Nobody Wants Perfect
Ep. 147
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Want to know the secret to my success?
I stopped pretending that I had it all together.
The more I share my mistakes, my failures, my insecurities, the more people are attracted to me.

The more I stop pretending like I have it all together, the more I allow myself to show up exactly as I am. The more I show up and take imperfect action, the more successful I become. There is a reason that “vulnerability” and “authenticity” are such buzzwords right now.

We’re all sick of curated. We’re all sick of perfect. We crave more humanness.Just think about the people you follow online. Do you love following people who act like they have it all figured out, are breezing through life, and have no problems?!? I’m guessing no. It’s boring and fake.

We love following people who share their struggles. Who show us that they’re just figuring it out just like the rest of us. And, yet, so many of you are still stuck trying to look perfect in your lives. Trying to pretend like you have it all together at work. Trying to portray that you’re not struggling with parenthood. Trying to put on a brave face.

I want you to know that perfect is boring.
Nobody wants perfect.
Be human.
Let people in.
It’ll lighten the load and make the experience so much more fun.


Show Transcript
Because so many of us are really trying very hard. We just can't live up to these impossible standards that we've put for ourselves. And that doesn't mean that we are a hot mess. And I think there's a real danger in adopting that self-deprecating humor.

Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited to have you here. How are you all doing? I'm doing great. I'm doing very well. We are in Q2, as I told you guys a while ago, that my word for this year is focus. And let me tell you, I am actually proud of myself. I have been focused. I mean, you know, could always be better, definitely get distracted all the time and procrastinate, but we're doing all right. Growing the podcast and the community has been such a delight and it's been really cool this year to watch. But if you follow me anywhere or really on the podcast, especially on my social media, one of the things that I really try to do and I'm not even tried to do this intentionally, there's not a lot of thought behind it. Um, in the sense of like me trying to portray anything, but I really, really wanted to showcase the reality of my life and the business and all of it. Right. And so if you follow me, obviously, a lot of what I try to post is very positive because I am a positive person and I work really hard at that. I manage my mind. I do thought work every day. I get coached on it but I really try to kind of have perspective. And I really try to showcase that. I really try to showcase like slowing down my life and enjoying the process so that I'm not trying to get to some magical destination that I know is not out there. But another thing I really try to do is show you that you don't have to be perfect to do anything, really, to grow a business, to have a life that you love. And I do that because obviously I think that social media and just the day and age with the internet, there's a lot of the opposite of that. I don't even think people are purposely trying to show you a highlight reel. I think, you know, most of us don't go on Instagram to watch people cry about their problems, right? It's like, that's not why you're there. And so people are showing you things that you want to see and they're just leaving out some of the other parts. And I leave out a ton of stuff because obviously you're not posting everything but I really do try to show that I still constantly have tons of imposter syndrome and people pleasing problems and, you know, doubt and fear and I hate failure and all that stuff, because I want you to see that there's never a time that you get to that you don't have that. It's like, let's not wait for that. And I want to talk about that today. I want to talk about like, we've done a episode on perfectionism, it was episode 120, if you want to go back and listen to that. And it was all about how perfectionism is ruining your life and how so many of us have kind of got it into our head that like, we have to sort of portray ourselves as having it together. And I think that's really the root of a lot of like imposter syndrome is that you kind of see the mess that's in your head and you think other people are going to figure it out, right? Like they're not this thing that I'm kind of portraying is having it together is not the actual reality. And we're so worried that people are gonna find this out. And we're so worried that our weaknesses somehow take away from our accomplishments or, you know, whatever. We're so afraid of our weaknesses so we don't accept them. We try to either cover them up or to quote unquote get rid of them like try to better ourselves or whatever. And I want to talk to you today about that from a different standpoint. Okay. So in one of my coaching calls with our group, one of the participants raised her hand to get coaching. And when I called on her, she started by saying that like, my heart is beating so fast right now. I'm sweating. I'm so nervous to ask a question. And that was her problem is that even in work and stuff, she has such a hard time raising her hand in meetings or talking or whatever, or, you know, when she has to talk in front of people. And