Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. - Confuscious

Something I keep having to remind myself is that I'm not perfect. Or more exactly, that I'm not able to be perfect. A lot of times I get hung up because I'm not able to do and be all of the things I want to. I want to be Brie from Desperate Housewives. I want to look tragedy in the eye and polish my silver first because it needs to be done. I want to box up my emotions and put them on a shelf in the closet until I'm ready to deal with them and have time to deal with them. Then take out one small box at a time. I want to be so impeccably dressed that a single stray thread on my clothing draws my attention to fix. How amazing would that be? However, as I've also learnt from Brie is that an image of perfection is not truly perfection. What good is it to appear perfect if you have to hide away from reality? No one is perfect. No one. Even if they appear to be. That's one of the things I disliked about traditional employment. I could work all day as hard as I could, and as smart as I could, and be at the top of my game. But someone was always there to point out the small flaw in my full day of spectacular work. Was the small flaw a major thing? No. Was it unfixable? No. But since it was a mistake, attention was drawn to my flaws rather than my successes. No one is perfect, yet in every job I've ever had, I was expected to be perfect. Then of course, I turn around and deal with people in other jobs that are so bad or uncaring at what they do that it's ridiculous.

On top of all that, we tend to be harder on ourselves than others are on us. Why is that? For me, I keep expecting that I should be able to be perfect. I try to do everything right. I'm mad at myself when I make a mistake. That's part of what makes it even harder to have someone else point out the mistake.

So what can we do about it? First off, if you're running your own small business, whatever stage you are at, don't be so hard on yourself. Set realistic goals. Realize that you will make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. That's what they are there for. Think about how you would fix that mistake in a normal job. Most likely, the exact same way. Except then you would have seventeen people giving you a hard time for making it, even though it's already fixed. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at the craziness of the world. And remember how wonderful it is to be a great big ole diamond with a flaw.

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