What I am learning from Microblogvember
Microblogvember is a challenge that is taking place on the micro.blog platform through the month of November 2019. Each day Jean MacDonald, Community Manager at micro.blog, uses a random word generator to get the prompt for that day, which she then shares with the micro.blog community. Those taking part must then write a post containing the word.
I decided to take part. Why?
The short answer is because I wanted the challenge that would push me to post each day. As this is a micro.blog, I do not have to produce a post any longer than 280 characters. However, as someone who can very easily silence himself by wanting to “sound good”, or in other words post the perfect post, the character length does not necessarily make things any easier.
I can take a few days over a blog post. There can be nothing wrong with that. I write, edit, fine tune and finally post. However, more often than not I extend that process by too much, simply because I am not happy with how I am expressing myself. I edit and fine tune, edit and fine tune, edit and fine tune, etc, etc.
Author and researcher Brené Brown says of perfectionism1,
“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It’s a shield. Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking ﬂight.”
Perfectionism is a block to the world that I want to create or offer. As long as my words do not see the light of day, the thoughts and ideas that I want to share will also never see the light of day. As long as I do not allow myself to publish a post, I do not get the opportunity to improve my writing through practice. Words might come out messy, my expression could be fine tuned here or there, but unless I allow myself to be vulnerable and speak to where I am in that moment, I will not be able to move beyond that moment. I will be stuck.
Commitment - Stepping Beyond Perfectionism
A commitment to Microblogvember asks me to step out of my comfort zone and just post. I post using today’s word today, as tomorrow will be tomorrow’s word. I play with the word in my head to come up with a context that I might use it. Next I play with two or three sentences in Drafts, and then post it.
Today, November 15, the challenge has reached the halfway point and I am happy to say that I have posted everyday. My plan is to make it to the finishing line. My hope is to take my experience from this challenge into my longer blog posts, and see a quicker turn around with them, from idea to post.
Where is perfectionism blocking you in your life? What small step can you take to step beyond perfectionism?