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Often, when my husband describes me to others, he says “She is 98% gold, but that 2%....” I used to be offended and then, with time, understood that lack of perfection is what makes things, and me, accessible and authentic. For many years I tried for constant perfection, and I was quite frankly, depressed and discouraged – a lot! Then, one day, for whatever reason, a HUGE aha moment came. I decided I would only try for perfection 4 days out of 7. Now, the great thing about that is I am still doing better more than 50% of the time, but I also have the space to mess up, try new things, fail, try again, and quite frankly, be human while trying to become and recognizing it is often plain hard.

Before we left to live in Sweden the second time, I had determined I would do a triathlon. The first time I did a triathlon, it was, wonderfully awful. The weather was bad, so the organizers changed the order of the events - bike first, run and then swim (my worst event). I remember feeling like I was drowning. As I was changing in the locker rooms, I overheard my name called out on the loudspeakers. Somehow, I had won the event for my age (this was before the days of serious competitors, and I had just aged into a new category), and I had also been training pretty hard. I was so excited…

Now, fast forward almost 15 years and I was going to try again. The problem was, well, I was 15 years older, I had not trained, and, yet again the day of the race the swim had been moved to the last event – what are the odds? Well, the run came first and my oldest son who was there for support caught me on the course and said “Mom, you are running a lot faster that we thought you would!” My adrenalin spiked – maybe I could be another surprise winner?!? Then came the bike – twice around the course – the first part being downhill and oh no – those ridiculous hills – it was horrible. I barely made it up the first time, and knew I had to do it a second. I hit the downhill part for the second time, knowing what terrible hills lie ahead – that darn gravity thing – what goes up must come down – and I thought – “Who am I trying to kid? I am not in shape, I have barely trained, and no, I will not win a medal, and well – why don’t I just have fun, walk this horrible hill, swim without drowning, and try for last place instead? The feeling or relief and fun were almost instantaneous. However, the funny thing is that although I tried for last place, I could not even do that, and you know what, it was okay.

Invitation to act:

Please write down one thing, this week, you will choose to mess up, fail, or not do well and see what happens – embrace your inner failure and have fun – even if you do not win last place, you can still try for 4 days out of 7.

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