I am not a perfectionist. At all. If I was I wouldn’t leave my clothes on the floor. Or wait until the last minute to write papers. Or eat McDonald’s every day.
I am the queen of Good Enough.
Even when I started The Shred, my standard of good enough shone through. I made Mark take “before” pics (can you have before without an after? wouldn’t this just be an “is” pic?) of me in my bathing suit so that I would be motivated to change. Except that when I saw the “before” pic I was all “Dude, check this out, I’m hot.” Sure, I have love handles and bulges and cankles, but other than that? Shoot, I am ready for the cover of Maxim in my opinion.
Perfection just isn’t in my vocabulary.
For most of my life I’ve wished I was a perfectionist. Because perfectionists care. Perfectionists make sure the words are straight on poster board presentations. Perfectionists take showers. Daily.
And then last week I realized something. I put together a premarital education workshop that was FAR from perfect. It was thrown together. Lots of great information, sure. But it didn’t flow the way I wanted it to. I didn’t have all the handouts I wish I had. The setting wasn’t exactly how I want it to be. But it served its purpose and couples are, hopefully, going to be a little bit better prepared for marriage.
I’m learning that my inability to care about perfection may just be the luxury that so few people have, especially perfectionists. I have the luxury of falling forward. I’ve given myself complete permission to be average, so-so, decent in exchange for the promise of always making each workshop better than the last. Going ahead and getting something out there means that I have something to work with.
So for as long as I’m trying to build this thing I call the Nashville Marriage Studio, I’m going to count my lack of perfectionism as a strength. Now, if I decide to become a tattoo artist that’s a whole other story…
UPDATE: Ok. So it’s come to my attention that I didn’t make some important things clear.
First, I was not unprepared for this workshop. I’ve been sitting on tons of great information for months simply waiting to get motivated to share it with my tiny portion of the world. There is no doubt that I know what I am talking about and that I shared it in an easy to digest way.
Second, here are some specific ways that I intend to improve the workshop. I originally wrote the handouts the way I like handouts which is pretty bare and I get to write in the information that is important to me. I do not like it when handouts have everything the speaker is going to say printed on them because it feels like you’re just reading on. Some people, however, like having all this information to take home and read over later. I plan on respecting that learning style more and preparing a “handbook” of sorts to go WITH the workshop that can be read later.
I am also planning to lay the workshop out in a way that creates the sense that couple’s questions are getting answered. I felt that I presented tons of information without taking the time to think “What question is this information answering?” I plan on going through the information next time in more of a “question answer” format.
The setting was FAR from what I wanted. The company I work for has allowed me to use office space for counseling sessions and workshops. It isn’t the most attractive place and not what I have in my imagination for where I want future workshops to be held. But nothing beats free. In the future I would love to host this workshop at a hotel or one of the small coffee shops in Nashville. Unfortunately, these are not possibilities right now.
These are the areas that I believe the workshop could be improved. Not necessarily in the presentation or the information provided. I am sorry that I did not make that clear.
Third, I only received extremely positive feedback afterwards. And nearly everyone asked when the next one was so that they could tell their such-and-such about it. If anything, I think my fun, entertaining, pop culture oriented (Jon and Kate’s drama helped immensely to bring everyone to the same page on what I was taking about avoiding), and young approach to these counseling topics make it immensely more likely that these couples will be open to future counseling because they realize that therapists do not have to be old fuddy-duddy sticks in the mud.
Oh and this is the post that “inspired” me to write this post. http://48daysblog.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/get-it-out-the-door-now/