You Don't Have to be Perfect

“Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, ‘I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures … I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.’”

-Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Christina Gillick back again for this week’s discussion of mindset.

This quote is great for improving your mindset because it doesn’t focus on whether you succeed or not. It focuses on whether you’re willing to learn and improve or not.

A lot of people imagine success like this:

  1. Learn everything
  2. Reach perfection
  3. Set an attainable goal
  4. Accomplish the goal

But, having a fixed mindset — in which you have to learn everything and be perfect to start — will keep you in the learning phase forever.

If you study successful people, you’ll notice they have a growth mindset. Their journeys go something like this:

  1. Set a limit-stretching goal
  2. Learn enough to take action
  3. Take action despite fear
  4. Continuously improve or grow
  5. Keep repeating Steps 2-4 until the goal is achieved

No one starts out perfect. And, very few people — even those who have achieved great success — will claim to be perfect now.

We all — even six-figure copywriters and beyond — are still improving. The best practice daily. When they reach their goals, they go back to Step 1 and set new, bigger goals.

Many successful people will also say they enjoy the journey.

Here are five things to make your own journey more enjoyable:

  1. Understand that nobody knows everything. It’s impossible because there’s so much to learn — and more every day. Make a commitment to learn what you need to know to take the first step. Then take that step.
  2. Consider that practicing is one of the best ways to learn — and it’s even better when you’re getting paid. Don’t just learn how to do something, do it.
  3. Be open to opportunity. Sometimes opportunities will cross your path that you never considered before. For example, maybe you want to write sales copy for a certain company, but the only project they have at the moment is an article. Jump on it! You never know where it will lead.
  4. Celebrate each little success along the way. Each time your confidence will grow. But, of course, you have to take action to have success.
  5. Keep improving your mindset as you head towards your goals. Remember, you should always be improving — turning negative thoughts into positive ones. Any mistakes or setbacks are learning opportunities.

How is your journey going? Join the conversation here.

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Published: July 4, 2013

5 Responses to “You Don't Have to be Perfect”

  1. My current project is a definite limit-stretcher. It's a joint venture with an alternative health company. And from the outside looking in, I'm biting off more than I can chew. But I'm doing it anyway.

    Why? I'm passionate about the product, and I know I write well enough to help spread the word for my client.

    Part of me is petrified, to be honest. But with each day that passes, I gain confidence as my client and I move forward towards our goal. Very exciting stuff!!!


  2. I just began the program last week and have only reached exercise #4 but can see how this can work. I live in Costa Rica with my wife and six dogs and have co-authored 13 textbooks and written and published 2 novels in the US that have earned me NO money. I look forward to completing the course so that finally my words can give me the financial independence I have searched for for so long.


  3. Your articles are so helpful. I've been mired in inaction, battling fear in beginning this new venture into writing. I'm trying a new approach of 'just do it' and am ready to plunge in and apply for some writing projects. I don't feel that I 'know enough' yet, but maybe that's not quite right. Maybe I do know enough to just get started.
    Thanks again.

    Karen SM

  4. Your articles always seem to find me at the right time.

    Jeff Woodfork

  5. This is definitely a superb cut-to-the chase article. Painfully I admit to also have some of the "pitfalls" mentioned and I shall adopt the counter-mindsets and skills to minimize falling into them again. Thanks!

    Guest (JOHN)

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