More about the bane of perfection:
Waiting to speak up
waiting to be completely “right”
waiting to have all the t’s crossed. i’s dotted
waiting to stun everyone into silence
with your unassailable brilliance.
Oh my god…how effed up is that?
I can see myself: two or three years old, in my high chair at the end of the table, listening, listening, listening, waiting to talk, not finding an opening because there was so much talk amongst the already walking, talking tribe called my bio-family. Don’t get me wrong. It was a nice family. I was loved and safe and warm. But somewhere in all that swirl of conversation or babble, I made up the belief that I had better get all my words and thoughts in order before I opened my mouth.
It took me a long, long time to fling myself in a conversation, to try out my thinking. It was so much easier to be a listener, to ask questions, to invisible myself. But what a disservice to me, to my voice and ultimately to the people at the proverbial table because I wasn’t letting anyone get to know me.
I still have to push myself. Drafting can be a trial. Speaking on panels makes me sweat. But I keep doing it. I keep speaking up, shaping my thoughts as I speak, figuring things out. What did teachers used to tell us? “Show your work. You may not get the right answer but if I see you how you worked at the problem, I can mark the effort.”
So speak up. Fling off the yoke of perfection. Join the conversation. People really do want to hear what you are thinking. As long as you’re not a know-it-all or an attention hog or an overbearing blowhard.
Hah! Shall I aspire to blowhard? And fail miserably and perfectly along the way?