I’m the world’s very worst sports fan. Meaning, I’m not a sports fan. I don’t follow it, and am so utterly ignorant about the whos and whats of sport it’s embarrassing. In fact, it’s been a concern of mine since, well, as long as I can remember, standing there swaying in the bleachers at Boston College, or at someone’s Superbowl party, feeling truly alien, or that I was missing some kind of vital gene that makes you American, or human.

My own personal sports history is just as pathetic: Years of staring into space out in left field during girls softball in grammar school; a few basketball flashbacks from junior high that make even the shellac-smell of a high school gym panic-inducing.

So don’t ask why on God’s earth at this age I would take up touch football. But I have.

Why I Took Up Touch Football

I did so because of a few reasons: One, because I was invited—more than once. My improv friends from the Magnet theater all signed up to play a year ago and I said, “Have fun you guys!” And more than once they dropped that I was the only one of our friends who didn’t play. Why?

touch-footballI couldn’t say because I am personally terrible at sports, which would be a good enough reason if it were true. But it’s not. In fact, I’m quite athletic and competitive. I have danced, done yoga, run, worked out for years and years. I’m fit, flexible, strong.

The real reason I declined initially is that I’m embarrassed, and afraid. I suffer from persistent and ruthless imposter syndrome, and if you could be arrested for being a sports imposter, the Feds would be on me the minute I stepped onto the football field.

But why I ultimately decided to just do it was because my last excuse I held onto? The team plays on Sundays. And that’s when I get work done.

Work? Is that my excuse? Because when I heard myself say it, even I couldn’t let myself get away with that. I recognized all the hang-ups in my head had nothing to do with football at all. They were about beliefs I had about people who played:

–They all have been playing with their brothers since high school

–They have to love/watch/follow said sport to do it.

–That they all know something I don’t, and thus must be better than me.

So, the reason I can’t play touch football is because: I don’t have a certain kind of history; I don’t have brothers; and everyone’s better than me? Those are similar excuses to the ones I don’t do LOTS of things. It’s made. up. shit.

I’ll add that as a self-employed professional, I don’t need more to stay home. I need more reasons to leave! And to get out and do something physical. And be around people whom I like and who like me and are begging me to play.

So, I’m in.

Game Day

The first thing I realized is that I didn’t get the football glove memo. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as football gloves, and instantly I knew I would fail without them. I looked around; everyone, every girl, every guy seemed to have them. Oh god, I’m such a fraud. I reassured myself that in fact if I HAD had them, I would have felt like even more of an asshole because WHO THE FUCK AM I TO HAVE FOOTBALL GLOVES WHEN I’VE NEVER EVEN CAUGHT A FUCKING FOOTBALL.

My team is the most lovely, fun, friendly group of people you could ask to baptize you into the world of football. And so that relieved the intimidation factor.

Since I know nothing about the terms of the game, save for what to do, where to run, and the difference between offense and defense, I can’t even give you a play by play of my first game. Except that it involved a lot of running in one direction and quickly changing directions, and several near-misses with Andre, a runaway train who certainly would have flattened me if I’d been an inch to the left.

Worth Getting Out There

Here’s what I learned my first day on the field: To get out of people’s way and into others’. No one threw me the ball and so my no-gloves was a non issue. I ran like hell and chased women who were so fast it was like I was trying to catch a deer on foot. I panted and sweated. I may have peed myself a little.

But what I was relieved to discover is that regardless of how I felt out there being a fraud, no one’s looking at me or caring who I did or didn’t play touch football with growing up or whether I have brothers or skipped this year’s Superbowl entirely. Everyone’s focused on one thing: the ball. That’s it.

I completed my first game, which my team won, with no help or harm from me. I suffered no injuries, though I will add that I’m sore in places that puzzle me. My groin and leg muscles, ok. But why my shoulders are sore, I’ll never know.

