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Why You Don’t Need to Be Perfect to Achieve Your Goals

You really don’t need to be perfect to achieve your goals. It is a topic that I write about often…because it keeps needing to be said…sometimes one way will work for one person and sometimes another way…and then, one day…all of a sudden…a light dawns and they realize…that yes, there is no place for perfection in a goal setting plan.

“We’re all born under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” ~Konrad Adenauer

What Does an Airplane Have to Do With Being Perfect?

I attended a seminar in 1992 with Dr. Tad James. One of the most amazing things that happened in that seminar was a metaphor…a story that he told us. He explained that if you took a flight from San Fransisco to Hawaii, with the goal being arriving in Hawaii safely,  that the airplane would be off course 70% to 99% of the time. Huh?

Yes, that seems to be a huge difference, doesn’t it. So, how does that happen? The plane gets hit and buffeted around by tail winds, head winds, storm fronts, heavy cloud cover and many, many more things…weather can be fickle. So, in order for the plane to reach Hawaii (or whatever its destination is), there needs to be many course corrections.

This would be true, even if the plane was on automatic pilot. Can you see how this can apply to your life? There are constant corrections that you need to make, some on a daily, some on a weekly, some on a monthly basis…just like that little plane going to Hawaii.

Be Willing to Be a Flexible Goals Setter Instead of a Perfect One


“No matter how hard the past…be willing to start again…” Buddha

Perhaps you are like me…we can get hit with really hard things…and still we keep going. I was faced with a divorce that wasn’t in my life plans. It was a big course correction and I had to change my goals. Other people have deaths that they need to cope with. Others have course corrections that might not seem big to others but are big to them.

The important thing to remember is that even if you do need to start over again, you can do it. Yes, it might be hard. In fact, it might be excruciatingly hard…and yet, you can do it…have faith in yourself and your ability to bounce back.

Remember that plane that is off course for most of the time. It keeps on going. Can you imagine what it would sound like in the cockpit if the pilot threw up his hands and started screaming every time the plane needed to be corrected?

The Secret to Letting the Idea of Perfect Go

When you have defined your goals, you have actually defined the obstacles that you will need to overcome. There is no waving of a magic wand to achieve goals. You actually need to do work towards them. You need to define them, have them be realistic and SMART goals. And then:

  • Expect that it will be imperfect.
  • Expect that there will be times nothing will go right.
  • Expect that there will be hard times.
  • Expect that you can handle whatever comes along (yes, you might need help and it is okay to ask for it).
  • Expect to do course corrections.

And then, when you get to that goal, you will be pleasantly surprised that it might even have been easier than you thought…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner

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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Theresa Cifali July 3, 2012, 9:09 pm

    Love the plane analogy, Sherie. I am far from perfect…and have had to make many adjustments in my course as I grow up. Thanks for this excellent post and reminder that it’s ok to not be perfect!

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 9:20 pm

      Thanks, Theresa! None of us are perfect…and course corrections are the norm!

  • elizabeth June 29, 2012, 10:41 pm

    ahh I love this sherie.. as I love all your post1 I love the way you explain how we can get to our Target even if we have to change things! Awesome!

    • Sherie June 29, 2012, 10:51 pm

      Thank you, Liz! So glad you left me a comment!

  • Barbara Peters June 29, 2012, 10:38 pm

    well I am glad I don’t have to be perfect Sherie! I really like the plane analogy they get to either goals but don’t always take the same course ! PERFECT!

    • Sherie June 29, 2012, 10:52 pm

      I love the plane analogy, too, Barbara! Thanks so much for commenting!

  • Sue Graber June 28, 2012, 10:15 pm

    Great post Sherie. Perfection is defintiely over-rated. I used to have this mindset but now that I’ve let go of it I seem to get getting closer to reaching my goals. Thanks for reminding us that if we need to start over again…. we CAN!!!

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 10:32 pm

      We absolutely CAN!!! : D Thanks so much for your comment,Sue!

  • Suzanne Jones June 28, 2012, 8:09 pm

    I have been guilty of this. Everything must be just so before I make a move. I have learned what you say in your post is precise. As long as you know where you are going, go. You will automatically course correct along the way.
    Great post, great reminder, thanks Sherie!

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 8:12 pm

      Yep, we do course correct, don’t we? : D Thanks so much for your thoughts on this, Suzanne, loved it!

  • Dr. Sarah David June 28, 2012, 2:26 pm

    Sherie, thanks for the reminder that we don’t have to be perfect. Loved your post and the quotes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 2:44 pm

      You are very welcome, Sarah, I so appreciate you coming and reading it and posting a comment!! : D

  • Stacy Stevens June 28, 2012, 7:41 am

    Thank you for sharing this article. Perfection holds so many back from achieving their dreams!

  • Stacy Stevens June 28, 2012, 7:13 am

    Thank you for sharing this. The search for perfection wil hold us back for a long time!

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 11:25 am

      Absolutely, Stacy, it really does…it sends us on wild goose chases…thanks so much for your comment!

  • Lorii Abela June 28, 2012, 2:26 am

    Nothing and nobody’s really perfect, right Sherie? 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 11:25 am

      : D We all have our little flaws…lol…thanks for your comment, Lorii!

  • Mandy Edwards June 27, 2012, 8:51 pm

    We all need to learn to just go with the flow! Nothing is ever perfect.

    • Sherie June 27, 2012, 9:18 pm

      Exactly! Thanks for your comment, Mandy!

  • denny hagel June 27, 2012, 7:16 pm

    I really enjoyed this article! Set a goal, make a plan and then allow for ‘life’ is a sure way to success! Thanks!

    • Sherie June 27, 2012, 8:05 pm

      Thanks, Denny, I am so glad that you enjoyed the article!

  • Becky Fisher June 27, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Great things can happen to you while you’re on the way to where you thought you were going 🙂 Just relax, right?

    • Sherie June 27, 2012, 4:12 pm

      That’s right!! Thanks for commenting, Becky!!

  • Sara Nickleberry June 27, 2012, 11:39 am

    A lot of people miss out on things by waiting for everything to be perfect. In my case, I tend to stress if things aren’t perfect. I’m learning how to let it go. Why did I ever think it had to be perfect in the first place? I don’t know. Way too hard on myself.

    • Sherie June 27, 2012, 1:34 pm

      A lot of people feel that way…when we ease up on ourselves, life gets easier and we just do better…none of us thrive in an arena of criticism…thanks so much for your comment, Sara!

  • Olga Hermans June 27, 2012, 11:29 am

    I don’t need to be perfect to reach my goal?? I always thought we needed to. I really wonder how many people think that and that kept them from reaching their goals. Thansk for reaching out ad doing something about that!!

    • Sherie June 27, 2012, 1:33 pm

      You absolutely don’t need to be perfect…perfection is an illusion…thanks, Olga!!

  • Traci Woodside June 27, 2012, 10:13 am

    Great article, thank you!

    • Sherie June 27, 2012, 1:32 pm

      Thanks, Traci!