There’s nothing like opening a freshly purchased notebook, cracking open the front cover to a clean, blank page.
It beckons to be written on.
New ideas. New possibilities.
So much promise. So much hope.
And so it is with the start of a new year.
It’s as though all of the hardships of the previous year (heck, sometimes many previous years) have been forgiven. Wiped away. And you are free to start anew.
As glorious as that feeling is, let’s be honest: it’s a hell of a lot of pressure.
As a Virgo and thereby an ever recovering perfectionist, I know a thing or two about pressure. When I was a little girl, I used to love (a capital L kind of love) getting my new notebooks and sketchbooks at the beginning of the school year because they were perfect.
Clean. Tidy. Full of potential.
Ohh how I could barely wait fill my books. I would visualize writing with perfect penmanship and creating brilliant works of art. Every year I’d look down on those blank pages my soul would fill with inspiration as I felt I was surely about to embark on a collection of masterpieces.
There was only one problem.
Every time I tried to put my pencil to paper I couldn’t. I just sat there in endless hesitation. The reason?
I was I was too scared.
…to scared to make a mistake.
…to mess up.
…to defile the pristine pages before me.
So, one of two things happened.
I would either give up my enthusiasm once my writing started to get sloppy or when a drawing didn’t turn out as beautiful as in my imagination,
Or worse still…
The pages remained blank.
Now I know what you might be thinking. Someone shoulda thrown me a chill pill! And while you’re probably right, the funny thing is, this is EXACTLY what we all do when it comes to reaching our goals.
EVERY. FREAKING. NEW. YEAR.
We have big goals and dreams! We tell ourselves that THIS is going to be the year when ‘it’ all happens (insert whatever ‘it’ is for you). We’re filled with that childlike wonder and belief. And then two months later you’ve totally let go of the life-changing oath you pledged to yourself only weeks before.
So how do we escape this monotonous trap? Two words.
Ditch the idea of perfection. Drop the pressure that things must happen ‘exactly as you imagined.’ Just get out there and try. And when that doesn’t work, try something different. And when that doesn’t work, try another thing until you get there. Life is SUPPOSED to be messy!
When you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. You are HUMAN darling! And as such, we certainly aren’t perfect. But we have the amazing gift and ability to TRY and to LEARN and to CREATE for ourselves what it is we wish to experience in this world. The key is accepting that ‘getting messy’ is part of the process.
Perfection isn’t reached by doing something once. It’s reached trying different approaches until that magical day when you’ve finally got it.
Allow this year to be your fresh new notebook. But instead of leaving it blank in fear of getting it wrong, or giving up when things don’t go perfectly, get messy. Fill it, sketch it, scratch it up. Love the mistakes. Change course. Celebrate the wins.
Do that, and you’ll reach to the end not only having achieved your goal, you’ll have a full and fulfilling story that is far more interesting than staying within the lines or worse, the page remaining blank.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What are your goals this year and some different ways you can try to achieve them?
Sending all my love to you this new year…