I am learning marketing, and I just participated in a 3-day event… I have a list of things I want to implement that I just learned at this event that ended last night.
Of course, most of the things I learned replace my ineffective marketing actions from before the event.
And there is a moment of reckoning: I have been doing it all wrong. I have spent a lot of money advertising the wrong way. I have been doing a lot of work that is now all wasted.
Sinking feeling in the stomach.
And then came the intelligent saying: “What did you expect? You don’t know what you are doing.” And then another even stronger sinking feeling in the stomach.
This is what this article is about: that sinking feeling and you
I’ve been observing, in my own life and in the lives of my students, I am noticing that the BIGGEST barrier to growth, the biggest barrier to learning, the biggest barrier to action is the gap between your expectation of yourself to be perfect, to know everything without learning, to do everything without mistakes, to never fail at anything.
It isn’t part of genetics: it is definitely a societal, cultural expectation, from your parents and guardians.
Expectation is the mother of disappointment
When I was nine, my mother was in the hospital. I cooked a three-course meal: I needed a foot stool to be able to do it, but I did it.
I only remember the desert, because I screwed that up. It was similar to bread pudding, except instead of bread it had noodles in it, crushed poppy seeds, crushed walnuts, apricot jam… a yummy dish… except…
You cook the noodles in water. The water needs to be salty or the whole dish is ruined… I forgot to put the salt. You can’t salt a sweet dish on your plate.
This was 55 years ago, I still remember it.
Culture is such that you only pay attention to your failures, your mistakes, your misses, your errors, you screw ups, and never to your successes.
Context is decisive, so let’s look what’s the context, and let’s see if we can change it, by design.
The context (I am speculating!) must be something like “unless I am perfect my mommy will not like me”. Because, believe it or not, it is all about being loved… and underneath it, it all boils down to survival.
As societal creatures, our survival depends 90% on what others think of us, whether they like us or not… at least that’s how it feels, doesn’t it? In some countries it is even 99%, like Canada.
This societal expectation to be perfect therefore lovable is a poison that we, knowingly, administer to ourselves.
Perfection doesn’t buy you liking, you, yourself, hate people who are perfect, you want to tear them down, it’s irritating! Whether it’s looks, whether it’s education, or anything.
Perfection is not attractive, and yet, stupid as the mind is, the mind keeps on telling you that if you could just be perfect, you would be liked, invited to parties, get married, whatever.
Trying to be perfect is a stumbling block: you won’t want to do anything that you don’t already know how to do.
So you shrink, and you die with every day.
To be alive is to grow. Life wants more life…
Two things to the rescue:
- Say: I am expecting myself to be perfect, but that is not natural. Instead I want to be growing. The more mistakes I make the more I grow… Blunders galore wins the gold!
I saw a movie last night. I loved it. Bob the Butler… (watch it free here) Bob, our hero was getting fired from his hundredth job. Without losing faith, losing a beat, he goes to a 5-day training to become a butler.
The training starts out with about 25 participants, by day three, only Bob remains.
He gets a job as a butler. And, surprise, everything that he failed at before becomes suddenly useful. He wins the heart of the family he butlers for, and there is a happy ending.
Lovely movie, very educational, and very fitting for your conundrum: failing at something, if you attempted to learn to do it well, is a valuable lesson.
I have trained, in addition to be an architect and a structural engineer, to become an MBA, to become an interpreter, someone who already says what the other person, but in another language, without waiting for them to stop talking, seamstress, painter, carpenter, electrician, typist, shorthand-er, speed reader, shipper, typesetter, printer, publisher, writer, desktop publisher, perl programmer, webmaster, script installer, photoshop and illustrator designer, etc. etc. etc. in addition to having competed in swimming, table tennis, and the uneven bars.
When I got my first computer back in 1989, I didn’t know what I was doing, but took on to moving an entire magazine’s design operation onto the Macintosh… and of course I screwed it up. But the experience was the beginning of a successful publishing career for the next 11 years.
Being unstoppable by fear of failure is the most important skill you can learn. It’s a skill, not a quality. Unstoppable people have to reframe everything.
The difference between them and you is that they do the reframing, and you don’t… until now you didn’t know how to do it, now you have an idea.
- It becomes easier to reframe once you have used the Unconditional Love Activator for a length of time. I am including it in the Effortless Abundance Activator, so if you get that, you’ll have 168 activators in one neat audio, including the Unconditional Love Activator. Warning: if your vibration is under 170, you need the bottled remedy first.
And then can enter the competition of who fails most.
I will have a prize for the winner. A big one. At least a thousand bucks…