Are You Stopping You?
I was delighted to see a friend’s Facebook post last week that read: “You know you’ve grown when: a spelling error in your newsletter (that you just sent out!) no longer makes you want to crawl into a dark hole!! Yay Me!!!!!
This same friend, a year ago, had 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 just wasn’t cool.
To my friend: Yay you indeed!!!!!
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 (and why I’m currently working on a book) 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. I’m not saying that I don’t care about doing my best – I do – but I’m saying that I’m not longer tying my identity and worth to illusive “perfection”, as it simply doesn’t exist.
And, truth be told, I have to keep a careful watch to make sure perfectionism doesn’t sneak back in, because it’s a devious sucker!
To truly connect. To be as powerful as you 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.
To not let you stop you.
I suspect, dear blog-readers, that you’ll find grammatical errors and a typo or two in most of my posts (my editing staff – ha! – is clearly on vacation). 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. And when you find your own imperfections (which you will), or someone not-so-gently points them out to you (which they will), that you don’t let it stop you from showing up.
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 and play full-out anyway?
Then we might really get somewhere.
©OnStage Leadership, 2014 (revised from blog originally posted September, 2013)
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Kimberly Davis is the Founder/Director of OnStage Leadership, a full-day experiential leadership workshop. Click here to read what people are saying!
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