Anything worth doing...
Most of us hear that line and automatically think, “...is worth doing well.” Or some such thing. And sometimes, perhaps most times, that is true. Years ago I heard a homily that stuck with me. The priest finished the familiar phrase with, “...is worth doing poorly.” Not what I expected to hear, and something that my perfectionistic (and prideful) self has wrestled with and pondered over the years. I wish I knew the origin of the statement. A quick Google search attributes it to everyone from G.K. Chesterton to Zig Ziglar. Regardless, the idea still gives me reason to pause and depending on the day, I either agree whole-heartedly, or disagree vehemently.
“Done is better than perfect” is a phrase floating around the productivity world of late. Same message. Same struggle: I should always try my best, right? Of course. Shouldn’t I always put my best foot forward? Most definitely. Don’t I want to strive to be the “best-version-of-myself”? Absolutely.
What is my struggle, you ask? After much contemplation, I realize it comes down to two things: Pride and well, pride.
Pride: I like to do well in order to look good. There, I said it. I want to look good to myself, to God, to my family, to the stranger driving in the car next to me. Seriously, I need to get a grip on this pride thing! So, on the days I struggle most with this idea of allowing myself to be less-than-perfect, I am more than likely overdoing whatever it is I am doing in order to be recognized in some way.
Pride: I tend to make excuses. I tend to procrastinate. I tend to engage in negative self-talk and even the occasional bout of self-pity. These are the days I start to think, “I am not good-enough to do x, y, or z, so why bother?” It’s kind of like being on a diet or starting an exercise plan. I messed up today, so it’s all over. Nope. I can start again, do my best, even if (especially if) my best is not perfect.
More days than not, I agree: Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. These are the days I need to embrace the idea of of allowing myself the grace to try and fail. Or the grace to try and learn something new. Or the grace to try and see that the world will not fall apart, and God will still love me, and the person in the car next to me really doesn’t care if I’m saying my rosary or singing at the top of my lungs while I’m driving. (Seriously. Insert rolling of the eyes emoji here…)
What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
p.s. This song is on repeat in my car most days... :)