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Lewis Howes

Be Patient, Not Perfect

Patience > Perfection

I want to start off this episode with one of my favorite quotes: “Don’t be perfect. Be Patient.”

I think there’s a lot of people out there who are constantly putting so much pressure on themselves to be perfect every single day. I was coaching some students a few days ago, and this was the common theme. A lot of them said, “I’m just not where I want to be. I see everyone else doing these big, great things. And I feel like I’m so far behind, and I have these dreams, but I haven’t accomplished them yet. I’m putting all this pressure on myself to be perfect, and it’s just not happening.”

I’m telling you that at this moment in history, it’s going to be tough to get to a place of perfection. And that’s why you have to change the way you think about your life because you never want to let “perfection” kill your dreams or hold you back.

Listen, I want to be perfect at everything I do as well. But I can’t let that cripple me, and I don’t ruminate in the fact that I’m not achieving everything perfectly every single day because I’ll drive myself nuts. My mental, emotional, and physical health will take a toll if I think that way. So I’m always striving to be better and improving, but I focus on the small wins and processes.

Did I show up today? Did I do the things that will help me move faster? Am I making a positive impact, even if it’s a small one?

On this 5-Minute Friday, I want to talk about the importance of patience and how I keep perfection from killing my dreams.

“Don’t be perfect, be patient.” @lewishowes  

The idea that you’re not where you want to be right now can hold you back. The worrying makes you stand still, and you lose the opportunity to make your situation better. So here’s my first piece of advice for you: Appreciate the small wins every day.

Focus on accomplishing a couple of things a day. Because if you load your to-do list with hundreds of tasks, you don’t actually accomplish anything. Appreciate the small wins, and celebrate yourself every day because you’re getting closer and closer to your dreams. Then ask yourself, “What could I do better tomorrow?” Notice this is different from saying, “I’m not good enough. I’m a failure.” This is how you constantly improve without chasing perfection.

Each year, I’m always thinking about three big goals, so make sure to put those big goals out there as well. And then I reverse engineer and think backward every single month, every week, every day, on what I need to do. Who do I need to become? What skills do I need to create? How do I need to love myself? I let go of the past and heal.

The more I focus on being perfect, the more I won’t achieve anything. And I’ll constantly be ruminating in the past and saying, “Why didn’t I do more?” You’ve got to let that go. That’s killing your spirit. It’s killing your soul, and it’s killing your dreams. So set a few big goals for yourself in a timeframe. I like to give six to 12 months, then focus on what I am going to do every single day that’s going to bring me joy.

You don’t need to be perfect — just adjust and move forward. It takes patience, but patience is better than perfection. I hope this encourages you today!

Join me on Episode 1,005 to learn why we need to be patient and not perfect!

“Never let perfectionism kill your dreams, hurt you, or hold you back.” @lewishowes  

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Next Galaxy by Extan

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