Non-Perfection: An Invitation

 “Here’s the uncomfortable truth about perfection.
It’s often just insecurity in disguise”

-Gary Vaynerchuk 


We can have high standards, be deliverables-oriented, professional, successful, have impact, and… not be perfect. 

Obvious, right?

It IS obvious, until we find ourselves in a situation where we feel overwhelmed, worried, have a lot at stake, are unsure about what to do, Imposter Syndrome kicks in, and we revert to limiting beliefs about what leaders in our roles “should” look like, act like and should be able to achieve.


This topic arose both in the Mindful Leadership Cohort I coach as well as in conversations at the Symphony this week.  It’s a big, juicy, very common, multi-faceted topic, with lots of opportunities for self-observation hidden within the nooks and crannies of a To-Do List or preparing for an interview or board meeting, or myriad of decisions being made about ourselves or the organizations we work within. 

The good news:

There are some antidotes, and strategies to help. I use an integrated practice of setting an intention for BE-ing, testing assumptions and revealing any limiting beliefs, identifying and valuing our true value (the impact on others when we feel joy), knowing the unique causes and conditions we need to have that impact, and – NO “should-ing” on yourself!

A pandemic can help us begin to shift into this new way of thinking in our professional roles.

Now more than ever, we know that we may not know all the answers.  If you’re feeling like you don’t have as much experience as some of your peers, rest-assured no-one in your position has ever had to navigate through a pandemic. The playing field has been levelled.  Or I think of it as your individual superpowers being revealed.

Last night, the Santa Barbara Symphony returned to the concert hall for the first time in seven months – we’re broadcasting the program live this weekend (see below if you’d like to join in the celebration).  This is a big deal, as orchestras and theatres across the country have gone dark, and archival recordings have become the “new” content.

During some of the on-camera conversations I had with the musicians backstage, we talked about how exhilarating it is to work within an organizational culture that sets an intention to do good, to help each other be their best, and to TRY.  The Board, Music & Artistic Director Staff, Musicians, Union, all invited innovation; knowing full well that not everything would be “perfect” and that in fact, things may not work out as planned. The community is applauding and supporting this collaborative culture and perhaps valuing impact and intention to serve over “perfection.”

It’s a great way to operate, and live. We flow. Momentum builds.

So! I offer YOU an invitation to re-look at how you are “measuring” your success and your abilities.  Tap into the impact on others you want (and are meant) to have, celebrate it, create momentum around it, and when you make “mistakes” see if you aren’t actually moving forward in ways that matter.  Play.

“Live from the heart of yourself. 
Seek to be whole, not perfect.” – Oprah

To your success!🥂 


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