The Value of Being Good Enough
Here’s the deal.
You’ll never be your ideal perfect leader, mother, wife woman. Even if you reach the mark you set for yourself, you’ll just set another higher goal to attain, or you’ll want to repeat what you just did.
It’s never enough. You’re never enough. Think about it. What are you measuring yourself against right now?
Did you hit your quarterly goals?
Are you making a profit, saving enough money, paying down your debt?
Are you thin enough, pretty enough, stylish enough?
Is your home neat, tidy and beautiful?
Are your kids well behaved, getting good grades, and star athletes?
Whew! It’s exhausting always trying to measure up! Plus, even if you did hit those goals, what will you do next?
This is the path of the ideal perfect leader, mother or business owner. CrisMarie and I see this all of the time with our coaching clients. Women, and especially women business leaders, are always trying to be more, do more, have more. I’ll admit we’re even guilty of that ourselves. Most women leaders I know are pretty conscientious, competitive and are rarely satisfied with one win!
The Perfect Leader
Recently, I was engaged in one of our programs, Come Play with the Horses, which is a two-hour local event we offer where we introduce people to the transformational learning that can come from a relationship with horses. It’s a really fun program.
Two women, both leaders in their own professional worlds, attended this event. One woman, Mary, was a teacher embarking on the new school year, facing the challenges of the goals she had for her students and the reality of the limited time and resources given to her by the school. If Mary wasn’t given enough, she’d use her own heartbeats to make up the difference to become the BEST teacher!
The other woman, Jane, was an executive in a large financial firm. She was the voice for wealth management advisors throughout her seven-state region. She was expected to be the expert and people relied heavily on her recommendations. Admittedly, Jane liked being the expert, having the right answers and being the best at her job. Though a pro at advising on wealth, Jane was a bit nervous stepping into the arena with the horses. She, of course, wanted to do this new task, perfectly!
Here were two women from very different careers facing the same issues: The desire and drive to be the perfect advisor or best teacher, and the challenges of having to be just that day in and day out.
What’s so wonderful about playing with the horses, is that horses are not interested in being perfect or best. In fact, horses usually move away from someone with that kind of energy.
While both Mary and Jane wanted to connect to the horses, it wasn’t until they each acknowledged what was really going on inside, that the horses started to trust them.
Mary, the teacher, wanted her horse to get over an obstacle the horse was afraid of even approaching. What was amazing, was that Mary guided her horse to getting closer, even circling and smelling the obstacle. She may have kept at it forever. Finally, it was the horse who let her know it was enough, and gave her a nudge and push to move away and go find another place to play! Mary laughed when she realized how overly focused she can get. She took a deep breath and celebrated what she and horse had done.
Jane, the executive, spoke up and shared that she thought the horses didn’t like her and that she was failing. We offered her an alternative storyline—that she might be so driven and trying so hard, that she wasn’t connected and grounded her own body or even aware of what she was feeling. “So true!” she said, laughing.
Then Jane took a breath and talked about how in her career she could rarely let her fear or doubt show. With a little breath and movement, she connected to herself and started to enjoy with curiosity this relationship with the horse. She experimented with leading the horse through breath, presence, grounding and teamwork, versus expertise, which worked wonders for the horse.
Both of these stories highlight how often women and women leaders are working so hard to be perfect, the best. And when they do that, they miss leading and living actually!
So where are you trying to be perfect? the best? or just overly focused on a goal?
Pause, take a breathe. Maybe what you have done is good enough. Maybe you need to celebrate, stop driving and connect to yourself and to the people riding along with you - family, friends or teammates!
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke are Master certified life coaches, business consultants, speakers and authors of The Beauty of Conflict. They believe real relationships are the key to creating great business results. They’ll take your team from mediocre to great.
Interested in coaching? Check out CrisMarie’s executive coaching and personal coaching, or Susan’s personal coaching and equus coaching.
Want to take a class? Sign up for one of their virtual classes: Get Unstuck, Relationship Mojo or come to their signature retreat Find Your Mojo in Montana. Click here to check out all their service offerings.
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