Does the fear of looking incompetent hold you back from moving forward?
I used to be such a perfectionist. I HATED making mistakes.
I can’t begin to tell you the countless times I’ve taken on new corporate roles or big projects and been terrified about making a mistake. It was a horrible feeling;
Panic ~ Fear ~ Shame.
But instead of reaching out and asking for help I used to pretend that I had it all together.
I was a beautiful swan gliding across the water while underneath, my big bright orange gangly legs were flapping around under the water surface….trying to keep myself afloat.
Of course, I always used to succeed in the end. I’m intelligent and I work things out.
But at what cost?
I didn’t really understand the enormous stress I was putting my body through until I ended up in the back of an ambulance being rushed into A&E with a heart condition.
I was completely and utterly burnt out.
I used to make things so hard for myself.
I was worried about looking incompetent. Worried about being judged.
I realise now that I also used to judge myself….A LOT.
Once I wrote down all the things that I would say to myself when I made a mistake.
It was shocking.
It was eye opening.
You should try it.
I speak to so many female executives who feel exactly the same. They are burning themselves out because they feel they should have all the answers.
They’ve fought so hard to get to where they are now. Why would they show a chink in their armour? They’d get overthrown in a heartbeat.
But collectively, we must accept that we don’t know all the answers. That we are imperfect humans and there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes.
You can own your mistakes and STILL look competent WITHOUT internalising it all, and ending up in the hospital like I did.
In this video I share my learns around breaking away from the perfectionism and some small steps you can implement straight away.
Oh and by the way…I also think that the universe was creating a wonderful example of embracing imperfection in this live video, including sending my puppy to chew my flip flops and giving me a coughing fit.
Enjoy the imperfections sisters!
Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org to share your aha moments. Let’s be imperfect together.