I believe tremendously in humankind’s ability to challenge ourselves and grow. It is a belief that has taken me all over the world and has led me to different career challenges. Because I believe in it, I also teach it to others.
But I think that it’s important to acknowledge and say that it isn’t possible each and every day to be challenging and pushing, striving and learning. Some days, maybe even weeks or months, we are just surviving. It’s important to say that’s ok too, and not beat ourselves up about it. Sometimes we just need to be, and sometimes we just need to focus on getting through the day and doing the things we really have to do.
I’m there right now. In four days next week, I need to entirely move our household from one place to another. My daughter is in school, my husband is at work. Luckily I have the luxury of managing my own schedule, so I didn’t schedule any activities for work (but of course there are at least twenty things that I SHOULD be doing…).
But I’m letting go of them. It’s a struggle, particularly when I wake up in the middle of the night and think about them. I know it’s not helping them get done, and most importantly, it’s not helping me to get through the next week.
I think it’s important to talk about stress, about mental health, about how we handle it. Perhaps most importantly so we know we aren’t alone in our struggles. And perhaps, we can find some common peace in our imperfect humanity and let go of the expectation that we need to be up and positive and achieving all we can all the time.
When I chose the names “Be Your Best Self…” and “Be Your Best Leader…” I struggled a little with that, because I worried that it might set an expectation of perfection. It isn’t perfection intended with it though, but rather a recognition that we as humans are imperfect. But the more we can acknowledge our own imperfections, be cognisant of both our strengths and weaknesses, it allows us to put our best self forward, where best self includes both the strong and the weak, the good and the bad.
When we can do that, we also realise that we will never be perfect on our own, but perhaps in combinations with others (our partners, our spouses, our colleagues, our leaders, our team members), we can be.
We can be open that today is a tough day, and I need help to get through it.
We aren’t afraid to say that I don’t know everything or see everything from all perspectives, so I want and value your insight and opinions.
We let go of the charade of being perfect and focus our energy on our passions and our strengths, finding people who complement us with theirs. Best of all, we find it energising and stimulating, not threatening.
If you would like to explore your best self a bit more, I still have a few places in my first publicly launched classes of Be Your Best Self for a Better Team or Be Your Best Leader for a Better Team.
Let’s get comfortable together with our wonderful, beautiful, messy, imperfect selves!