I’m in the middle of reading Marie Forleo’s new book Everything is Figureoutable, and last night this line popped out at me: take small steps, avoid big drama. She writes, “Perfectionism loves drama. You’ll start to notice that even before you’ve taken any steps toward fulfilling a dream, perfectionism will chime in with endless, berating questions. Is my business idea even any good? How will I get it going? What if I fail? What if I SUCCEED?”
In my work with clients, I see this kind of perfectionism drama 👏🏼 ALL 👏🏼 THE 👏🏻 TIME. Drama seems like a judgemental word, and that’s not how I see my clients – it’s not like they’re trying to stir shit up or be dramatic!! Heck, I myself go through this perfectionism drama all the time. But the drama is real, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a dark cloud of existential angst crop up right before someone is about to make a breakthrough.
Austin Kleon has a great phrase: “Don’t think too much after dinnertime,” which I’ve always mentally translated to “no existential thoughts after dinnertime.” It’s a wise rule, because it reminds us that there are better times to worry than others, that daylight helps us solve problems, that we are less effective when we’re tired.
I like that Marie is saying something similar when it comes to projects. If I could paraphrase this idea for me, I’d say: don’t think too much after deciding. Once you’ve chosen your path, thought through all the pros and cons, and made your decision, stop re-evaluating the idea. Stop questioning it. Stop tearing your hair out. Just commit to taking small steps, tiny steps, baby steps, every single day.
As she writes, “Real change is practically invisible as it’s happening. Meaningful progress doesn’t feel particularly exciting.” But small steps and small drama are the only ways to make things happen. Keep your drama smaller than your steps, and you’ll be fine.