Success and Doing Something

The Perfect being The Enemy of The Good

Apr 21, 2020 5:56:19 PM / by Naomi Hatto

In a previous article I mentioned my somewhat intimidating flatmate from a few years back in Edinburgh with her theory of: ‘it doesn’t matter what you do but you should definitely do something’.


I still really like this idea and it’s something that I try, in general, to live by. My personality leads me generally towards perfectionism and not being super satisfied with ‘good enough’ - I think that this is why I’m drawn towards projecting with my climbing because in order to succeed all I have to do is to try hard, whereas onsighting requires you to actually ‘onsight the thing - no second chances’...or maybe that’s just that human unwillingness to fail thing kicking in..!




The perfect being the enemy of the good can be applied to most aspects of life. At home we often talk about it in terms of not being sure how to do something, like for example: we don’t know how best to grow a company - ok, so that’s certainly a valid feeling however a train of thought like that can often lead to inactivity and therefore nothing gets done. However if you have an idea that you think might be a possibility you might as well try it because even if it’s a total flop you have at least learnt something from trying. You’ll have learnt about the process that you should go through and learnt that you need to either refine your idea, or rethink it entirely and you have a starting point for your next attempt.


Even if you’re sure you don’t know where to start you should try starting, no one judges you in the bouldering wall so why does it feel like everyone is judging you everywhere else? Surely it should be just the same - if the most that happens in the bouldering wall is that the person watching you really wants you to succeed then why do we often feel that during the rest of our lives everyone is just waiting for us to fail? 


Something I really like about climbing and projecting is that in general if you fall off, whilst it can be viewed as failing, you have also learnt something about yourself and your climbing. Be that a reminder that you do need to concentrate even if the thing you’re climbing is easy or that if you place your foot in an exact spot for a specific route or problem suddenly that move that was impossible is now possible and in order to succeed at a route or problem that feels really worthwhile you have to fall off a lot first…


Is this not a great life lesson - falling off is totally ok as long as you keep trying and keep learning.


Over the last few months I’ve been going to circuit training with a load of my husband’s colleagues - I’m the only one there who isn’t either a colleague or an aspirant colleague (this made me pretty nervous to begin with) but the guys at circuit training are great, and sure there’s banter but if they can see you really trying none of them seem to actually care that something I can only just manage to bench press for 45 seconds half of the rest of them can do with 1 arm...they still all encourage me to be the best I can be as do I for them. It’s taken me a while to gain the confidence to be willing to get an answer wrong or ask what feels like a stupid question but I feel as though I’m starting to be able to learn better because of it. So next time you see that purple in the bouldering wall that looks kinda tricky - don’t avoid it because it’ll be embarrassing for you to fall off a purple (and I mean, who knows what grade 'purples' will be by the time we reopen...!), have a go and embrace the learning :)

Tags: COVID-19

Naomi Hatto

Written by Naomi Hatto