Black Lives Matter protest UK June 2020

Taking imperfect action

I’m known for saying ‘good enough is good enough’, as perfection is the enemy of progress.

Many people, including myself, struggle to move forwards with something in their business (or in their lives) as they feel it needs to be perfect before it can be revealed to the world. This might be publishing a blog post, it might be hosting a party.

It’s easy to have the perfect version of something in your head, that says exactly what you mean in perfectly understandable language, that gives exactly the impression of who you are that you want the whole world to see and approve of.

But getting it out of your head and into reality is hard. We get so tangled up in making it perfect that we forget the reason we want to do it in the first place. We just want to communicate and connect with people, and show them who we are.

When the perfect version exists in your head, the good enough version that you have in front of you doesn’t seem good enough. It seems lacking, a failure, not what you really want to say or the way you want to be seen.

This trips us up, holds us back, and stops us from making progress. We can’t convince ourselves that ‘good enough is good enough’.

So today I’m reflecting on a better way of addressing it – ‘it’s a decent start, and I’ll improve as I go on’.

That gets us going, and allows for errors and improvements. Taking imperfect action is a great start. It says ‘this isn’t exactly it, but it’s somewhere near there and I’m giving it a go’.

As the Black Lives Matter protests have grown in recent days, non-racist white people have been called upon to speak up and be publicly anti-racist. I’m one of those non-racist white people. It’s hard. What are you supposed to say?

I was tongue-tied. I was afraid to say the wrong thing. I wanted it to be perfect.

I talked to a couple of close friends, both white women in a similar situation. I realised that I had to say something, do something – anything well-intentioned and positive must be better than saying nothing at all.

So I thought carefully, made a decent start, and vowed to improve as I go along.

I’ve shared posts with reading lists and links for white people to educate themselves and be a better ally. I’ve shared posts about black people being killed in situations where white people wouldn’t even get a second glance. I’ve called out friends on social media for sharing posts that excuse police brutality.

It’s not been comfortable, it’s not been easy. But it’s a decent start. And I vow every day to improve.
Image by Patrick Behn from Pixabay

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