Bella Grace is my favorite magazine. I discovered it last summer at the bookstore where I was immediately mesmerized by its beauty and words . It is exactly symbolic of what speaks to my heart. It celebrates magic in ordinary moments. It celebrates simplicity. Its theme is- life as a beautiful journey. The photography is beautiful on gorgeous thick matte paper! Light and glowy and bright and artistic. The words are inspiring and they touch the deepest part of me. The essence of everything beautiful… the spirit of life. All bound up. All smushed in. All in all.
So yeah…It was so lovely, that I shelled out the $20 price tag, took it home, grabbed a cup of tea and read it from cover to cover. I was a pig in shit. …. except if only I could roll around within the confines of these photos and words… package myself up into a tiny piece of thin air and live there. Yes I would! There and the movie Mamma Mia…. I could live there too.
As I was reading through Bella Grace, it occurred to me that this content was similar to what I used to write about on my blog. I got to the end of the magazine which instructed how to submit a piece of writing. I thought to myself, “What if my writing could actually be in a magazine as delicious as this?” I read the instructions and noted the deadline. I entered the date into my calendar. I had a piece of writing in mind to submit that jived perfectly with the theme of the magazine. I mean it was a slim chance… but maybe, just maybe. I made it my goal to PERFECT my piece and submit it.
….and then I procrastinated. Raise your hand if you’re a perfectionist? Yep…ok then you get it. Perfectionism tends to breed procrastination.
So… at the end of 2014 I happened to attend a success seminar featuring Terry Watson as the guest speaker. I was mesmerized by his energy and his philosophies of success. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his seminars, do so. Dynamic! Anyways, stay with me… this will all make sense soon.
Terry spoke about perfectionism and introduced me to a new concept based on the book called the 80% Approach, written by Dan Sullivan. In short, “it is a transformative way of thinking and acting that eliminates the paralysis of perfectionism and procrastination.” Waiting until you’re certain you can achieve a 100% result often leads to doing nothing at all leading to a chronic waste of time, talent, emotion, and opportunity that undermines personal confidence. In many situations in life, just doing 80% is good enough. In most situations, striving for 80% and actually getting it done is far superior than holding out for 100%.
One story in particular stood out in my mind. Terry spoke about a race that he had always wanted to run. He had made it his goal that year..However, as happens, he got busy, he hadn’t found the time or put forth the level of training that he intended in order to prepare for the race. As race day approached, he decided he wasn’t going to run it because he wasn’t in shape, he hadn’t trained, he wasn’t prepared,it was supposed to rain, he didn’t have the right running clothes, conditions weren’t perfect. The morning of the race as his friends were getting ready to run Terry remembered the 80% approach. Just doing it (running the race) rather than not doing it because conditions weren’t perfect would produce results… the goal of finishing this race. He threw away the all or nothing mentality, and decided at the very last minute to run it.. in jeans….with none of the pomp and circumstance of preparation. and guess what? He didn’t come in first or second or third or anywhere near the front runners, but he completed that race and met his goal. He did it!
So I began 2015 with the goal of changing my perfectionist ways and following the 80% approach. All those ideas and aspirations that were bundled up and living inside my brain causing me restlessness.. I wanted to do them rather than agonize over them.
So I did. I stepped into my life saying in my head or even sometimes out loud “80%” as I sent emails, cleaned my house, created art journal pages, joined a fitness center, made the phone calls, took the pictures, went on the day trips, went for walks. I didn’t wait for conditions to be just right anymore. I no longer stewed with indecision. I took charge and did the things that popped up as opportunities. I thought “80%” and moved forward.
Then one day my calendar notification popped up reminding me this – “Deadline for Bella Grace Submission”. Shit. I hadn’t worked on my writing piece. I didn’t have time to edit it. The deadline was today. It wasn’t good enough.
I think you know where this is going. I could hold out until it was perfect…which would be NEVER or I could just submit my piece and call it "good enough" and call it "DONE". 80% bitches.
I tapped the keys as I wrote the email to the magazine with one of my favorite writings. A short one. A simple one. An imperfect one. All about simple goodness.. the things I really want in life. Lo and behold…… I reached high but didn’t let perfectionism stop me in my tracks. I just did it and let it go… and moved on to being 80% awesome every day.
A few months later..I received an email from the editor. Wow! from the editor of my favorite magazine. wow and smile and whoa and yes. “Andrea, I am thrilled to share the news that we are publishing your writing in the June edition of Bella Grace Magazine.” Wow again and double holy shit! My favorite magazine. I am a published writer. Someone will be grabbing a cup of tea and reading the magazine from cover to cover and they will see my name in print and they will be reading my words and doing the prompt based on my writing about what they want in life.
So yeah dudes! Can you believe it!? The 80% Approach. Game Changer.
My point is this. You may be feeling restless and you don’t even know why. All that energy bundled up inside your being, just screaming with great ideas, creativity, and aspirations. You may be sitting around and waiting for circumstances to be just right. You may be afraid of not being enough, falling short of your high expectations. It’s agony, living with things undone, paintings never painted, stories never written, ideas never materialized, passions never pursued. Perfectionism stops the flow of life and creativity. It kills progress and shames efforts. It blocks the best of us.Our gifts remaining undeveloped. Undone.
So don’t worry about having all the right tools…and the perfect amount of time….. and the best ideas. Whatever is calling you, speaking to you, intriguing you. Do not procrastinate. Do them! Do things! Perform. Create. Express. Move. Shake. Grow. Now.
I have 80% NEWS!!!! – I submitted three more of my writings to Bella Grace. Just found out last week that two of them will be featured in the winter edition of Bella Grace – coming out in December 2015!
ASSIGNMENT: What do you have stirring in your soul? It could be as simple as starting an art journal, learning to play tennis or going for a daily walk. It could be as big as flying lessons or starting a business. It’s important first to recognize your desires.
1) Grab your journal ( if you don’t have a journal start with a piece of paper (remember 80% :)) and complete this question. “What is stirring in my soul?”
2) Take a look at your list and pick one thing to begin at 80%.