So, Get Out There

I tell you this is because there’s a reason people use terms like “play the field” and talk about “putting yourself out there.” This harmless game (though I worry that I’ll lose teeth) is nothing more than a metaphor for going out and doing a thing. There’s no reason I can’t learn and play and get better and enjoy myself out on a Sunday, and feel, if for a fleeting moment, that I’m in a real-live beer commercial.

And there’s no reason you can’t, either.

It’s fun to see yourself doing something you never thought you would. Whether that’s asking someone on a date or showing up to one, gunning for a job above your pay grade, or trying some completely alien activity for the first time. But you can’t have the experience if you don’t shut out the negative, critical voice in your head. The one that tells you you’re a joke before you ever even try.

You can feel like an ass, an imposter, a fool. But show up. Do it. You may not win every time, but every time you let fear get in the way, it’s a guaranteed forfeit.

 

 

If you’re not online dating, you’re not dating. Period.

I meet and work with people all the time who want to “get back into dating,” but don’t know how. I ask, “Have you put your profile up online?”

“Um, no.” Why? I’d guess that 80 percent of the time, they blame their age. No matter what age they are. Online dating can be really fun, especially if you check out these 55 Really Good Dares to play with your date!

You’re Not Too Old

o-OLD-PEOPLE-SMILING-facebook

Even this guy could get a date if he wanted to.

If you think online dating is just “what the kids are doing nowadays,” you’re 100 percent wrong. The New York Times reported in 2011 that people 55 years and older are flocking to online dating sites in droves, more than any other age group, up 39 percent from the three previous years. Scores of niche dating sites have cropped up— SilverSingles, SeniorPeopleMeet, OurTime. I promise you, you don’t have to brush up against frat boys in your search for a decent date.

(Though I will say it’s odd that 2 of the 3 I just mentioned feature women riding men piggy back. I don’t know what the means, but I will be giving it some thought.)

Stop shrinking your life

I know a woman in her late 60s who has just decided she doesn’t want to travel abroad anymore. Period! That’s it! What next? She shouldn’t leave the state? Her town? Her house? Her comfort zone is rapidly shrinking around her for no good reason except that she’s starting to give up and close in on herself. Now, you don’t have to fly to Dubai to feel young, certainly, but why would you self impose limits that don’t need to be there?

You have years ahead of you. A passion and curiosity about the world. And, hello, an active and thriving libido that shouldn’t be put in cold storage. Just because you didn’t grow up with a thing doesn’t mean you’re just not supposed to use it. Otherwise there’d be a lot of people without refrigerators, central heating, or televisions.

My guess is that you wouldn’t use the age excuse for ANYthing else that has to do with getting something you want online. You wouldn’t say, “Oh no, I can’t possibly buy those shoes on Zappos. Women my age? We go to the mall.”

You wouldn’t be afraid to read on a Kindle for fear someone would call you out on it (“Margaret. Really? Don’t you think you’re a little old for e-ink?”).

The real fact is, if you’re being honest, you don’t really think you ‘can’t’ use online dating. It’s that not using it is a great excuse to stay single and wonder where all the cowboys have gone. It’s a hell of a lot easier to complain than it is to do something to create change, to put yourself at risk of rejection or disappointment, which I think you should more of. And what you risk is bigger than being hurt (again, which yes, could happen), but of not living the way you want, or meeting someone you might like a whole lot.

You’ve lived long enough to know that you can survive most things, and have. You’re going to let an imaginary idea about your age dictate what you will and won’t do?

Young people fear online dating, too

Plenty of women in their 20s—mere babes!—resist online dating as well, for reasons that are just as imaginary, and yes, also have to do with their age.

Take Ivy, an incredibly funny and sharp 22-year-old I know who told me she isn’t seeing anyone at all and would love to. But she believes she shouldn’t “have” to use online dating.

Shouldn’t have to? You’d think I was telling her to start wearing Depends to save a trip to the bathroom or install one of those chairs that zips you up the stairs.

