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I’m sure we all have experiences every day where things just didn’t turn out as we expected. It seemed like we had the “perfect plan” but somewhere along the way or along the day, we simply didn’t cross the expected finish line. Sometimes we overthink what really needs to be done or set such demanding standards that we are doomed before we even start.


“If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all.”

“If I can’t be the winner, I won’t even compete.”

“If I can’t be sure I will do it right, I won’t even start.”


Maybe you have noticed—these strategies don’t really work very well.

We end up frustrated, discouraged, and depressed.


Why do we expect perfection?

Why do we add such a burden?

Why do we cheat ourselves of otherwise satisfying experiences?


The truth is – life is not perfect.

So why do we waste so much physical time and emotional energy trying to achieve it? We put off doing so much because we are afraid that we just won’t do it perfectly enough. After all, we keep such good account of our failures.


I love Ann Voskamp’s wise observation:

May I suggest that we summon the courage to try again. Give yourself permission to do something imperfectly! Allow your children to fold their own clothes. Let your husband load the dishwasher. Quickly run the sweeper without moving every piece of furniture. Wear something that doesn’t match.


Make your “to do” list one more time. Don’t berate yourself for what you didn’t get done yesterday. Take a deep breath and make a fresh list. Maybe half of what was on yesterday’s list really wasn’t important anyway.


Embrace each day as a fresh opportunity.  Ask for wisdom and courage to do what is truly most important for you and your family. That may be an entirely different list every day. That is OK.


Only you know your circumstances and needs.

Only you know the desires of your heart.

Only you know the goals for your life.


Please don’t compare what you accomplish to anyone else. The measure of your life is uniquely you. Don’t complain. Don’t apologize.


I will confess that I am a paper person! I like written notes, receipts, and files. I make extra copies. I like paper calendars and planners. I like to read books and magazines. My office has an abundance of paper! It is a personal challenge to keep my work space clear and tidy.  One thing that has helped me the most is to use full tab file folders. This gives me the entire width of the file folder for my label—which I usually just hand write. That may not seem like a big deal, but just think how often we put off filing papers because we can’t decide on a label that will fit the tiny tab! I have stadium files across the back of my desk which eliminate sloppy piles (usually!) in my work area. It won’t be featured in any fancy magazine spread. It’s not perfect, but it works just fine for me.


So don’t let the monster of perfection ruin your day. Keep trying! 



What’s something that you’re trying again these days? Tell me about it in the comments below! 

Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

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