This post is brought to you by a voice that shakes but speaks the truth anyway, newfound confidence, the letter G, and Gwendolyn Weston.
Why? Because I spent six months – 180 days – worrying about my blog template, obsessing over fonts, and generally hiding in perfectionism. I thought if I could make everything perfect, I’d be immediately successful. I thought that if I did everything “right” I wouldn’t experience the things that other fledgling bloggers experienced.
I wish I could go back in time and introduce 2008 Sarah to Gwen Weston.
Gwen writes (and coaches) about how we Type-A types can show up for uncertainty. She writes about how failure builds confidence and how we should all learn that it’s okay to speak imperfectly. She’s a lovely, refreshing antidote to perfectionism.
There’s that oft-quoted aphorism about shipping products from LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” I wonder if the same applies to putting yourself out there.
Because I’ve realized that I hadn’t really discovered the depths of my resilience until I put myself in uncertain and vulnerable situations. That only by giving a shaky talk at a meet-up, by hosting an event with low turnout, by releasing an app that no one used did I learn to actually believe I could move past the stumbles and failures of vulnerable situations. Counter-intuitively, it seems that failure builds confidence.