of course her brain had told her that like, that's her, there's something wrong with her, right? Like that it's just her or, you know, whatever. I had convinced her that other people don't feel this way and quickly every other person on that call confirmed that they also feel the same exact way as soon as they raise their hand and ask for coaching. Right. And it's a very natural way to feel. And we talked a lot about that. And then another participant on the call, another one of my clients said that she had heard someone on the panel at a conference during the question and answer portion, somebody had asked her a question and she said Oh, I'm so sorry, I only answer easy questions. Right. And everybody immediately laughed. And she was like, no, I'm serious, I don't know the answer. Does anyone else know the answer? Right. And everybody, she was saying how, like this disarmed everyone, you know, immediately and kind of made her so much more likable and relatable and it kind of deflected the need for her to be able to answer this question. I bring both of these examples up because I want you to understand that we all want to relate to other people as real humans, nobody wants to be around somebody that's perfect or trying to be perfect. Right. The reason that that was so disarming or the reason that when my client opened up and said, instead of saying like, oh, I get really nervous about talking in front of people. But said like, my heart is beating so hard right now. I am sweating. Right? The fact that she just put it out there immediately like there was a sigh of relief from everybody on the call because everybody else was trying to maybe hold it together when they were asking their question. Right. And it was immediately like, oh my God, me too. I feel exactly the same way. Which is by the way why I always say I love group coaching because I think that the biggest trick our brain plays on us is to make us feel as if it's just us that feels a certain way. And we all literally recycle the same, like five fears that we all have. But once you start seeing that other people have it it is so much more empowering to realize that you are a normal human being with normal responses. Right. But I want you to think about the people that you follow on social media. Okay. When Instagram came out, sure, it was a lot of like curated content. And it was a lot of like perfect influencers because we didn't have a thing called influencers. And so there was kind of this magazine ideal life that was perpetrated and is still perpetrated. Not that it's not, but we, you know, looked at people who had like the amazing clothes and whatever, the vacations and stuff. But then something else has happened, right, in the last couple of years is a rise of a different type of influencers. People that are on the app showing off their bodies without filters and Photoshop. And they don't have what our society considers the ideal body type, right. They're showing off their cellulite and their fat and all this other stuff that we are told to like hate about ourselves. There are people that show off their acne and their skin problems and the fact that they don't want to cover it up with tons of makeup or filters or all this other Photoshop to try to pretend as though they don't have skin problems. They are the influencers that came about and started talking about the fact that they're not perfect mothers. That they're failing all the time. That they yelled at their kids that day. That they lost it and they don't know what to do. That there's times where they just feel like they're not cut out for that job. Right. There's the influencers that talked about their depression. That talked about how dark it gets and how they don't know how to like pull themselves out and what are the techniques that they use. And the fact that some days they just feel sad and they don't even know why they feel sad. And I want you to think about why that has gained so much in popularity. Why so many people felt this collective sigh of relief? Because we instantly felt connected, right? It instantly felt like oh my God, somebody gets me. Somebody is stopping this charade of pretending like our body is perfect or our skin is perfect or that we're the perfect mother or the perfect worker or whatever. Right. There's this term that has been floated around and it’s kind of watered down at this point. And it's like talking about being authentic or being vulnerable. Right. And sort of become a fad. And now people are like trying to fake vulnerability. And so, you know, there's a whole nother problem. Cause I think people are trying to use it as a way of overdoing it. And people are always asking like, how can I be more vulnerable? How can I be more authentic? And it's hilarious and sad, right. That we have to ask, how do I be my authentic self? How do I just show the real me? Because most of us don't know how to stop portraying ourselves in a certain light. Right? Most of us want so desperately to be able to show that. But then as soon as we come, like time to put it on Instagram, all of the fears start rushing in like, what is my mother-in-law going to think? Or what is my husband going to say? Or what is that friend from high school going to think? Or I can't really actually post this out there or people are going to judge my skin for this or whatever the thing is. But it's such a heavy burden to bear, to try to be put together all the time.

