If you read my newsletter on Friday, you know that I was in LA last week for a mastermind event. I'm still digesting alllllll the takeaways but I am sure I'll be dishing on those in the coming weeks!
Well, I went straight from the event to a mountain bike race - I literally didn't even go home first. The race was a 6 hour mountain bike race.
And at this race, I got a really great reminder about the concept of "done is better than perfect".
Now, I'm an elite-level racer and compete in endurance mountain bike races (50+ miles) several times a year. I've got a pretty good system down for the days leading up to an event. It usually involves a few light bike rides, lots of rest, hydrating, and tons of healthy food.
With traveling Tuesday - Friday leading up to the race, NONE of that happened this time. The days were full-on with all-day meetings and evening dinners and drinks. I also wore heels, which I don't do very often since I work from my house and prefer a casual non-heel look most of the time. :)
On top of that, the night before the race, we were camping, and as much as I love camping, it's not really great for a good night's sleep the night prior to a big race.
So - a LOT of not-so-perfect conditions.
I knew all this going into it, so I had absolutely NO expectations of the race going into the race except to have fun.
However, many of my friends were going to be there doing the 6 hour and the 24 hour and the race itself is just a good vibe, so I really wanted to be there.
Saturday morning, I woke up - stiff, feeling dehydrated, and just not feeling my best overall. It was looking to be a pretty warm day, which for a long race will wear on you.
I contemplated not doing it and just relaxing. However, I had already made the commitment to being there so I decided to go for it...with my only mantra that I was going to have fun.
The race started and we took off.
I felt pretty good for the first 90 minutes or so but by about the halfway point, I was definitely feeling the effects of the previous days. And at that point, I contemplated quitting after I finished that particular lap of the race.
As I came in to the area where my nutrition were at about 3 hours, 40 minutes in, my friends were waiting there to tell me that I had a 20 minute lead over 2nd place.
Wait what?! I was in first place overall!?
Here I was, feeling a bit sorry for myself for not properly preparing for the race and contemplating quitting. I was not only winning but I had had very sizable gap over the next person behind me.
So I got myself together, changed my mindset, and got back out on the course.
The rest of the race went much better than that middle section. I found ways to make it fun and focused on positive self talk to get me through. I still didn't feel great but because I shifted my mindset, it seemed less of an issue than it had earlier.
When I finished, I found out that not only had I won 1st place overall but I had beat second place by nearly 40 minutes.
I had actually doubled the gap between us in those last couple hours.
And I totally surprised myself with this because things were definitely far from perfect going into this race. Had I not shown up I never would have had the chance to push through a big race in what I consider "less-than-ideal" conditions.
And even though I didn't have ideal conditions that day, I had the following thought to myself right after finding out that I had such a huge lead....
"Of course I do. I had done all the work leading up to that weekend."
Just because a couple of days were not as ideal as I'd like, that did not mean I should scrap the whole weekend.
This totally rings true to the whole "done is better than perfect" thing.
And I used to be a HUGE perfectionist. I always had a need to have things feel 100% before doing something...racing, business, life in general.
The problem with perfectionism is that nothing is every really "perfect". Because as you get close to your vision of what perfect is, you learn more. And as you learn more, that vision of "perfect" changes.
So you end up always just chasing it but never really feeling like you've achieved it.
And if that's what is being sought after before pushing publish or taking that next step, then that action might never happen.
I know that I have not shown up for races in the past because I was afraid I would not do as well as I knew I could.
I know that early on in my business, I did not take specific actions (like finalizing my website even) because I was afraid that I didn't have the perfect text or perfect photos. Um, like it took me 6 months to push publish - and I build websites! ha!
Screw being perfect though. Nobody is perfect, even those that we idolize.
Perfectionism is just fear showing up in our lives, keeping us from really going after the things that we want. Keeping us back from really going after our dreams.
If there's something that you haven't been doing because you're waiting for that perfect moment...I encourage you to just push publish. Or do the thing.
Stop letting it hold you back any second longer. There's magic on the other side of that.
And just like I did this weekend, you might surprise yourself at how awesome it turns out.
Remember - life is short; dare to live your dreams
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