I’ve always thought I was pretty self aware. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I’m good at detail and following things through. I’m not a leader, I’m a supporter. I will work through the practicalities of other people’s ideas and adapt them to make them feasible. But I’m not an ideas person myself. In fact, I remember a conversation years ago on a train with a friend about how I wasn’t an ideas person. My friend tried to convince me that I could come up with ideas. I was having none of it.
Fast forward about five years and I have recently apologised to my friend and admitted that I was wrong. Where I think I went wrong is that I used to think all ideas needed to be good and so I probably automatically dismissed a lot of my ideas, (as I didn’t think they were any good) without any further thought. So I just decided I wasn’t an ideas person.
One of the many lessons I have learned (and am still learning if I am honest) is to let go of my need for perfectionism. It’s all part of figuring out my priorities, getting less stressed and conserving my limited energy for the important things. We don’t live in an ideal world, and everything isn’t perfect – more importantly it doesn’t need to be. Somehow over time, this together with me getting a bit bolder, means that it doesn’t matter if every idea I have isn’t a good one.
This change in my attitude coincided with me reaching a point where I wanted to try and use my experiences of being diagnosed with and living with Parkinson’s to help others in some small way.
I decided that even if I could help one person, then it would be worth it. So I started very hesitantly voicing a few of my ideas for Start Living Today PD (the Facebook group for people with Parkinson’s that I am now helping to run). Heidi who runs the group, was really supportive and encouraged me. Because I am less of a perfectionist now, I feel more able to try out ideas – with less pressure, just see what the response is.
I am grateful that I have been able to take forward a few of my ideas and that they have been well received. More about that another time.
What I’ve learned is it is worth sharing ideas – whether you take them forward or not is another matter. And anyone can come up with ideas… even me who was once convinced otherwise.