That’s like saying I shouldn’t have to have a bank account because I’ve got a perfectly good mattress for keeping my money in.

Ivy DID grow up in the internet age, and is quite comfortable using it for any and everything. I asked her, “Do you not post your resume on LinkedIn or job sites because you should just be able to meet potential employers on the street?” Of course not. You do both. Online dating, as with everything else we do to connect outside of being in front of someone, is a tool, a resource, and another powerful way to do what you want to do: Meet someone.

Ivy believes since she’s young and lives in a big city, she should just, I don’t know, stumble into attractive, available guys at every turn. But live in New York for a few weeks and you’ll see that isn’t as easy as it seems.

I told her that she doesn’t have to think of it as “giving in” to online dating, but as a supplement to what she’s doing to meet people already. Think of it as a way to gain momentum around dating and meet LOTS of people, instead of just hoping to meet The One everywhere she goes (talk about pressure).

>Your self-consciousness is what’s dated

People regarded online dating with considerable suspicion…in 1995. With good reason. No one knew what it meant. Now we do. And if you want to date yourself, hanging onto that suspicion is a good way to do it.

Beware, too, the “principles” you stand on around online dating, which are as much a joke as “age” as a reason. Consider Louise, a woman in her 50s who told me she refused to date online because “of all the lying.”

The lying? Wha? Have you MET a real-life human? I credit the internet with a lot of things, but being the secret lair of liars isn’t one of them. Someone is either a liar or he isn’t, and I guarantee they’re as likely to be at a bar as they are online.

You’re not too young to date online. You’re not too old to use it. (And you’re not too fat, either.) Stop blaming the technology—or this fear that only creepy stalkers and predators await you.

The sooner you stop using your age as an excuse, the sooner you can stop using excuses altogether. Because if you haven’t noticed, they’re doing you no favors. They don’t help you live a better life; they keep you stuck in the one you’re in.

Is your love life the romantic equivalent of a suburb? All plotted and predictable bits of grass and Sometimes-I’m-in-the-woods…shrubbery; quiet, controlled, and so boring you want to blow your brains out? Time to leave the suburbs—and head into the woods.

This lesson comes to you by way of an unlikely source: Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods.” The main story line is this: a childless baker and his wife, in a land far far away, are sent into the woods by a witch who promises to lift the childless curse she put on them if they bring back a few ingredients. Sort of like a very dramatic, life-or-death errand run. And it will require bravery, brains, and a little trickery to get it done.

The baker is a nice enough guy, but he’s a victim—of a spell, of circumstance (none of this is his ‘fault,’ etc). Not the manliness of men. But all of that changes when he heads into the woods, which, here and in every other fairy tale, represent all that is dangerous and risky and unpredictable about the world and ourselves.

The baker’s wife follows her husband into the woods and is struck by what she sees. She sings in “It Takes Two”:

You’ve changed.
You’re daring.
You’re different in the woods.
More sure.
More sharing.
You’re getting us through the woods.

You’ve changed.
You’re thriving.
There’s something about the woods.
Not just
Surviving.
You’re blossoming in the woods.

She’s getting hot for him again, plain and simple. Not only because he’s being decisive and exhibiting a stronger, more manly appeal, but because, well, they’re not where they were. They’re not stuck in their little hovel with their same old worries and habits and flaws. They have risen to a new occasion.

At home I’d fear
We’d stay the same forever.
And then out here-
You’re passionate
Charming,
Considerate,
Clever…

The woods has tested their relationship, and revived it. Then, together they go and rip off poor Jack by trading him five magic beans for his aging cow. But that’s another story.

My point is this: We spend so much time seeking comfort, order, predictable assurance in our lives and our relationships that we mistakenly beat back what remains of the woods with a lawnmower, and call it adulthood.

In her fantastic book Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel tells us that “the challenge for modern couples lies in reconciling the need for what’s safe and predictable with the wish to pursue what’s exciting, mysterious, and awe-inspiring.”

