Tired of Being Perfect?

Seriously, it’s time to stop pretending to be perfect.

Tired of Being Perfect?The other day I shared this inspirational quote on Facebook. Along with it, I wrote “I am ready. The last 6-7 months have been hard, and it is time to transform this life into something amazing!”

Seems pretty normal, right? I certainly thought so.  It was also true and from my heart.

One of the things that happened after I posted it was a phone call from a friend.  He said to me ‘You’re supposed to be a successful life coach and you’re posting stuff like that. Don’t you worry it’s going to affect your business? People aren’t going to want to work with you if they think your life isn’t perfect.’

I sat there for a moment, stunned. And then I answered him. And what I said is a message that I want to share with each and every one of you.

I believe that what makes me good in my work isn’t that my life is perfect.  Rather, it’s the imperfection that makes me exceptional.

My marriage failed, so I know what it’s like to feel like you are starting life over again while somehow also giving yourself time and space to grieve loss. I’ve lived through an abusive relationship, so I know what it’s like to feel responsible for getting so far off track for what you imagined in your life and having to somehow steer the ship in the right direction again. I’ve lost jobs and transitioned careers, so I know what it’s like to figure out what to do next while also recovering the loss of your identity connected to that career. I raise a kid who has her own set of challenges, and she has been my greatest teacher of not needing to be perfect in life.

The reality is that each of us is a real human being with very real experiences. What makes me good at what I do is that I learned from my life experiences. I learned how to keep myself moving forward in the direction I want to go, no matter what life might throw at me. I learned that no matter how good your decisions are in the moment, that sometimes the outcome isn’t what you expected. And how to dust myself off and refocus on the next opportunity.

My life reminds me of those learnings and I have the opportunity to practice them again and again and again.

What makes me good at what I do is that I’m not so far removed from the everyday messiness of living life that I’ve forgotten what the struggle feels like. Because nothing feels worse to me than listening to a coach talking about their struggle from 10 years ago while pretending that everything is always perfect in their current life. That’s not real.

What makes you real, what makes you exceptional at living your life, is everything that you have experienced up until this moment and everything you are living through right now. You have handled the ‘stuff’ in your life a thousand different ways on a thousand different days. These are the experiences that temper you and give you the strength to keep creating the life you deserve to live.

I’m hungry to reclaim the truth of who I am. To reclaim it more and more every single day.  And I know you are too.  Pretending to be ‘perfect’ on the outside while you’re real, authentic and vulnerable on the inside just doesn’t cut it.

So today’s Year of Transformation challenge is about choosing to be real.  To show up in your honesty and vulnerability. To get out of the ‘perfect’ world of Facebook humble bragging and pinterest-perfect parties and just be you. To have a conversation with your partner, your best friend, or even your colleagues about what’s real for you right now.

When we open up this space for each other, there is an opportunity for deepened connection and authentic relationship to emerge.  Are you willing?

If you’re looking for a safe community to practice being open and vulnerable in, join us over at R.E.A.L. – Relationships, Encouragement, Accountability, Laughter.  This private Facebook group is a space for women to share with each other, to seek support and hold each other accountable…and to have some good laughs along the way.

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Rachel is a coach supporting women to rediscover who they are beyond the *shoulds* of life. To create and live life on purpose.

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2 Responses

  1. Barbara Hanna
    | Reply

    When I served as mayor and city council member for my town my defenders would always start by saying that although I wasn’t perfect…then talk about how great I was or something. I thought it curious that they started that way. Of course I’m not perfect, who is? I think when people are projecting onto you whether as a mother or in another leadership role – they really want you to be perfect. At some point they realize you’re not so need to explain. I don’t know. What do you think?

    • Rachel Bolton
      | Reply

      I think, in your example, it’s about discomfort with praise. I had a high school teacher who made a practice of complimenting every single student as they walked through his door every single day. His goal was that we could look him in the eye and say ‘thank you’ comfortably. That lesson was one of the greatest I took from my high school experience. And yet, as an adult, I’m often caught off guard when I simply say ‘thank you’. People expect you to say ‘oh, no I’m not’ or ‘you’re being too kind’ or something that will off-set the nice thing they just said. When you just say ‘thank you’ it changes the entire conversation. It’s the same in the story you share. We can’t possibly say something great about you without first offering a qualifier of ‘she’s not perfect’ so people don’t mistake the praise for anything more than what it is.

      And that’s just one little piece of this whole bigger puzzle about letting go of our ideals of perfection and simply being comfortable with the perfection of our imperfection.

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