Dance in the rain
As I was preparing for this issue and thinking about my message, I had a specific vision for how I would look in photos. I wanted it to be special and represent what the holiday season means to me. I scheduled my hair, makeup and photo shoot.
That afternoon was beautiful, and everything was turning out perfectly... until my photographer and I were headed to capture the essence of what Small Business Saturday means to me. The clouds started to roll in and soon enough it was pouring. There was no way this photo shoot was happening — at least not the way I had planned.
Experts say making a lasting change requires that you find your inner motivation; your own personal drive to succeed. But many people have a hard time making change.
Both of my parents suffered with perfectionism. Growing up in our house meant things were structured. Asking questions or making suggestions was never received as creative or collaborative, but rather disobedient. I never felt empowered to make decisions. In fact, I had a lot of anxiety thinking I would disappoint or make the wrong choice. I walked a tightrope.
It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized how perfectionism was such a huge part of who I was. It was so unhealthy. Nothing could be out of place; everything was always picture perfect and the worst thing… I was modeling that behavior for my children. I was setting standards and expectations that were unrealistic for not only them, but myself. When I realized this was happening, I knew I needed to make changes quickly.
The common areas of our home remained tidy, but the children had freedom and flexibility (within reason) to keep their rooms in whatever order they felt most comfortable in. Little by little, I made changes, and it was uncomfortable. I left things unfinished; I didn’t plan everything, I allowed room for spontaneity and most importantly, I offered myself grace.
As I struggled to let go of perfectionism and find balance, I noticed it was trickling into my work life, as well. I’ve often wondered if I just love my work or if I am a workaholic? My research showed me that workaholism can be linked to low self-esteem and perfectionism. Typically, the person works at the cost of their sleep, family, friends,’ social interactions and may have a hard time delegating tasks to others. That is not me.
Whew! My family, friends and client relationships are all integrated into my work and are all a part of my life. It is my inner motivation. It is where I find my strength.
For me, self-awareness has led to dancing in the rain. It is ok to not have a plan. It is ok to not know the answers and it is ok to ask questions. You must trust the process and dance along away.
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