We expose the deliciously dark shadows of mystery and domesticate every last bit of wild within us. Responsibility. Maturity. And with it goes our wilder, untamed, but undeniably exciting nature, our lustiness, our sensuality, and our passion.

Here’s how to get back into the woods:

  • Embrace uncertainty. One of my colleagues, Matthew Walker, coach and author of Adventure in Everything, teaches this concept in his workshops. He says that what we endeavor to do in our lives, careers, and relationships is made that much more rewarding if it has an uncertain outcome. Meaning: When you only go after what has a certain, predictable result, you don’t get a fraction of the fulfillment from it. If you’re single like me, it means throwing yourself in the dating wilderness and seeing it not as a chore or a dreaded, horrible thing, but as an adventure.
  • Explore fantasy. This is what Fifty Shades of Grey did for hundreds of thousands of wives (and husbands, too). It didn’t have to be a literary masterpiece to do what it did: Lured people into the woods of their erotic imaginations. Sure it felt a little wrong–that’s why it worked. Those who enjoy the erotic content of things like 50 Shades and sites like https://www.fulltube.xxx/ may want to delve deeper into the world of erotic fiction. Erotica is one way to do it, but even more fun is talking about your own darker urges, and possibly trying them out for real.
  • Go somewhere a little risky. Skip the tame pool-side excursion and opt for an adrenaline-inspired adventure (whether it’s literally hiking thru the woods, or rock climbing, etc). You need to be somewhere vastly different than you’ve been. You may bring the partner you have known, but he (or she) may look a little different on the journey. A friend of mine goes away with her husband to far-flung places like Egypt and Peru every year. Seeing him in unfamiliar settings and sharing adventures keeps their relationship alive.If you’re single, take a solo trip. The sheer adventure of travel opens you up to all kinds of romantic interludes.
  • Create some distance. Perel writes, “There’s a powerful tendency in long-term relationships to favor the predictable over the unpredictable. Yet eroticism thrives on the unpredictable.”Do something out of character. Get dressed up, wear a new perfume, change your hair—whatever. Tell your partner you have plans, but be vague. Or, have him meet you at a restaurant where you haven’t been. Allow some silence, distance, mystery, and you reintroduce a little of the initial chase you had when you were first courting. Let him guess what you’re up to. Be coy. Sly. Inviting. As opposed to, say, peeing with the door open.Start acting like the person you were before you had a partner—the very person he or she was attracted to. Put yourself somewhere where he has to come find you. It’s hard to long for someone when they’re sitting right there. Make him follow you into the woods.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Proust

3 things to doIt’s easy to pile on poor Valentine’s Day. And if it makes you feel any better, a rather small slice of the population is really psyched about it.

If you’re single, chances are you roll your eyes, flip couples the bird, and want to go “eff yourself,” as this video advises, via Jezebel.

If you’re in a long-term relationship, maybe very long, this holiday makes you nostalgic for the days when romance was new, before either of you peed with the door open, and when you had time or interest in having sex more than once a month.

Then again, if you’ve just started dating someone, Valentine’s Day is too much pressure. What if he thinks it means more than it does? What if it doesn’t mean enough?

And if you’re one half of an unhappy couple, this Hallmark holiday hits a nerve: Another year of not being in the relationship you always thought you’d be in. You may suffer a bout of brief, intense existentialist grief.

Basically, the only ones doing what you think the holiday is about (roses, chocolate, sex) are, if we want to get technical, people in the first 12 to 18 months of their relationship, who are still trying to impress each other, and guaranteed to get laid. Or, those blessed to be in one of those wonderful relationships where the magic burns for years. They’re rare, but they do exist.

Anyway, look, that’s not a LOT of people having sexy time today.

