Bad Photos, Missed Deadlines...

 
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Recently, I was talking with a therapist who I was working with as part of the Personalized Mentoring Program.

She was telling me how much she liked my website and how she was inspired but also discouraged because hers could never be that "good."

People are always very complimentary about my website, and that makes my heart fill with gratitude because I worked so hard on it, and continue to do so.

Her comment made me think back a couple of years to when I was going through the process of building my first "real" site. I shared with her what I'm about to share with you.

The whole project started in 2010 when my husband, Ranald, launched WhatsOnWilmington, a website dedicated to building community in Wilmington, NC by giving folks up-to-the-minute information about what is going on in and around the city.

By going through the process of building a first-rate site, I realized that my little Oasis Center site had the potential to be a much better resource for people who are looking for solutions to their pain.

Fast-forward to January, 2011, when I started working on the site in earnest. It was a new year. I was refreshed and ready to get started. I mean, how hard could my little site be?

That's when I was served my first piece of humble pie.

It turns out that no matter the size of your project, when it's something that comes from the heart, it takes time, courage, and consideration to birth it.

When I worked with my designer and told her my ideas, I had no idea that she would take those ideas and create a visual space 100 times better than what I could visualize in my wildest, most creative moments!

Once I had the design, I spoke to my programmer, and he gave me the capability to transfer the design to the web, and to change the information on the site whenever I needed to.

It was going to be so easy! All I needed to do now was to have a couple photos taken of me doing CranioSacral Therapy, and I'd be all set. Some wonderful friends were hijacked into being both model and photographer, and we had a blast taking all the shots for the site. We took so many shots, as a matter of fact, that I was convinced we would be able to get more than we needed for the site.

Here came my second helping of humble pie.

The photos my friend took are wonderful, great photos, but here's the kicker. It turns out I'm no longer 20 years old. You know how it happens -- you're just going along doing your thing, thinking that you haven't really changed much in the last 25 years or so, and then you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror or window, or in this case, in a bunch of photos, and there's no denying it. You're human! Just like everyone else! You're aging! Aack!

Alas.

Well, I was really mature about this discovery, finding fault with just about every photo we took. "My face looks fat in this one. My hair is flipping out in that one." On and on it went, which is really not like me. I'm usually fine with photos. (At least I was when I was 20.)

I was pretty discouraged because I had set myself a deadline for having the site launched (more on that in a minute) and it was approaching rapidly. I was miserable as I imagined myself answering questions like, "How's the website coming?" with a ridiculous, "Oh, it's on hold because I look weird in my photos."

Something had to give.

In my gloom, I remembered words attributed to Voltaire:

"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

I reflected on it for a long time, and thought, "You know what, Mindy? As goofy as you look, that's you. That's real. That's what it's all about. Do you want to help people? Or do you want to be neurotic about a few photos? Get it together and get it out there."

So, I took a deep breath, and went to town writing the copy for the site. I knew this wouldn't take long because I like to write, I have experience with writing, and I was even using some copy from the old site. Easy, right?

Nope, more humble pie.

The deadline I set for myself came and went, and I began a general freak-out because I missed a deadline. Now, don't forget, this was an artificial deadline I set for myself. It had no impact on anything at all.

Again, I went back to Voltaire's words and realized that even as a Virgo, I needed to give perfection a rest. I was doing my best, I was doing good work, and I needed to relax and go easy on myself.

I bet some of this may sound familiar to you. We get so busy trying for perfection that we forget the good we do. Just because we don't live up to our outrageously high standards, doesn't mean that we don't have a wonderful, positive impact on the world. And we tend to be a lot less kind to ourselves than we are to others.

If you are working on something big, or just getting through your day, be gentle with yourself, and remember,

"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

It might help you pass up a couple of servings of humble pie.