Waking up from old programming
What is wrong with you is that you think something is wrong with you.
Many higher ed. leaders are high performers with a long list of accomplishments, in part because their minds look for problems to solve or prevent and opportunities to seize. Their success is due to their strategic thinking and their willingness to face the truth even when it’s uncomfortable. And that’s one of the reasons I love them so much! But the negative side of a mind programmed for improvement and optimization is that it tends to look at the self as flawed.
If you seek perfection you will always find something you could have done better (it may not be true but it is your perception). You may be on a relentless journey of personal and professional development which leaves you feeling “not good enough” when you only reach 99% of your goals. My desire is to help you wake up from old programming and gain a new level of understanding.
Here is the truth: There is perfection in your imperfections.
Let me say it again because I really want you to hear me: There is perfection in your imperfections.
The world does not need clones. The world needs differences and diversity. Nobody is a mistake. I invite you to start thinking about how what you perceive as your flaws have purpose and value too.
Your flaws’ gifts
Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way encouraging anyone to make excuses, be complacent, or act in ways that are beneath them. Keep in mind that my role is always to inspire you to step up and grow. But the best way to do it is from a place of self-acceptance, not self-criticism.
Is there something about yourself that you don’t quite accept but you haven’t been able to change? Do you feel guilty or even shameful? If yes, start looking at the positive aspects of your perceived flaws. Here are some examples I encounter often with new clients.
- Perceived flaw: I’m too impatient.
- Hidden gift: You get things done! You don’t waste time. You’re efficient and effective. You can be trusted to make things happen.
- Perceived flaw: I’m too direct.
- Hidden gift: You excel at communicating expectations clearly and your staff knows exactly what to do. You are transparent and trustworthy.
- Perceived flaw: I’m not good at politics.
- Hidden gift: You have exceptional professional relationships because people know where they stand with you and appreciate that you don’t play games.
- Perceived flaw: I don’t have enough confidence.
- Hidden gift: You double check your work and you are open to feedback, which allows you to do an outstanding job. Also, people feel safe in your presence because you are not intimidating.
If you think you’re hallucinating because these examples seem to go against everything I usually say, let me remind you that it’s only the first step.
Growing without self-criticism
Self-criticism, regret, and shame can be paralyzing. If there are any parts of you that you do not accept, your #1 goal should be to look for ways to love your flaws. Once you recognize their positive aspects and you stop judging yourself, you will feel far more empowered.
You have nothing to hide and nothing to apologize for. There is perfection in your imperfections.
From that place of complete self-acceptance, you will start feeling drawn to new personal development goals, not because you’re not good enough as you are now, but because you enthusiastically want more for yourself. You will feel pulled toward something wonderful rather than pushed out of your current/old painful reality.
Going back to the examples above, you know that:
- Becoming more patient will be delightful because you’ll find inner peace and people won’t feel rushed by you.
- Being less direct and becoming more sensitive to what people are ready to hear will make you more compassionate and far more influential.
- Learning politics (from a place of integrity) will allow you to be a stronger leader and serve your department more effectively.
- And finally, gaining more confidence will give you courage and energy to accomplish things that are meaningful to you.
Side effects include: reduced stress, worries, tiredness, guilt and feelings of inadequacy; and improved quality of life, pleasant emotions, trust, sense of safety, inspiration, and ambition.
That’s right, self-acceptance won’t make you complacent; it will unleash your full potential and allow to rise to new levels.
Did you know that we have on average 65,000 thoughts per day and that about 90% are the same as we had the day before? It’s because our unconscious minds run the show, unless we make a conscious decision to change focus and thought patterns.
Please make a commitment to yourself to change the way you think, and if you follow-through, your life will transform. Truth be told, you will need more than a strong desire to change. You will need structure and effective strategies. Click here to schedule a call to speak with me about how we can team up and make this process easy! Let’s talk soon. There is too much at stake to wait.
About the author: Dr. Audrey Reille has empowered thousands of professionals through one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking engagements, online courses, and interviews on international telesummits. Audrey is the go-to coach for leaders in higher education administration. She empowers them to thrive by reducing stress, optimizing strategies, improving professional relationships, and developing a strong and empowered mindset.