"Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." --Napoleon Hill
This quote qualifies as perfect counsel for procrastinating perfectionists. And it reminded me of a woman whose take on life fit that description perfectly. Her handwriting was beautiful—the elegance of its line design captured my interest as soon as I took it out of the envelope. Beautiful form, placement, and order. Perfect!
Her boss had submitted several prepared samples for analysis along with her own. The sample of beautiful writing belonged to her assistant. Let's call her Sue. I don't have permission to display it here but if you can imagine artistic calligraphy you will be able to visualize it.
Once I started measuring it was clear I was dealing with a woman of grace, dignity and good taste. Sue showed an immense talent for structuring and expressing words. Her handwriting strongly indicated she had the ability to write, sometimes termed "literary ability."
I was intrigued by her degree of aspiration; she had high expectations for herself. Would other traits support the action necessary for her to achieve her goals? While she did have some strong indicators of the propensity to accomplish one trait stood out like a boulder she could not get around. Caution ruled her. She stalled about everything, given that she finished every single word with an inch-long very straight line stroke along the baseline, (rating a 10 on a scale of measurement from 1-10.) It was the most dominant example of caution I have ever seen in a sample. It means just what it looks like; the writer pauses and considers every step of the way and with so much it, can be thwarted by inward obstacles.
The trait of caution coupled with her perfectionist tendency, which tends to crimp spontaneity and perhaps, creativity as well, proved to be a double whammy. She dreamed but did not do. Her fear of moving forward glued her to one place. She was selling herself short.
Later, I got some written feedback from her. She concurred that she felt she had talents and gifts as yet untapped and stated that she was fearful of moving forward in her life. I'll say; she was paralyzed to begin almost everything. (My client said she was always needing to nudge to get her started on projects when she would observe her waiting for the perfect plan to emerge and the perfect time to begin. Yes, a perfectionistic procrastinator.)
The writer took a close friend to lunch and read my handwriting analysis report aloud. I had included a suggestion: "Why not write a book for children about 'how to get your act together?'"—she clearly was an expert in the area of planning. Her friend must have agreed with my assessment. The woman gave me feedback on my analysis of herself and added that her friend bopped her on the arm that day and said, "Haven't I always told you to write a book for children? Now why not get going on it now?" "I will, I will."
Did she ever do it? I surely hope so. She had so much talent.
Napolean Hill had a point when he encouraged getting started. Good advice for all of us. Nike says, "Just do it!" They did and look what happened!