Okay, I surrender. I give up. It's all because of Andre.
He had great talent and skills, yet he wasn't winning and dominating as he could. Whatever was the problem?
Andre and his manager went to Brad to find out. Brad told him flat out, you're trying to be perfect and when you fall short, it fucks with your head. "Your confidence is shot and perfectionism is the reason."
Brad is Brad Gilbert, and Andre is Andre Agassi, a professional tennis player. The incident and conversation I referenced is excerpted from Agassia auto-b, "Open". Boy, do I relate.
I have that same echo chamber of strving for perfectionism and then dooming myself when I fall. Everything, everything, is affected. Work, writing, even simple things like conversation and posting blogs. I'm looking for the perfect solution at work, the perfect short story, with perfect characters and descriptions, and the perfect debut novel. It's a bad, bad trait when you combine it with my one weakness, my insecurity, tendency to over-analyze matters, and trying to be liked by everyone and not offend anyone.
And I 'sort of' knew that this problem existed. See, I suspected it existed but I avoided thinking about it because if I didn't think about, I wouldn't need to acknowledge it's there and then I wouldn't need to address it. Of course, the only fool on that treadmill is me. It's a solitary run.
So, yes, I love the polishing but I need to quit looking for perfection in these things. Funny enough, that's what I used to counsel my teams and what I counsel my business. We can't find the perfect solution, we can't create the perfect plan, so start with a good plan and a good solution, move forward and adjust. When I'm talking to a group, I'm very at ease and impassioned with that advice, but I turn away from it when I'm talking with myself.
Just like everything else, here we go, another effort. It'll go back and forth, like dieting, my moods, determination, dieting, exercise and vows. I always say, I'm not going to give up but I give up.
I will stop trying to have everything perfect. Again, I need to remind myself, I have to take who I am and move forward. I need to release the past and my fears. I need to carve the person I want to be from the chunk of existence that I've lived so far.
I will succeed. Hell, Andre Agassi did it....
Thanks to Delanceyplace.com and their daily email service for another terrific book excerpt, and thanks to Andre Agassi for sharing his experience.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com