Be a weed
Oh how we strive for perfection, an exercise in futility if ever I knew one. I know this but still I beat myself up as I fail to measure up to some unattainable standard I have set for myself.
So I presume many of us are fighting the good fight.
Why? Because we see perfection in others. Removed from the exhaustion, personal struggle, self-doubts and defeats - in a world where we very publicly celebrate all the #fabulous - we see the surface. And perfection thrives at the surface.
This month has presented me with founders thinking their plans should be perfect before they start to execute, people I see as perfect showing their vulnerability and even my own stalling in the search for a perfect way to launch The Squiggly Line.
We all do it.
So, in an offer to the gods of imperfection, I am launching #thesquigglyline today. Now.
I will get an imperfect website up, I will stumble with some imperfect first interviews and I will strive for imperfection in all I do.
Because, at its heart, The Squiggly Line stands for the power of imperfection. It stands for making that one decision that you can make now. And for making that a brave step, a big leap, into the unknown.
So here I step.
I have never heard this term in reference to being an entrepreneur. Which I find surprising. The belief we steadfastly have in our idea - despite the fact it never existed before, may never work and seems to be falling apart daily. But we dedicate our lives to it, our every waking moment, and will passionately tell you of our glorious vision for the future. Kalopsia - because delusion gets me through the day.
That thought “what if I did XYZ” occurs to all of us at some point. That idea to move, whether job, city or country or to start a business or? These are all things that, when acted on, have the ability to change our lives.
We know these big ideas when we have them. Your body feels different, you have immense clarity of thought, maybe your heart quickens?
The intuitive thought of life altering proportion feels, in some way, significant. Whether it nags at us – refusing to leave our side – or just appears/occurs to us in THAT way. It’s usually obvious when we have it.
But, to make magic happen we must step into discomfort. Harnessing the intuitive thought is where true bravery is required.
Glen Andersen nails this visually in his Flipped Classroom presentation http://www.slideshare.net/gandersen07/flipped-classroom-ucet-2014
Are you playing it safe? Or are you making magic happen?
Even Rockstars Have Bad Days
I had an unexpected outpouring of support after my last post “Today is different”.
I thought I was writing about the optimism I feel after a seemingly bad day.
Those days that challenge you and cause you to question everything. Those moments that tease you with the idea of giving up.
Apparently, it was surprising that I might ever have bad days. Which in turn surprises me, I have bad days all the time.
How we deal with the bad days is what defines us.
Sometimes the bad days do knock us back. Sometimes the bad days extend into bad weeks. When the #squigglyline seems to be delivering mostly backwards and sideways, what then? Stop. Not long enough to lose momentum but long enough to create a little time and space to absorb the pushback you are getting.
Some bad days will require you to grit your teeth, dig in, work harder. They bring out my inner street fighter, I double down. I think they call it pushing boulders uphill for a reason. Those are the days I work late, I clear my to do list, I get shit done and I create momentum by doing.
But often it’s about working smarter. There are times when the squiggles are signs that we need to slow down. My husband is a sculptor and he has taught me that, when making art, it’s more often about standing back and observing than it is about doing. Those are the days I get out and hike, do yoga or bake bread. Any activity really that takes me out of my head and allow my intuition to take over.
So, I have learned to relish the bad days. I have learned to appreciate the information they give me. That, and the knowledge that it takes the backwards and sideways to know that you are truly on the #squigglyline.
I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can.
Today is different
Yesterday was hard. I thought I had finally broken through a problem with my increasingly squiggly business. Not quite a eureka but close. I confidently strode to my meeting only to be completely beaten up by a potential investor. “I hope I didn’t beat you up too much” he says smiling. Yeah, you did. I replied. “But it’s cool, apparently we are not where we need to be yet.”
I walked home. Pissed off, frustrated, angry, deflated. I said angry right? Eventually, after giving myself a good talking to, I figured out how I was going to figure everything out.
And today, anything is possible. Even the impossible. Especially the impossible.
Because today is different. Today, anything could happen.
This Kierkegaard quote means a lot to me. Especially on those exceptionally squiggly days. Those days where a low-level of nausea seems to follow me wherever I go. Anxiety. I now take comfort from that feeling. It’s anxiety that is fueling me, keeping me on my edge, pushing me beyond the status quo. So now those (frequent) days of epic discomfort tell me I am on the right track. I am on the squiggly line.