Valentine’s Day is not an exclusive club; it’s a holiday to celebrate love in all its forms, from the short, sexy bursts to the long, mellow partnerships, to the kinds of love we share with people we’re not dating. (Check out this study on how just being kind and loving to people at work is linked with improved productivity.)

But of course my heart is with the single people who see red at Valentine’s Day, and not in a good way. Here are the things I recommend you do and NOT do today:

1. Don’t hate. It’s not only pointless to hate on a holiday; it’s disingenous; like saying you hate money just because you don’t happen to have any. Don’t pretend that of all days, today you “hate” love because Valentine’s Day ruined it for you. C’mon.

>>DO: Take a risk. You want something exciting? Try doing something exciting. One Feb 14th, I wrote a note on a cocktail napkin on slid it across a cafe table to a handsome thing. I never heard from him. Don’t matter. It was thrilling and empowering and kind (because though he never called, don’t tell me I didn’t make his day). I felt…romantic, without anything else having to happen. (Also: Read why you should be getting rejected more.)

2. Don’t go out with your girlfriends and dance in a circle. Sure, it’s fun. But the dopiest thing ever is when a bunch of single ladies who would like to meet potential mates do the one thing that will ensure they don’t: Turn in the lady wagons. Who-hoo! Girl power! No. This is dumb. Don’t form a big resentful clot in the middle of the room, telling dudes to talk to the hand. Why act like men suck, when, if we’re being honest, you’d like a nice one?

>>DO: Go out to meet people. If you’re smart, you’ll go out with just a few friends or, if you travel in a gaggle, split off and mingle. Or, forget the girlfriend outing altogether, and do something really bold: Go sit at the bar by yourself just long enough to enjoy a glass of wine. Remind yourself that you’re open to what may or may not happen.

3. Don’t text your recent ex. I shouldn’t have to explain this. But, no matter how it ended, if you broke up within the past six months, steer clear. Of course, unless he has come back with a dozen roses and wants you back, and you’re happy about it. But if you both ended it for all the right reasons, going back now for a moment of comfort could cost you more later.

>>DO: Go on a date with a stranger. Yup. I promise you, there’s someone online who’s free tonight. And don’t give me this crap about how it seems desperate. You can drop a line in the water and see if you get a bite. You don’t have to meet The One. But you can go out on one date with one new person, and say that on Valentine’s Day, you made a fucking effort, and you had a reason to put lipstick on.

The moment when you’re headed out the door and the night is nothing but potential—that’s fun. And romantic. And brave.  And way better than a margarita-sodden rendition of “I Will Survive.” Again.

 

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Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a bad idea to point out your flaws on a first date. Or a second date. Or on your dating profile. Or, when you’re on The Bachelor. Despite what you may think, your pain does not make you interesting, or attractive. And recounting your past hurts makes you a self-involved bore.

When you lead with your own tale of woe and personal injury, you’re basically saying to the world, and your date, I’m a yawning black hole of need and pain. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

howard-stern-2Howard Stern, a big fan of The Bachelor and talks about it on his show, was recapping the story of the chick who was sent home after her first date with Juan Pablo, because of this fatal error: She killed the romantic mood by putting her insecurities front and center.

Uh-oh. And? (You can hear the dude trying to stop her from going there.)

Well (sniff), she had had her heart broken by a former fiance, and she was so sad, and is over it now (not), but really wants to make sure there’s a connection.

Translation: I want to be absolutely sure you won’t hurt me like he did. 

This is what I call the World Owes Me approach. The World Owes Me: Love, security, a perfect mate. You dump your heartache like a busted old alarm clock onto the table and ask the guy to fix it, and to promise it will never break again.

It makes as much sense as asking a new friend for $100 because your last friend never paid you back.

It’s no mystery why she did it; she was trying to bring the man closer, to find in him a trustworthy soul to love, care for, and protect her. But: She doesn’t know this man. And he doesn’t know her. Stern said, These girls have daddy issues, and he’s probably right. He wants to desire her, but she’s more concerned with being “safe” from emotional harm, and in so doing skewers the desire.

