This week’s blog borrows from Donna Zajonc and David Emerald’s “TED Works.” As a recovering perfectionist myself, I have found this to be a powerful approach-it’s what I used when I wrote my book. I share it with you now.
“We were recently on a telephone call with a colleague, talking about a project we are working on together. At the end of the call our colleague said, “I will have the project
summary to you by the end of the week.”
His voice became stressed as he talked about what he needed to get done to finish the project outline by Friday. We said, “The is a GEFN (pronounced gef`- en) draft.” He said, “GEFN. What is that?”
We said, “GEFN stands for ‘good enough for now.'”
He started laughing and said that approach is totally contrary to his usual way of doing things. Working hard and striving for perfection has brought him professional success, but with some undue stress and anxiety.
When we shared with him that we often live by GEFN as a guide for our creating process, there was an audible sound of relief on the other end of the phone. “Thank you,” he said. “Just thinking about GEFN helps me to relax and not worry about having a perfect paper. Now I can get that draft to you by Friday and actually enjoy writing it.”
All human beings want to be creative and bring forth their best self, whether they are conscious of their Creator within or not. Our job as fellow Creators is to find ways that help reduce the stress and drama in our teams, at home and in our communities. We have found that GEFN is a tool and way of thinking that allows creativity to flow with more ease and grace.
The GEFN approach to creating can help you nurture your “inner Creator.” By not having to have everything figured out, you can more easily relax, take one Baby Step, learn, adjust and keep moving forward.
GEFN helps interrupt the dance of your internal Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ that might sound something like: “I feel like a Victim if others think anything bad about me. Therefore, I will strive to look good – even perfect – at all costs.”
Your Persecuting voice can come alive at this point, insisting that you must “get it right” and not let anyone see your work until it is perfect. Needing to have it all figured out before you begin to create is the “enemy” of learning, creativity and innovation.
Learning often requires experimentation, multiple attempts and, yes, falling short. As you engage in the creating process, you will learn and adjust with each Baby Step, even when the step fails to produce the ultimate result you want.
As a Creator, allow yourself to be vulnerable to imperfection, for that is how you learn, grow and develop. The continuous learning mindset embraces the reality of not knowing how you are going to achieve your envisioned outcomes—-which makes the perfectionist in you cringe.
By embracing GEFN, you give your inner critic a break so you can focus on what you really want to create. You will immediately feel a shift from stress and anxiety to possibility, and even fun.”
I invite you to share how you may have found GEFN works for you!