“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”
We say that a lot around the office. Probably because we’re all a bunch of perfectionists brought together (strategically) for the common goal of creating something great. And we’re all constantly battling the desire to make something perfect – instead of just making something great.
Even with that statement, my bias reveals itself. Like so many others, I frequently buy into the idea that “great” is just that: great, but not perfect. And wouldn’t perfect be so much better?
Most companies are looking for people who won’t settle for less than the absolute best and who will work tirelessly to achieve greatness – both for the organization and for their own careers. And most people (if they’re honest) would really like perfect. Perfect is what many of us tell ourselves we should be.
And yet, perfection is an illusion because there’s always something more we can do, something better. We can never reach perfection, but we keep driving toward it, and that keeps us endlessly spinning and pushing and running. Continue reading
The eve of my 30th birthday was relatively quiet. I chopped rainbow carrots and kale in my little San Francisco kitchen. I did not turn on the TV or listen to music. I resisted the urge to fill the space with noise. Instead, I washed the kale and peeled the carrots. I minced garlic and stirred it around with olive oil and cumin and coriander.
I listened to the sound of the knife on the cutting board, and savored the aromas filling the room.
I reflected back on my day – how busy it felt, like I was moving too fast and yet not getting enough done. How I kept having to remind myself to slow down. As my boss would say wisely, “This is PR. Not the ER.”
I carried that purposeful slowness into my evening. Letting my body and mind rest after a day of post-vacation email pile-up. Not avoiding it, but not worrying about it too much either. Sometimes you just have to hug the slog.
Much like excelling in the workplace, cooking from scratch requires patience and a methodical commitment. It requires focus and time. And if you’re going to enjoy the process, it requires slowing down and being present.
This is the greatest truth I’ve discovered in my 20s. Slowness. Savoring. It’s the truth I want to carry into my 30s. The gift I want to give to others. Continue reading
This Part 2 in a two-part series on what practicing yoga has taught me. If you missed it, catch Part 1 here.
6. Let go. Being present on the mat requires letting go of anything outside of your mat for that hour. Your posture is not one of control and striving, but rather openness and malleability.
So often, I find myself having a breakthrough during class. My mind relaxes, and I receive an answer to a question I’ve been pondering or a conflict I’ve been working through.
Isn’t this so often how God works? When we let go of our preconceived notions of what He can do – or what we can do with Him – we allow Him to enter the spaces where we feel most weak and strengthen us. He always surprises me with His goodness.
But this first requires opening up to Him. Continue reading
Today on the blog, we’re talking about stress and how to deal with the pressure of competing priorities. Read on. And if you want more, then join me in the process of moving from perfectionism to wholeness – from stress to rest – by signing up here to get updates on the launch of my book, Enough.
Halloween is nearly upon us, which means it’s going to be Christmas tomorrow. Not really, but that’s often how this season feels, isn’t it? November through January can feel like a blur of parties and presents and competing priorities. Blink, and two whole months have suddenly passed by in a flurry!
Somehow I’ve already managed to double-book myself – not once, but three times. As a result, I’ve reneged on RSVPs, declined party invitations, and missed a dear friend’s birthday celebration. And I’ve mistakenly committed to being at a church retreat in Santa Cruz and my company’s holiday party on the same weekend in December. Yeah, that’s not going to work out so well.
As my plate gets more and more full, I feel the tug between needing to prioritize and not wanting to let anything go. There’s too much to do and yet I also feel like I’m not doing enough.
Do you know that feeling? When it’s all too much and you’re either going to cry from the sense of overwhelm or freeze from decision paralysis? When you’re operating on autopilot because it’s all you can do to just get your work done – or maybe not even that – and go home and crash at the end of the day?
Friends, I’m writing a book on what I’ve learned while recovering from perfectionism. Subscribe here for sneak peeks and insider updates I only share over email. No spam. Just love.
Today I had the opportunity to celebrate the 125th anniversary of my alma mater, Whitworth University, at a gathering for Bay Area alumni. The group consisted of everyone from the class of 2014 to the class of 1964 and included a few of my ’08 classmates. While their faces were familiar, it was somewhat strange to realize how much time had passed and how little we knew of each other.
I’m not one for small talk, but not because I don’t like meeting new people or catching up with old acquaintances. Quite the contrary. I love talking with people; I simply avoid the “small” part of it. I believe words matter, and I take that belief into every conversation. I enjoy making people feel at ease, letting them know through my questions and my listening that I’m not just talking with them for pleasantries’ sake; I truly care. I derive such joy from transitioning an awkward conversation or stilted small talk to something of more depth – something that makes people feel comfortable.
I think that’s part of my calling – to help people learn to live more comfortably in their own skin and to recognize just how loved they are. Continue reading
Even if you’ve never watched an episode of Friday Night Lights, you’re probably familiar with the chant clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. It’s the rallying cry of the football heroes before they take the field, and while I’d heard it many times, and it certainly sounded nice, I’d never given the phrase much thought until last week.
You see, last week I hit a wall – like a football team up against stronger rivals, I felt like I was being beaten down by familiar enemies named Control, Worry, and Stress. I’d been stressing about a situation in my life that I want to “figure out.” I felt like I couldn’t make sense of what was in front of me, and my heart felt both empty and clogged up with worry at the same time.
Then, all that stress found its way into my body, and I came down with a bug – both a head cold and a stomach virus. Super fun. Instead of giving myself grace and making space to rest, my first inclination was to stress and try to “fix” my way to being healthy – not the smartest approach – before my trip to Miami at the end of the week. I did ultimately stay home to rest, but my struggle was less with the state of my body and more with the state of my heart. I was downing water, sipping on ginger ale, and taking it easy at home. But I don’t think I would have improved as quickly as I did if I didn’t rest my mind and heart as well as my body. Continue reading