Choose authenticity over perfection. How laughter can get you over the hump.
Updated: Aug 1
Better to have lived and laughed at yourself than to not have fully lived at all.
Fully expressing who you are takes a lot of courage. If it's presenting in front of 100 people, sharing a provocative idea to the board or capturing your message on video, criticality always seems to follow. Why is it that when we face these moments of expression, we suddenly get so critical on the words we choose, our tone, and body language. We get fixated on public acceptance versus the importance of the message. I remember the first time I video recorded an intro for an online training course, I spent 45-minutes trying to capture the perfect, "Hi! My name is Gisela Chock." Nothing was good enough. My shoulders were shrugged. My pitch too high. I'd mix my words up because I was thinking in Spanish. My "pop-eye" eyebrow wouldn't go away. I even went to the extent to checking if my eyebrows were always uneven in childhood photos (yes, they were. Ha!). I was scared of what people would think. It was my fear of being judged that created the state of perfectionism. When I first saw the 45-minutes of video with me saying my name, over and over again, I just had to laugh at my self. It would never be perfect. I finally let go of the visual outcome and focused on the message that I was trying to get across. To get through it, I pretended to talk with my first coaching client. I still had my blooper moments but the experience felt much more natural and enjoyable.
Over the years there's one thing I've learned about fully expressing yourself. People will either judge or relate to your imperfections. There will always be those that judge you. Just like taxes, it's unavoidable. Those that judge your imperfections are in reality identifying with their own insecurities. Those that relate to your imperfections are relating to vulnerability and courage. Authentic leadership is about having clarity of your purpose (or message), being vulnerable and demonstrating courage. Authentic leadership builds trust and deeper connections with those around you.
So, the next time you start to get super critical of your expression, take a moment to focus on your message, let go of the outcome and laugh at your imperfections. Literally, laugh out loud. Laughter heals.
Play with this Life xSpearmint over the next week to practice courage.
Take the next week to identify any situations where you become critical of yourself when trying to express something important. When perfectionism flusters your expression take a moment to shift your energy with these few steps:
Get clear on the root to what you want to express.
Let go of the outcome and what the "judgers" might be thinking.
Ask yourself, what the worst that can happen? Then laugh about it.