My ex-boyfriend wronged me. If there’s a bigger boner shrinker, I don’t know it.

I know it’s hard to hear this, but I’ll say it anyway: The world does not owe you love, affection, intimacy, or a perfect partner. This is Earth, not a fine dining establishment, and you cannot just order up a dish and then be all bent out of shape when it doesn’t just show up as you sit there, starving. We’re all brown bagging it.

The world is full, however, of the potential for love. And you have the potential to love and be loved—if you’re willing to take the risk of getting hurt in the process.  However, when you define yourself as damaged and drag around your heart like an open wound, you attract pity and sorrow, not love. No one wants damaged goods.

As Esther Perel says in her fab TED Talk, “There is no neediness in desire.”

This doesn’t mean someone can’t or won’t care for you, period. It doesn’t mean that you should pretend you were never hurt by anyone. No one’s buying that act. But the urge to spill your guts out and earn someone’s pity does not work in your favor.

I have seen this in too many online profiles: Daters using the essay portion of the online dating process as a back history of past disappointments and rage, even a warning to others (“If you think football’s that important, don’t bother!” or “Two timers need not apply!”).

If your online profile is a chronology of your personal injuries and presents you as a victim, you need to rewrite it. Previously married and want to own up? Fine. But you should not be working out any unresolved emotional issues ON YOUR DATING PROFILE or ON DATES.

Save it for your therapist. Your mother. Me, even. But please, spare your dates—and give desire a chance to thrive.

 

Commit

Not every great date will turn into a great relationship.

Q. I just suffered some serious dating whiplash: I met a girl, and we went on three dates. First date – short but great, easy and fun. Second date – meal and cinema, easy and fun, hand holding and kissing. Third date – drinks and fun, lots of chatting, lots of kissing. 12 hours later, the next morning – a text to say we weren’t right for each other, then another later saying she’d just got out of a relationship. I know it was only 3 dates, but I got my hopes up very high.  -Confused.

Dear Confused,

I’m so, so sorry. You had a few nice dates and probably were beginning to like her. Then? She hits the brakes—hard.

Good news: You will get over it. Bad news: It could happen again.

This, as you may know and are just reminding yourself, is what makes dating dating, and not marriage-on-sight. You were doing what dating IS: Trying each other on for size. For whatever reason, she decided it wasn’t a fit.

But we had fun! We made out! I know, I know. And this is not to say she didn’t have fun; something was happening that you don’t know about and will likely never know about because…she’s someone you don’t know! She’s a virtual stranger with whom you shared some time, and at this very early phase in the game, there’s no way to know what else was at play in her world.

Though it won’t make you feel any better, let’s consider what likely happened, and unless it’s something insane it’s one of these:

She was already seeing someone else, and decided to spend more time with that person instead;

She is just out of a relationship, and…

–is sorting things out with her ex

–realized it’s too soon to be consorting with new beaus, and hit the brakes on herself

–her ex came back; she’s considering another go. 

Or, she enjoyed you, but is being just completely honest: It’s not a fit for the long haul and she doesn’t want to waste your time.  

Unless she’s involved in some kind of high-stakes organized crime and decided to spare your life, it’s one of those three. And yes, while the sudden rejection is dizzying, it is what it is. (As you know from reading my post about another gent who got “blindsided.”)

In other words, it’s likely about her and her life, and has little to do with you.

The thing too many daters do is use any kind of rejection as a mirror to inspect themselves in. And while it’s worth taking a look at yourself of course (do I dive in too quickly, am I all over her, am I ramping up too fast), chances are, honestly, this was out of your hands.

(Though speaking of hands, the only thing I remotely question is holding hands on date #2. Call me crazy, but holding hands is a pretty public statement, and usually reserved for those who are IN a relationship, which you, at this stage, were not. Did you reach for her hand? Or did she slip hers into yours?)

