Finding the Open Waters of Accomplishment and Success
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” ~James Neil Hollingworth
There are days when I over-think things and it seems like nothing gets done; well nothing does because I am too busy over-thinking. We’ve all been there, but how do you get around that? More importantly, in my mind anyway, is why we over-think things.
When I find myself on the USS Over-Thinking boat it’s usually because I’ve ended up on the seas of self-doubt and fear, but the good thing is when I’m there I’m never without sails and oars. The important thing is how quickly I set my sails toward success and use the oars of opportunity to gain control of the boat.
Last week I had a discussion with my boss about how perfection is the enemy of good enough and how sometimes we just have to get something out there and fix it as we go, but fixing stuff in the open can often be an intimating place, but if we stay focused on our goals, communicate our intent, and work on things in a systematic manner things will get done and pretty soon the horizon of the next project is in site.
Sometimes fear of imperfection keeps us from just doing things. Trying to bring perfection to a process can often paralyze both the person and the progress they are making. Has that happened to you or a project you’ve been working on?
I think this happens more often in open source based communities, especially when people aren’t used to doing stuff in an open and transparent manner. It takes time, reassurance, and the right tools to over-come this fear. We also have to remind each other it’s OK and we’re all in this together. Someone helped you get started, someone helped me and in turn we help others. I have yet to see where someone got flamed on an open mailing list for a dangling modifier or apostrophe abuse (though I know a few editors of mine who want to kick kittens when I’ve done that in the past), so don’t worry so much about if your email, or IRC chat, or comment is perfect, just jump in there and start communicating, collaborating and contributing. The only way to get better and make progress is by just doing it.
Whether it is getting back into the gym, starting a new job, trying something new, getting involved in a new project or more – just do it – and pretty soon you’ll find yourself on the open waters of accomplishments and success with new adventures on your horizon.