everything God put me here to be. I'm forgetting everything that happened before and I'm making the goal of living out my purpose for Christ my main priority."

He laid all his stuff bare for the world to see, to know. They had already been speculating anyway. And because of his honesty and his undeniably changed life, he drew millions (and is still drawing millions) to the faith. 

He didn't wait until his life was perfect to begin preaching The Gospel. He had an experience with God that assured him this could not wait.

He started. He just did it.

I'm sure every sermon wasn't pristine but every moment he stepped outside of his pride to do what he was called to do, he saved a life, he performed miracles, he spread The Gospel a little further and a little further.

Just do it
— Nike

That's how seriously I've come to take my writing and teaching. I tell myself and others:

Be honest. Show your scars. Tell the story of your failure AND your successes. Just do it. Don't wait. If you wait, you'll never do it. Don't make perfection your goal. Don't compare it to everyone else's. Just dig deep and pull out what's keeping you up at night. Put it on paper, on canvas, on wax, on SoundCloud. Release it And let it be what it needs to be for whoever needs it. Just do it. Don't wait. It's that important.