Leonard Cohen quote

This says it all. It’s our mistakes and errors that allow the light in! Ahh, I think I can relax a bit now. I hope you can too.


How Being Imperfect Is Perfect

I don’t think anyone has been able to avoid knowing that my second book on color has just been unveiled. I’m so excited about this volume, and if I have overdone my introduction to it, hopefully I can be forgiven – because with 25 contributing professionals, the energy around this book has been so amazing!

But here’s the thing: there are plenty of errors still in the book in spite of having it professionally edited, in spite of reading and rereading the book several times, in spite of having several of poreover the copy time and again looking for errors. There are punctuation errors, grammar errors, spelling errors and on and on….

How can that happen? Well, you know what they say: Stuff Happens. And indeed, in spite of trying my best, the book is not perfect. It has helped that people have reminded me that there is no such thing as a perfect book. Or a perfect anything for that matter.

I believe that to be true. In spite of all our efforts, there is generally something, however small, that keeps things from being perfect. The Amish make a deliberate mistake in their art because they feel that no one and nothing is perfect except God and God’s creations. They feel it would be too presumptuous for anything that a human makes to be perfect, so they deliberately make it imperfect.

That got me thinking about how hard so many of us who tend toward perfectionism try to be perfect and what a strain that is.

There are some areas of my life in which I am completely content to be imperfect, but more areas in which I tend to strive for perfection. Really? How presumptuous of me!

So where and why did this drive for perfection start? To be noticed, even though I was safely tucked away in the middle of 3 children of the same gender? To live up to my high personal standards for myself? To be as good as I could be to please my parents and grandparents?

I’m not really sure.

What I do know is that my journey has included a great deal of letting go. And one thing I have had to let go of is the disappointment and shame I feel when I am not perfect or do not produce a perfect whatever (book, dinner, clean desk – fill  the blank).

I am sharing this to let you know that if you also have a drive for perfection or if you ever feel you have let yourself or someone important to you down because the results were not perfect …

You are not alone.

In fact, I recently received a delightful email newsletter about embracing imperfection from Enchanting Marketing’ Henneke Duistermaat.

Henneke, a wise, engaging author, instructor, illustrator and marketing guru, graciously allowed me to include the art that accompanied her recent email. (That’s her drawing at the top of the page. Thanks, Henneke!)

Subscribe to Henneke’s newsletter to get free content marketing and copywriting tips (and more of her charming illustrations)!


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