You don’t have to be the perfect Woman: You just need to be the Woman you already are perfectly
Ok, hands up: who here is waiting for the right moment before they strike?
You think you just need that one extra qualification or big client to be extra sure?
Maybe you’re waiting for your boss or mentor to tell you that you’re ready and give you permission to rise up the ranks?
Or spinning about 800 plates at any given moment?
Worried you haven’t quite made it yet?
Couldn’t possibly ask for more money because (insert your story here)…
And have you ever noticed how some of your counterparts don’t seem to have these concerns one bit? No way! Your friends are out there swinging from the rooftops of their careers and businesses with wild abandon, thumping their chests and letting everybody know how just how capable, ready and entitled they are. In fact before they even get the promotion, they’re writing their letter of acceptance. That’s because they have understood the golden art of learning on the job and asking for what they’re worth whereas we wait around, work harder, study more and generally prepare ourselves for that shining moment, when we will have arrived – at perfect!
And just what exactly do we think that this thing called perfect is anyway?
And when exactly did we decide we needed to strive for it?
At the tender age of four, following a harrowing scene involving red nail varnish spilt on a carpet and the resultant weeping, convulsing little heap I became alone in my bedroom, I made a decision. Well, actually, I made two;
firstly, ‘I am bad’ (this lives in the ‘not good enough’ and ‘unlovable’ family occupied by most, if not all of us)
and secondly ‘I must be a good girl’ (also known as Pleaser).
This is pure Programming in action; we all make the simplest of decisions such as this one in order to survive whatever we perceive to be the life threatening hurts that come our way as children. When I was four I had no idea that I wouldn’t actually die from being yelled at and so as I began to become a conscious little human my Girls Guide to Surviving Life was already being written, as was yours. For much of my adult life my ‘good girl’ decision, now bedded firmly into my identity and story of myself at a deeply unconscious level, has served me well. I have over achieved in everything I have turned my hand to, always been the youngest to succeed in any profession or educational field, won awards, written books, worked tirelessly for charity and given of myself fully to the needy, the dispossessed and the wayward.
I am such a Good Girl!
All sounds great on paper. The truth behind that truth however, is that I spent my entire adolescent and early adult life crippled by the need for approval, having to please people and always get it right. My inner four year old, unless closely guarded and managed, will kick up a neurotic stink in any moment where she believes she may be seen as bad (or not good enough).
During my Scarlett Programmes we explore the creation of our Girls Guide to Surviving Life and it never falters; we all have one. Unbeknown to most of us, we were the bestselling Authors of our own destiny before we could even spell worthy. You could send me your CV today and I could show you your inner Girls Guide in a heartbeat.
It doesn’t really matter the nature of your own personal story or survival guide, in some, way, shape or form it will have inevitably led you to think that you have to be perfect, and that somehow you’re just not quite there yet. The real you, the fully fledged version of yourself is on her way, she’ll get here someday and until then you’ll just keep on running yourself ragged in the hopes your efforts will pay off.
- We confuse work with accomplishment.
- We mistake frenetic, mind numbing activity with progress.
- We do this because we are afraid that we are not yet enough. If we just keep up the running ourselves ragged and taking care of everything and everyone then people will respect us and love us and we can continue to pull off this farcical pantomime that we hope will pass as a successful life.
- If we walk fast and look busy then hopefully no-one will notice we haven’t got the faintest idea what is going on!
So let me share with you The World’s Greatest Secret….
Ssshhhhh….. are you sure you’re ready for this?
We are all afraid of being found out.
Yes. All of us. Our attempts to be Woman of The Year are ultimately covering up the fact that we are afraid of being exposed as the fraudulent no hopers that we really are. And we’re all guilty of it no matter what stage we’re at. It’s a phenomenon known as Imposter Syndrome and it is much more prevalent in women than in men.
Women are much more likely to have been socialised from an early age to hang back, wait to be asked, let the man take the lead (and interestingly pay for things / have jobs) and as a result when we do step up into our own personal power that wonderful little commentator in our heads pipes up with ‘and who, might I ask do you think you are?’
Well I’d like to remind you Mrs Wonderful – you are perfectly flawed and imperfect just like everybody else. And that’s what’s makes you YOU! Next time you catch yourself trying to do it all, be perfect, criticise yourself for not having completed something and just generally trying to be Woman of the Year; do yourself a favour and give yourself a pat on the back anyway, you’re doing just fine and if you were a man you’d have asked for a bonus for that extra bit of ironing you completed!!
Remember: You don’t have to be the perfect Woman: You just need to be the Woman you already are perfectly.
Salli is running a 1 day event called The Motivational Makeover on the 9th June. For more information on the workshop, visit www.motivational-makeover.com.