Embracing iteration as essential

Here we go again. I know it's time for another draft of my website. And I know that means it's time to look at how I feel about revisiting this process.

There's (at least) two attitudes I could approach this with. One is resistance, dread, or fear. Feeling ashamed of what I don't like, and regret for not addressing it sooner. Another is with hope, anticipation, excitement. Feeling clear about what I do like, and grateful to be able to make some changes now. 

Either way, I must accept that change is inevitable. Everything either evolves or collapses. Nature never creates same thing twice. Iteration is a wonderful law, enabling unfathomable diversity and immense beauty.

Early ouroboros illustration courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Early ouroboros illustration courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

When I accept that I will always be beginning again, I can integrate it into my processes and expectations. And I can let go of achieving the unrealistic standard of "perfection," resting assured that I will continue to practice refining.

Experience has (often painfully) taught me that the best attitude for starting is the second approach described above. Working towards clarity about what makes sense to keep and what feels right to discard is absolutely the best way to use my energy to move closer to any goal that I may have. In the case of my current website, for example, I intend to keep the basic design and layout which works well, but need to revisit the language and use of visuals in order to reflect the changes I'm making in my business.

While hope is an undeniable fuel, feeling hesitation and angst about these changes isn't wrong. For me it has been a sign that I've got more "ending" to do before I'm ready to begin again. I must fully grieve the iteration that existed before, including forgiving all of the "failures" that it may represent, before I can get excited about the next version.

I know that just thinking about this constant rising and falling can seem exhausting. That's why part of iterative practice has to be establishing habits that will sustain us through all stages of the cycles - including garnering support from those who've ventured before us, and who can grant some objectivity to our journey. (For more on this, stay tuned for my blog next week.)  

When I've mindfully attended to the fallow fields, slowly but surely I will open to becoming ready. Ready to plant seeds into now-fertile soil, to bring what's seemed unknown into greater focus, to share my newfound understandings with those who will most benefit from it, to attract those who will teach me the next lessons that are in store.

Because beginnings inherently imply endings. Whatever I create next will run it's course until the need for change emerges again.

How about you - what is it time for you to revise, rethink, or redesign? Whether it's a campaign, training, survey, report, or even a team, consider what your feelings may be telling you.