Rachel Baum

A love note to forget your perfect offering

Published about 1 year ago • 2 min read

Happy Sunday!

Sometimes I want to do something nice for a friend. A text is too small, flowers too impersonal. Maybe I think of sending a card that shares the feelings of my heart. But all the cards are too ordinary.

And then – you know what happens – I do nothing.

Has this ever happened to you?

Or I want to bring a meal to someone after surgery, but get stuck on what to bring, because “everyone brings pasta.” So I try to think of something better. And do nothing.

Ah, perfectionism!

It shows up in so many places. Often my clients tell me that this is why they stopped writing, haven't looked for a new job, or made a dating profile.

They think they aren’t ready.

In their mind, “ready” equals done,, A+, excellent. So they say they’ll write after they learn more craft, look for a new job when they have more experience, make the profile after they lose 20 pounds.

But here’s the thing –

We may never feel "ready" if ready = A+ work.

The trick is to let ourselves do B- work.

This does not come naturally to me. When I first heard this concept at the Life Coach School, I didn't get it. I mean, I’m an A student! B- work?

But then I remembered the cards unsent, the meals not delivered, and I realized that imperfect me is more of a gift than perfect me who doesn’t show up at all.

And that’s why this love note is (again!) arriving on a Sunday. It’s been a bumpy couple of weeks and Saturday hasn’t been possible. So here it is, on a Sunday. Late, and hopefully still a gift to the people who need its message.

This week, look for places where being okay with B- work might allow you to show up more fully. Consider every day activities like household chores and exercise as well as creative projects and relationships.

Where would showing up imperfectly be a gift to yourself & others? ❤️

Perfectionism shows up in our decision making too. We can spend a lot of time trying to figure out the "right" decision -- the one that will give us the ideal outcome. In this week's episode of the podcast, I offer a different way to think about decisions.

Episode #37: How to decide

Ep #37

"Should I stay or should I go?"

Remember that song by the Clash? If only The Clash had this episode! We often think of decisions like life's shell game -- we choose a shell, life spins it around, and then, at some point in the future, we see if we won.

This idea that a decision is good or bad based on how it turns out causes us a lot of pain – because it means we only get to evaluate our decision in the future. And even then, we only get to see the future that we picked. We don’t actually get to see how the other choice would have worked out – We never get to stay and go – although sometimes our brains tell us that the other choice would have led to greater happiness.

In this episode, I offer a more powerful way to make decisions -- one that doesn't rely on choosing the right shell.

Love, Rachel

P.S. If you know someone who would appreciate the message of this love note, please forward this to them, and send them here to get their own delivered weekly!

P.P.S. You might have the Clash in your head now, but this love note is all about Leonard Cohen's advice to "forget your perfect offering". Here he is singing "Anthem" in London.

video preview

⭐ more ways to connect ⭐




love notes archive:

coaching: sign up for a free session to experience the magic of coaching

Rachel Baum

Certified Life Coach and host of the Making Midlife Magic podcast

I'm a life coach, college professor, and former president of the Overthinkers Club. Also, I host the Making Midlife Magic podcast. I love helping middle aged people dream again and create lives they love. Sign up to get inspiring mind shifts sent right to your email box. I don't over-send, and you can unsubscribe any time. This March & April I'm celebrating my podcast-versary with some delightful giveaways, so now is a great time to sign up!

Read more from Rachel Baum

Photo by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash Happy Monday! Rather cheeky, aren't I? Are we even allowed to feel happy on Mondays? I mean, we all know that person, the one who comes into the office, cheerful on Monday -- Sometimes we love their relentless cheerfulness and sometimes it drives us bonkers. I admit -- sometimes I am that person! And sometimes I pretend I'm not. If people around me are complaining about Monday, I want to join in. We're social beings and it feels good to be connected to others,...

4 days ago • 4 min read

These are woods in New York, about 40 miles north of New York City. My family moved here when I was in 4th grade and it's where my husband and I grew up. Beautiful, no? But here's the thing -- I don't feel at home there. I realized this last week when we went back for my mother-in-law's 90th birthday. I might never have realized it without coaching. Coaching has made me less judgmental of myself, which lets me hear my own truths more easily. I mean, someplace beautiful, in a place where you...

13 days ago • 3 min read

Outdoor lunch on Mom's birthday, 2018 How do the painful things that happen in our life become part of us? And how can we shape their influence on us, so we emerge stronger, more soulful, deeper? This is really it, isn’t it? Sometimes we wish painful experiences wouldn’t affect us, that we could just continue on, being our beautiful selves, untouched. But we also know that the hard things we’ve made it through are part of our history, part of who we are. We put our experiences in their places...

3 months ago • 4 min read
Share this post