Last week, a friend of mine received a snarky comment about a grammatical error on her blog that sent her reeling. This friend of mine is likely one of the nicest people on the planet. She’s gentle and kind and, as a massage therapist/life coach, spends her life helping others feel better. Being mean to her is a little bit like being mean to the Easter Bunny. It’s just not cool.
Like an electric fence, the unfiltered and often hurtful comments that get posted teach us all a dangerous lesson. They teach us to hold back and play it safe so we don’t get hurt. And while it may be counter-intuitive to do so, we cannot let that stop us from showing up. For real.
I firmly believe and teach that there is power in vulnerability. That as human beings we connect most deeply to those who are willing to share themselves – honestly and powerfully. I find that all my favorite writers are a wonderful combination of brilliant, quirky, neurotic, and courageous. They are the heroes in my mind. The ones willing to share their fears, mistakes, hopes, heartaches, and hungers in attempts to help us all feel less alone.
One of the reasons I started blogging so regularly is because I felt it was necessary for me to work on being more courageous. If I was inviting others to take down their masks and step into their power, then I had to do the same. Power that comes through vulnerability. I’ve seen this power and experienced it countless times. I know it to be true. But darn it! It’s so hard to do the vulnerability-thing when you have got a perfection-thing going on at the same time! The two traits just don’t play well together in the sandbox!
So for me, perfectionism had to go.
And, truth be told, I have to keep a careful watch to make sure it doesn’t sneak back in, because it’s a devious sucker!
To truly connect. To be as powerful as we were put on this planet to be. To authentically lead. These things require great courage. The courage to play full out. The courage to be willing to be seen – because true connection cannot happen from behind a mask. The courage to, in the face of all that’s snarky, get back up and do it again.
I suspect, dear blog-readers, that you’ll find grammatical errors in most of my posts. Sorry about that. Read them anyway. Or don’t. I’m not going to wait to be perfect before I participate. Just as I hope you don’t wait to be perfect either. How about we just join the conversation together? To give it all we’ve got? To commit to being the best we can be in each moment, and to keep learning and growing, knowing that it will never be enough.
To celebrate what it means to be imperfectly human.
Then we might really get somewhere.
©OnStage Leadership, 2013
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