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Mindset Mondays with DTK – Ep #162 — Perfect is the enemy of … happy!

My first coach certification program included six supervision sessions where one of my coaching sessions was reviewed & critiqued by a Master Coach. My goal: get a “perfect score” as early (& often) as I could!

For that 1st supervision, I scoured through my recordings for the best possible example of my amazing (I thought) coaching skills… And I had to wade through a whole lot of remarkably average coaching.

Although the recording I submitted earned a 9 out of 10, my supervisor told me how I’d completely wasted our time together. Though there was learning for me in the critique, the real learning comes from the calls that earn a 3!

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton

I was so busy trying to look smart, look skilled, or look advanced that I squandered the real learning. For each of my remaining five supervisions, I submitted some of my most challenging coaching sessions — the ones where I struggled, where I tried to solve a problem, where I got distracted by what was said & missed what wasn’t.

The learning that came from unpacking those sessions was invaluable and made me a much better coach much faster than a string of 9s & 10s would have done.

As toddlers learning to walk, bumping into things, hitting the ground, and skinned knees taught us more about balance than slow, methodical, perfect steps ever did.

Perfection is neither the path nor the goal … and because perfection does not exist (welcome to being human!), seeking it only guarantees suffering. Making mistakes & learning from them is how we become our better selves.

Where is seeking perfection getting in your way?


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