I always go through these same train of events when I work with partners – or with someone new on something new.
First, I feel an unexplainable urge to be perfect.
“I’ve must have everything put together.”
“I must know the answers to all their questions.”
“I must show foresight.”
These thoughts replay and reinforce themselves in my head. I end up pretending that I know all the answers; or describe a 10-year plan that I thought of on the spot. And worse yet, I judge myself for that and feel really uncomfortable about it.
Second, I believe that what I do is who I am.
If I’ve told everyone that I’m an entrepreneur, educator, designer, marketer or maker, I have to stick to it. Otherwise, I’d be fickle, a failure, out-of-place…
What follows the “otherwise” often trips us up. We believe that these roles are everything that we are, which is not the case.
Last, I feed on the approval of others.
It is uncomfortable having to put ourselves out there. This could be new ideas, unpopular opinions or sharing a personal story. This discomfort and the intense fear of feeling unworthy often results in us giving so much more weight to the words of others.
When they agree, we give a sigh of relief and are thankful for this opportunity that others have given us. (And we forgot that it was on us to have prepared for this opportunity!) When they disagree, we are quick to chuck the idea aside and label it as useless.
These moments are very real and also very human. In these moments of vulnerability, I’d like to remind us that we are all humans. While we cannot biologically remove these uncomfortable feelings, we can offer ourselves some grace.