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June 07, 2009


Bonnie, you express yourself beautifully. I talked to my mother-in-law just this weekend about how we see so much that is good around us and in others, but when we turn the lenses in our own eyes on ourselves, we see flaws and imperfections. Why do we do that? I'm trying so hard not to be critical of myself, but I was guilty just today, of that very thing.

Loved this, Boonie! I miss hearing all your insights and comments on the Resolutionary group. It's great that you are taking your writing a step further in the publication process. Good for you!!

Loved It. Atta Girl Bonster! Keep up the good work -
Allison in Utah

I feel like this so very often! Not only in the things I try to do, but also in the life I try to live. Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to find joy everyday that it becomes a task.. a chore. I am currently trying to figure out how to settle into a balance.

Perfectionism kept me from delighting in too many things for too many's a very hard lesson to learn. With time I've come to enjoy the creating, even if it's not perfect, and even laugh at utter imperfection (like my s'more pie experiment). I hope this evolution of mine is helping my kids be braver than I was not in the not too distant past.

Bonnie, I LOVE your bravery and sense of adventure as you face a new phase of life.... Enjoy & Very best wishes to you! Remember that you've got RC friends cheering you on:)

Honestly I don't face fear too much any more. That sounds weird, I know. I just don't fuss about or fear about much, but maybe that will change? Likely not. I just dont have time, literally. Fear takes too much time.
Around the time I hit 40 (I am 47 or 46, can't remember?) I became liberated from fear, not all of a sudden, but gradually.
I just go after things with gusto, delight in any activity I do, even if not perfected (what is perfection, is it not doing things with "perfect delight"?). I don't know what caused the change, because I would let perfectionism or fear get in the way for many years. It might have been seeing my mother on her death bed. I may have determined that life is too short to let fear get in the way. My mom was a great example. She faced challenges head on, her career and her cancer. In the three years she was sick her assets under management (she was a financial planner) doubled. Some might cut back their business during an illness, she doubled it. She hoped to get better, or at worst have a strong business that would leave a legacy and nest egg for her children.
I do wonder if I might face a challenge that brings out real fear in me. Mostly challenges invite my participation, doing with perfect delight!
Keep going Bonnie, atta girl!

first, i saw an early draft of this and i love how you have flushed it out and focused your thoughts. really lovely writing mom!

second, i struggle a lot with accepting that place between my imagination and my best efforts. i don't want to write "an" article, i want to write "THE" article. i don't want to make "some" craft, i want to make "THE" project that would make martha stewart green with envy! sometimes my desire to do something big (and my fear that it won't turn out) prevents me from working on the things that i really care about.

my solution for when i start feeling like i have to do it now and it has to be perfect is to focus less on outcomes, but rather on the fact that i am doing something. i am taking baby steps. while i've yet to achieve some of the big things i've imagined, i'm moving and in the right direction! for right now i am just going to let myself be proud of that.

Many years ago, I had a friend who used to say, "Nothing is worth doing unless you do it perfectly." Wow. That's the PERFECT way to make sure you never get anything done.

Firstly, who says what perfect is? I find that it's almost always characteristics that someone else is defining for me. Secondly, when you put yourself out there, someone is not going to like what you do. It could be "perfect," but someone out there will still hate it because we are all entitled to singular tastes and preferences.

For these reasons, it's essential to throw off the fetter of perfectionism - it's a complete illusion - or even more accurately, it's a lie.

It's interesting how this is turning into a discussion on perfection and its crippling effects. I loved Dana's idea of doing it with perfect delight. Where does that idea of not being enough come from? What does enough mean to you? What has you done that you just felt so satisfied with the outcome? When did you stand still like God and say: "It is perfect"?

Bonnie, this is so inspiring, your story and the comments posted. I'd been feeling like Josh, but I'm going to go write "perfect delight" on my mirror and let it guide me!

This was a very insightful and well written thought! I just heard this week about a study they did on the brain, recording what happened to the brain when successes were achieved, as well as failure occurred. Interestingly, the brain grew a bit more during failures. If we try and fail, we work so hard figuring out what we could do better to be successful it's just as positive as succeeding. When I heard this, it made trying all those new things out in the world that are available a little less scary.

Amy -

This study sounds quite interesting, and definitely worth exploring. Would you be willing to track down where you saw this and share it with us?

Bonnie-I loved the parallel of your little boy recognizing his skill deficiency and feeling real frustration. I find I don't delight in that experience..but I do delight in the step by step mastery of new skills, abilities, and experience. But, as adults we rarely get to yell "I did it!" like kids do. That is pure delight.

I love this discussion! I think that the perfectionism we all tend toward is probably the reason we feel overwhelmed so often. I have that in my world, caused by my own expectations. I'm really liking the idea of approaching life like a 2-year old. That sounds fun! (and maybe a little dangerous)

I love the idea of learning to "accept the space that lies between imagination and my best efforts." I'm extremely good at envisioning wonderful things - and I get very attached to my ideas of how things should be. Then when reality doesn't quite line up with what I envisioned, it's hard not to get all bent out of shape. Thank you for the reminder that we need to learn to be content with our best efforts. And we need to accept that the journey is often more important than the result. I'd love to have you become a contributor to my website - The Power of Moms. Your perspective would be a great addition. Please check out the website and let me know if you're interested!

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  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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