Dying Daily #277: Follow Through and Fragility

“I don’t know Marge, trying is the first step towards failure.”

Homer Simpson

I think this is the last day talking about follow-through for a while.

The earliest blogs I wrote and my first podcast were about how seeking perfection will keep us from even trying something new, much less following through on it.

Perfection stops us at the gate because there is no way to succeed if we are seeking an unattainable ideal. It creates fragility and can stop us dead in our tracks if we are not careful.

The need to be perfect so as to be above reproach and criticism used to paralyze me and kept me from trying a lot of things. It halted my progress and caused me to give up on quite a few ideas and projects. Any sort of criticism or pushback was enough to shut me down.

It is impossible to do anything in the world without facing some sort of criticism or negativity from someone.

Some people will not like what you do, some people will not get it and some people are just unhappy and they spread their misery around as much as they can. It’s just the way the world works.

Some people, however, will have legitimate and valuable criticisms of what you are doing, and these need to be considered in order to improve what you are offering.

The idea that we are all ok exactly the way we are and that everyone else can go to hell is poisonous and stupid, and is actually more of a defense mechanism than quitting is. The key is to be strong enough in who we are and what we are doing to be able to honestly consider other people’s criticism in order to be better. It’s not easy, but it is the only way to grow and evolve.

What stops you from doing the big thing you want to do?

How do you deal with criticism and hardship?

Can a speedbump derail your entire project?

Is perfection an attainable goal?