Have you ever looked at a newborn’s tiny little fingers and toes and thought, “Wow, they are perfect.” Well, we’re all born that way. We come out of the womb with an eagerness to learn, absorb, and enjoy every breath we take. We are perfectly happy.
I remember watching my children as they sat in the yard in their onesies. They could pick up a leaf and make an entire day of it. They’d study the leaf, laugh at the leaf, throw the leaf, put the leaf on their head, smell the leaf, talk to the leaf. They were all abou the leaf.
As babies, we are perfect beings in a perfect place.
Then somebody tell us we’re not good enough . . .
And that’s where the fun begins. I read a quote recently that said, Tell a little girl she’s beautiful and she’ll relish the moment, but tell her she’s ugly and she’ll remember it for a lifetime.
Powering up depends upon our ability to keep other people’s pain out of our lives. If somebody says hurtful things to or about us, it’s their pain. If we accept their critique and begin to worry, then it becomes our pain. We question our self-worth. We believe we aren’t good enough. And sometimes, because someone else doesn’t seem to respect us, we stop respecting ourselves.
And that must make any creator pretty sad.
Women, especially, are ridiculously hard on themselves . . .
I have been observing women in the workplace for several decades, and one thing I have noticed is our intense fear of making a mistake. In meetings, we are often tentative with comments, raising our hands to be called upon while the men interrupt each other. When we finally do speak, it’s too often replete with a preamble that sounds something like Um, I would like to say something, although it might not be totally correct and I might just misunderstand, but . . .
Women have to stop worrying about being perfect. There’s not a baby in the world who gives up when she stumbles once on those first, tentative steps. She doesn’t throw her hands in the air, crawling off in a state of fury declaring in baby talk that she’ll never try walking again.
We came from perfection, we’ll go back to perfection, but until then . . .
Don’t use perfectionism as an excuse for staying small. As Marianne Williamson said –
You were perfectly created, and failure is not imperfection. It is courageous. So take a chance. Jump off that ledge. Insert your view in a meeting. Stumble and fall and trip along the way. But don’t let another person who is afraid steal your power.
Smile at them, love them for their imperfections, and power on.