Something happened this week that got me thinking – nothing new so far(!).
Someone criticised the grammar and syntax of a few sentences I’d written, and they used this as a ‘reason’ not to take up a really good business opportunity. I found this odd and intriguing. The ‘errors’ where in fact just different opinions about writing style (my use of commas and the length of some of my sentences – although there was one ‘typo’ in there too).
I had just sent out my monthly newsletter in which I promoted the low cost and good potential returns (both financially and professionally) for counsellors from their use of the ‘modules’ of ‘The Ripple Effect’ Process (which are presented to the public from within in their own private counselling practices), and she’d received this newsletter just a few minutes earlier.
I was also due to send out a follow-up e-mail to a few application enquiries from the previous week or so (about becoming a licensee for ‘The Ripple Effect’ Process), and this particular woman was on my ‘to-be-followed-up’ list.
I was intrigued about why she’d bothered to contact me to tell me about these ‘errors’ that she’d apparently spotted, and I responded by thanking her for her observation, and I also asked where she had seen any ‘errors’ (she hadn’t said at this point). I took the opportunity to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ and I asked her (as I’d remembered that she was on my ‘follow-up list’) whether she had received the information pack that I’d sent out to her and if she was still interested in becoming a licensee with TREP.
It is unusual for anyone to take the time to give me feedback if they haven’t already bothered to get back in touch with me after I’ve sent out the information pack to them. A few have done so though, and they tend to say that they are very interested in TREP but either they are too afraid of marketing themselves and their business services, or that they cannot afford to become a licensee (which is another blog subject in itself – as the licensee arrangement is in fact very affordable and pays for itself, whilst offering great value too!) I have been disappointed over the last couple of years to have found that many people want something for free with nothing expected of them in return. They want everything to be done for them with no expectation that they will have to ‘put the hours in’ themselves. Unfortunately several prospective licensees have even tried to take/poach what they could from me, and to then use it for their own purposes. (This is why most of my work is my ‘Intellectual Property’ and thereby protected – as far as is possible.)
Anyway, back to this particular lady. In response to my enquiry about the ‘mistakes’ she’d noticed, she said that she wouldn’t be going ahead with becoming a licensee as she thought she’d have to correct everything to make it acceptable to her. I agreed with her decision not to go ahead and told her I thought this was for the best. (!) I also took the opportunity of pointing out that I believe that imperfect is fine, and that otherwise we might miss the beauty of a scenic landscape if we are fixated on ensuring that the camera with which we want to capture this image is working perfectly before we’ll allow ourselves to use it. I added for good measure that many successful people, in many walks of life, are dyslexic and that generally speaking people tend to overlook a trivial grammatical error and instead they allow themselves to experience the whole message.
I then had a coincidence occur. I received a large information pack from a business organisation I am interested in joining. (With them I have a chance to up-my-game and mix with inspiring people… and most importantly to learn something – as this woman could have done albeit in a different context). I too saw ‘errors’ in what was written, but I was struck by the following phrase… “Everything WON’T always be perfect. It doesn’t always need to be either; sometimes good enough is good enough. That means that you might spot the occasional grammatical error, or even a rogue spelling mistake, and if that kind of thing offends you, then go ahead and cancel your membership now.” (Nigel Botterill). How timely!
So, the point I want to make is that perhaps we aren’t honest about the real motives for our behaviours; perhaps we allow ourselves to miss out on opportunities because we are focussing upon finding fault with the minutiae; perhaps we deflect from our ‘shame’ of not having the money or ambition to move forwards and instead we blame something else for preventing us from doing so; perhaps by being critical and pedantic we attempt to take an illusory higher ground. Maybe we are really afraid of moving up the ladder and instead we cling onto the present rung and cast doubt upon the strength of the higher rungs and their ability to hold our weight…instead of acknowledging that we are afraid to climb and see things from a new perspective.