There’s nothing to “do” about it of course, except try again. And again. (Why you should get rejected more.)

But there is something I beg you NOT to do: Do not let this experience embitter you against dating/chicks, or pen another chapter in the story you’re writing for yourself called “I’ll Never Meet Anyone” or “Bitches, Teases, and Whores: Story of My Life.”

You suffered the expected pangs of having your ego bruised. It’ll heal up.

My hope for you is that you chalk it up to the process, and, as counterintuitive as it may seem, allow it to teach you empathy and also compassion—for her and for yourself. This isn’t easy. Dating isn’t easy, being married isn’t easy. None of it is. The most you can do is give someone the very best of yourself to the next lovely person you meet.

politifact-photos-PencilI haven’t written a blog in weeks. Why? Because I was: Busy. Reading. Working on proposals. Getting organized. Watching “Orange is the New Black.”

This is a lie.

Of course, I was doing those things. But that’s not why I haven’t blogged. Not even close.

The truth is that I’m a fucking perfectionist. The very worst kind because I’ve pretended I wasn’t one. And I’m ready to come out and admit it.

For a long time I’ve pretended I wasn’t. That I was cool, laid back,  all about work-in-progress and just-get-it-done. I sent emails with typos, knowing there were typos. See? Not a perfectionist.

I looked around my apartment. In 300 square feet, messy happens quick. I’d leave socks on the floor. Laundry drying on a rack until it was time to do laundry again. This didn’t look like the home of a perfectionist (and in fact I kinda wished it did). Clearly no perfectionist lives here!

Wrong. There is a difference between perfectionist and lazy and sometimes I am lazy, and that’s the truth.

What’s also true is that I was busy NOT doing stuff: Not blogging, not effectively managing my projects, not writing a proposal for a book I hadn’t pitched yet. And it’s making me feel guilty, unhappy, and generally anxious.

A CEO I admire, Jan Bruce of meQuilibrium, talked in a Fox News segment recently about how perfectionism gets in the way of goals and actions. And an insightful piece in the Wall Street Journal points to research on how mood repair is behind pesky procrastination: Basically, that the idea of taking on a task makes you feel so shitty that you turn to Facebook, TV, a nap—anything to make you feel better now, and you end up paying more later.

The great irony is that I know all the reasons why perfectionism is a losing game, and why those attempt to win end up stressed, anxious, depressed.  I know all about it. I wrote about it in a feature, “How to Be (Im)Perfect,” for Body+Soul magazine.

I’m great at explaining why YOU shouldn’t be a perfectionist.

Meanwhile, I’ve been one the whole damn time. I’m like the preacher who says don’t drink and then gets soused after church. Or, I don’t know, the politician who goes after prostitution tooth and nail, while fucking whores. (Imagine!) I’m like–well, like actual real people that exist. And you don’t need to look further than the date of my last blog post to know it’s true.

As a content strategist and media coach, I tell my clients how not to get hung up on getting it just right before going with it. Ha! hahaha. “Don’t worry about crafting full blown articles!” I say. And then, I turn around and put it off or take hours to produce a full-blown article, which–as more than one person has told me–are too damn long.

So this year, I’m turning over a new leaf, albeit halfway through January. I’m going to stop letting perfectionism stop me from moving ahead in my writing, my life–and I urge you to do the same. You’re doing it for the same reasons I have:

  • Because if you can’t do something amazing, you may be caught in the act of not being amazing. So you skip it.
  • Because people might disagree with you, hate you, skewer you.
  • Because you may offend someone / make a mistake / say the wrong thing.
  • Because you might just suck.
  • Because you are asking yourself bigger questions, like: What if my efforts are in vain? What if my life is pointless?

I am guessing you have plenty of reasons, and excuses, too.

So let’s stop this shit and just do it. I’m going to leave this typo in–thisng onxe–just because. It’s driving me crazy and you crazy and so we’ll start there.

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