Ok, now that I have your attention I have a confession to make: Iâ€™m not perfect. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can almost hear the collective, â€śNO SH*Tâ€ť from all of you!) But seriously, there have been times I didnâ€™t return a call from a prospect in time and lost out on a potential opportunity. Sometimes I forget that Iâ€™m standing in front a group of professional small business owners and not BFFs and let an expletive slip out of my mouth. And sometimes I show up to a networking event with melted chocolate all over the back of my pants. Sometimes my posts and blogs are full of typos and sometimes I just completely stick my foot in my mouth and stand there, face as red as a ripe tomato, and stammer; desperately trying to yank the foot out, all the while embedding it even deeper.
I think Iâ€™m the typical too-hard-on-myself, I-must-be-perfect entrepreneur. We work so hard and take everything we do so personally that itâ€™s hard to give ourselves a break. Itâ€™s hard to be â€śokâ€ť with being less-than-perfect.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why canâ€™t we accept that weâ€™re human beings â€“ and not machines – and as human beings are going to make mistakes? As I pondered this question, I watched my dog Capone lazily get up from his comfy little doggy bed and slowly saunter across my living room and into the bedroom where I heard the leap from the floor to my bed. I knew he was sprawled out in the middle of my bed like a king. And I sighed, â€śWell, so much for my pretty new comforterâ€¦.â€ť
A lesson from my perfectly imperfect dog
Then all of his annoying habits flashed through my mindâ€¦. He chases cats with absolutely no regard to the arm on the other end of the leash that used to be attached to my shoulder, he stares at me while I eat (the silent begging), he sleeps all over my furniture like he owns it, he whines and stares and nudges me until I walk him (even if he just had a walk 10 minutes before), and he insists on sniffing every stranger we pass on our walks â€“ especially the ones who are afraid of him.
And I thought; despite all of his imperfections and annoying habits I love that dog to death. I pondered, â€śHow can I be annoyed at him? Heâ€™s just doing what dogs doâ€¦ And how can I be mad at him for being a dog?â€ť (Especially since I didnâ€™t train him any better, but thatâ€™s another blog topic).
Does my dog have his faults? Yup! Is my dog perfect? Absolutely!!! He does exactly what a dog is supposed to do! He is 100% D-O-G. And that is what I love about him. I canâ€™t fault him for being a dog â€“ any more than I can fault myself for being H-U-M-A-N. So then, why do I constantly beat myself up for not being perfect all the time???
I began to reflect, â€śWhy canâ€™t I give myself the same defense I gave my dog?? After all, I just do what humans doâ€¦. I forget to turn the stove off, I eat unhealthy food, swear at inappropriate times, and I allow my dog on the furniture and didnâ€™t train him not to sniff innocent strangersâ€™ kneesâ€ť. Am I perfect? Absolutely! I do exactly what humans are supposed to do; I make mistakes, I screw up, I embarrass myself. I then pick myself up, dust myself off and vow to do better next time. THAT is what makes me a perfectly imperfect human!
So, much to my displeasure I will never achieve my unrealistic idea of “perfection”. Nope; there will be plenty more faux pas (what the heck is the plural of that anyway?), slipped â€śFâ€ť words, embarrassing moments, and the sour tastes of foot on my bruised tongue. But I think I am finally realizing â€“ and maybe even accepting – that I am human and will never be perfect. And as a small business owner and entrepreneur, I think the important lesson here is that I continue strive for perfection. We are human, our businesses are run by humans; our marketing, our customer service, our products, our bookkeeping, and our taxes may never be perfect â€“ but as perfectionists we will always strive to be our best â€“ and that is what makes us different from Capone!
What do you think? Iâ€™d love to hear your thoughts on this!!Â
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