So many of us are terrified of other people finding out something like not in the sense of like finding out a secret, but try to pretend as though we have it together at work, or we have it together at home. You know, we have a great family life and marriage and kids and whatever else we're trying to portray. As if we know everything and you know, we have it all under control. And there's times that we do and I think it's really important, I should just pause and say that a lot of women in general tend to discount themselves. And so that is a different problem. Okay. That we can talk about with self-confidence later. I think a lot of us, if you have a problem accepting a compliment, it's like we discount anything good that we do. We tend to not see all of our accomplishments. We tend to not see how great we are at all this stuff. Right. And I will say that, like for instance, in the realm of motherhood, like I've seen this a lot on Instagram is like, you know, we had the rise of like the unbelievable amounts of pressure to be a perfect mother and, you know, not be too helicopter-y, but be involved in everything and make the organic food and, you know, do all whatever. Do you know the millions of things that women are now kind of pressured to do that have never been done in the history of motherhood, but now we have to do it all. And that was the opposite backlash, right. We go to the opposite extremes where it's like the hot mess mom. Right. And it becomes this self-deprecating humor of I can't live into this perfect persona so I'm just going to make fun of myself. And I'm going to talk about what a hot mess I am. And I'm going to, you know, talk about how I'm failing and I'm drinking all the time and I'm doing all this other stuff because like, uh, I'm not perfect. And that's another problem because so many of us are really trying very hard. We just can't live up to these impossible standards that we've put for ourselves. And that doesn't mean that we are a hot mess. And I think there's a real danger in adopting that self-deprecating humor because while it can be fun and I used to do it all the time too, I started realizing I really am discounting what I'm trying. And there's a happy medium in that where you can be vulnerable and authentic without putting yourself down. Where you can say, like, I try really hard and I fail all the time and that's okay. I still love myself. I still know I'm a good mother. Right. I still know I'm a good worker or an employee or whatever. I'm not going to get it right all the time. Right. It's saying I'm still going to raise my hand and ask the question but my heart is going to bate out of my chest and I'm going to sweat. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I just want you to know I feel super uncomfortable doing this right now. And I'm still like look at me putting myself in these uncomfortable situations. I just want you to realize that the way to connect with people, the way to show up in your life as fully as possible is to just be you with all of your faults. With all of your weaknesses, with all of the things that you don't know how to do. It's not waiting until you have figured out how to cover up everything that you don't know or learn every skill or to make yourself into some, I don't know, perfect version of yourself. None of us want that. What a boring world that would be. And the more we can really sit with the fact that like, we all just want to connect with other real human beings. That as soon as I say, oh my God, I have trouble with all of this, there's a million other hands that say me too. And just that instant validation and connection with other human beings that like, yeah, we all suffer from the same things, how powerful that is. And so I want you to think about your perfectionism in this light as well, in how it's holding you back from not only living the life that you want to live. Not only, you know, creating the job or whatever, going after the dreams that you have because of the failure, but how much is holding you back from having authentic relationships in your life. From having friendships and relationships where you can fully show up and talk about where you're failing and be okay with that. Where you don't have to try to keep, you know, up with what everybody else thinks you should be doing.

It's just such an important reminder that none of us are that. And none of us want that. We just want other people that're on this path of life, learning and failing and continuing just like us. And that's the way to be authentic. That's the way to be vulnerable, right? There's no reason to ask how to do it. Just figure out what your truth is right now and I know that's also another cliche and I hate saying like, what is your truth? But just like, what are you feeling today? Exactly in this moment. How would it feel to just voice it instead of trying to cover up the beating heart and you know, the sweating and the feeling nervous? What if you just said it like, hey, I feel really nervous asking this question, so sorry if my voice shakes a little bit. This is uncomfortable for me, but I still want to ask this question. How quickly will you disarm everybody else in that room? And how much more will you allow yourself to show up in your life? If you do that, right? If you realize that you don't have to have the steady voice and the, you know, steady hand. It can shake and you can still ask the question. That you don’t have to know the answer to go on and be on a panel and have people ask you questions because you can just say I don't know, great question. That's a hard one. I don't know that one. How much more are you willing to try when you know that you have that like escape route, right? Like you have that kind of, I don't know the word fails me now where you have that out, where you don't have to look like you have it together. Now I'm not saying there isn't a place for expertise. I'm just saying that none of us are looking for perfect. None of us, none of us expect you to be that. So how would it feel to take off that burden and allow yourself to show up fully? I promise that's available to you as long as you are willing to be okay with all of yourself, flaws and all. Weaknesses and all, right. As long as you are willing to accept that you are a full human and you will always be, and it will always be both good and bad, and you are allowed to bring all of yourself. The more you can get to a place of self-acceptance and understanding that you don't have to hide any part of you. It wasn't a mistake. The opposite of that weakness is some strength that you hold and all of you is what makes it beautiful, right? All of you is what makes this world different and exciting and unique and amazing. And the more you can accept that and the more you can show up fully without trying to live up to some absurd standard, the more you will experience, the more you will let yourself reach for. The more you will go after because you don't have to wait to be perfect to go after it. I hope that you show up fully as yourself as you are now and let everybody else see the beauty in all of it. I hope this was helpful and I will see you on the next episode.

Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes, it'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at Lessons From a Quitter and on Twitter at QuitterPodcast, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.