Criticism & Contribution – Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Taking on new challenges over the past month has been thrilling and inspiring, yet I also acknowledge that little voice waiting in the woodwork for me to screw up so it could say, “I told you so.  You’re not that smart / creative / sharp / capable / whatever.”

For my inner perfectionist, that is the kiss of death.

In the past, I have worked hard to do the things I’m good at, focus on the areas I receive praise, and not take on tasks or projects that could expose my perceived weaknesses or imperfections.

Nowadays, I have put aside what other people think, and I’m paving my own path of truth.  I believe that what I am committed to is in service to the greater good and will therefore be received by the people who need it.  By that same token, I know there will be some who will scoff at this work, and I get to deal with the…dun, dun, dun…judgement and crticism that is inherent in taking a stand.

Enter: Inner perfectionist.

Yesterday, when someone very close to me called to tell me about a couple of typos on my sites, I immediately went into not-good-enough mode.  And honestly, this feeling totally bugs me!!

I hate feeling inferior or less than.  I hate exposing imperfections to people I want to be perfect around.  And I hate then thinking about whoever read the entries that included the typo or two and thinking whatever ridiculous thought that followed.

And then I BREATHE.

I am not, never have been, and never will be “perfect.”  I can take my own advice (via Don Miguel Ruiz), and not take anything personally.

Then I can realize that this person was simply trying to help me, and now I feel grateful because I have a keen copy-editor’s eyes on my work.  I understand that I don’t have every part of the equation for success mastered, and today I learned a little about love and leadership.  Strength comes from knowing my vulnerabilities, being able to be at peace with them, and inviting those who are strong in and enjoy those areas to step forward to share their gifts.

My occasional typo, then, is not a representation of my deficiency, but instead, a place of opportunity for another to come in and contribute.

Big heart smiles,

S

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