Warning – only read this book if you think you’re strong enough for change. After you’re done reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown you will not be able to go back and be your old self.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I picked up this book thinking it would be a light read on a recent trip to Portland, Oregon. I entered the plane as one person and I’m pretty sure I left the plane a completely different individual. You simply cannot read lines like, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough” and be the same person. No-no-NO!
Upon closing the book, I had three major takeaways (there are many others and yours will likely be different than mine) I wanted to share with you today. I learned more about myself through this book (and a lot about others). I am even taking one of the Guideposts Brown describes and plan to use it on LinkedIn!
Are we willing to say no, even if we’re disappointing someone? (Tweet it out!)
Too many times we say “yes” out of fear of what “no” may appear to another person. Our desire to belong and be accepted trumps most rational thoughts of why you shouldn’t do something. I hear financial advisors say, “I like to help everyone.” That’s not entirely accurate.
You must know who you work well with and stick to those individuals. You must know how much you charge for your services and stick to those prices. You must learn to be ok after you say no – and I know this is the hardest thing to do! I’m right there with you.
“Staying real” is one of the most courageous battles that we’ll ever fight. (Tweet it out!)
Authenticity is such a buzzword, but it really has an impactful meeting. You are who you are. If you try and change for others, you’ll be miserable. One of the things Brown discusses in her book has to do with this multi-passionate life many of us lead. She calls it the slash effect. For example, I’m a Social Media Strategist / Writer / Book Lover / Crazy Grandma. I do each think individually but collectively it better defines me.
What if LinkedIn profiles reflected this from the get-go? Don’t you think you’d have a better and more well-rounded understanding of who I am versus what you put together about me? I think so. I would also find it more enjoyable to do business with someone where I knew what drove them each day to do what they do.
Embrace your slash!
Perfectionism never happens in a vacuum. It touches everyone around us. (Tweet it out!)
Every single person on earth will fail at being perfect. This means you will be wrong sometimes. Your clients will be wrong sometimes. Your staff will be wrong sometimes. Your kids will be wrong sometimes. Your spouse will be wrong sometimes. Everyone will be wrong at some point. How you react to this is as important to you as it is to everyone around you.
Be gentle in your response to those who are wrong. Many of us already don’t like the idea of doing something incorrectly and your added grace in a time of vulnerability will go a long way. Freaking out and losing your cool only makes matters worse.
I will admit and say I struggle with this a lot. The more I embrace letting stuff go, though, the better I feel immediately. Try it out sometime.
Check out this book. You will NOT be disappointed. It is not an easy read. It will take time to digest the different guideposts and you’ll like go back to this over-and-over, but it’s so worth it.
Be bigger, better, and more BIONIC today!
Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite