I’ve been spending A LOT of time thinking about imperfection lately.
Because what I’m learning as I work with more and more women is that well all have one thing in common.
We all have something we suck at and we think we are the only ones like that.
And by sucking I don’t necessarily mean being incapable of doing something.
It could mean just not knowing how to do something.
Or it could mean you just don’t care about it enough to do it well.
Or at all.
Conversely, we all have unique talents. Unique gifts.
There are things we can offer the world in a way that nobody else can.
That doesn’t mean we are the only person who can do a particular thing.
It means that we are the only person who can do a thing in that particular way.
Look at teachers.
There are millions of teachers out there in the world.
We’ve all had dozens of teachers.
Many of them have taught the same thing. English, math, science, social studies…. whatever.
And we all have had a favorite teacher.
One of those teachers stands out above all the rest.
Because that teacher had a way of delivering content and connecting with us that no other teacher ever could.
That’s because that teacher has a unique gift. Only he or she has it.
We might have a favorite singer.
There are many super talented musicians in the world.
But the ones who are our favorites are the ones who sing or play an instrument in a way that no one else does.
Those things are our strengths.
WE also all suck at some things.
Some things we suck at because we just weren’t born with that strength.
Some things we suck at because nobody ever taught us how to do them.
Other things we suck at by choice.
It’s okay to suck at things!
And it’s definitely okay to be okay with sucking at things.
What’s not okay is feeling alone in your suckiness.
The other day in E-School (my membership group), one of the women shared a “confession.”
Here it is, shared with her permission:
Confession time: I am a terrible house cleaner. I usually straighten, declutter, vacuum, and wipe things down with a Clorox wipe. I don’t wash the floors (I sweep and vacuum but it’s hard in a tiny house with a small person underfoot) and I don’t scrub. My tub is usually somewhat embarrassing but no matter how hard I tried, I just didn’t know how to actually clean things. I bought cleaners, I bought supplies but I have been too embarrassed to ask friends because at 43 I don’t know how to actually clean things. WELL. Today something finally clicked. I went on YOUTUBE and looked up how to get my white tub clean. I feel like such an idiot but so accomplished at the same time. I made a cleaner out of water, white vinegar, and dawn. I let it sit and I scrubbed it with a mr clean eraser and it is SPARKLING!!! I wish I would think of looking things up more quickly instead of just trying to figure everything out with just my own brain.My baking sheets are soaking in hydrogen peroxide and baking soda as we speak…..
You know what happened when she shared this?
It generated a thread of 75 comments in my little group of 40 women.
We might be soul sisters when it comes to cleaning. Thank you for sharing.
OMG…I feel so much better reading this. I DESPISE cleaning…
Deep clean? The house is lucky I pick up, wipe surfaces and vacuum.
That’s awesome!! And just for the record I hate cleaning with a passion. actually any kind of manual labor is really just not my thing.
I was never taught how to really clean, so I blame it on my mom. 🤣
We all have weaknesses. Some of those weaknesses hold us back from living the life we want to live or being the people we ultimately want to be.
But many of those weaknesses are fine staying just that.
It’s okay to suck at stuff.
And to not care about it.
We so often focus on the things we suck at rather than focusing on the shit we are really fucking good at!
Focusing on a strength – and working on improving that – is much more productive and effective than focusing on a weakness that really has no impact on our lives.
Unless you really want to improve in that sucky area of your life.
Then go for it!
You are never alone in your suckiness.
This is why I share my life.
The good parts and the bad parts.
Because so many of us think we are alone and feel guilt and shame for no good reason!
It’s fucking tiring to carry around guilt and shame over things like sucking at cleaning a bathtub.
But it’s really empowering when you own it and release it.
Because then you realize you are not alone. You are not weak. You are not a failure. You don’t have anything to be ashamed of.
You know what one of my strengths is?
Sharing what I suck at! And sharing when I do things imperfectly! Which is VERY OFTEN!!!!
I do this because it feels good to not pretend.
It feels good to let other people know that I’m okay with not being great at everything and that I don’t care!
When we get to this point in our lives, then we don’t feel threatened by other peoples’ strengths when they are not ours.
And we can celebrate each other.
It’s a pretty amazing thing to be part of a group of women where there is no competition and no judging and no shaming.
That’s when we all become aware of our unique gifts.
NOBODY is really good at everything.
They might be good at pretending they are really good at everything.
But I promise you, everyone sucks at lots of stuff.
I’ll suck at lots of stuff until I die.
The stuff I don’t want to suck at?
Well, I’m committed to learning how to do those things better.
But I can tell you right now that one of those things is NOT cleaning.
I’m with my E-Schooler on that one.
I fucking hate it.
And that’s okay.
Cause there is plenty of stuff that I’m really good at.
And that’s the stuff I want to put most of my energy into.
I wanna do what I do well and what I enjoy doing to the best of my ability.
I want to achieve excellence in my strengths.
If some of the stuff I suck at needs to improve so my strengths can improve?
Well then I’ll work on those.
The other stuff?
I’ll leave that shit to somebody else.