“Don’t forget, while you’re busy doubting yourself, someone else is admiring your strength,” Kristen Butler. We never consider the positive side of what people see about us. We are trained early on to be our own worst critic, seeing every flaw, learning to hide it, berating ourselves for making mistakes. We consider any imperfection a reason to stop. It must be some kind of proof that we aren’t meant to succeed if we aren’t perfect, right? As I’ve been maneuvering through the last week, working full time, raising my kid, keeping my side projects going, all while packing and cleaning in preparation for our next adventure, I’ve seen myself in a new light.
Nothing was done perfectly—but it all got done. It required HEAVY time management, learning to make demands in a different way, learning to bend in a different way, and simultaneously bearing down while loosening my grip on the controls. The bottom line was it all got done. Shifting between tasks and constantly moving forward, focusing on the goal kept me moving. And the truth is, as chaotic as it felt, I saw myself exerting a different kind of control. It wasn’t about changing behavior I didn’t like, it was about setting the precedent for what would happen in my absence. It was about being a leader, not a boss. It took a minute, but for the first time, I saw my true capacity. I recognized how badass I can be. Granted it took a ton of energy, but I saw myself executing and making decisions—and it worked.
I am so grateful I got to see myself that way because THAT is who I really am. I got to see myself outside of people pleasing and jumping through hoops to make sure I got the accolades I wanted. I saw myself making a plan, delivering it, and executing. I saw myself saying no to things I didn’t want and yes to what I did. For so many years, especially in the corporate world of healthcare, I always watched managers and above lay out this expectation that your role is 24/7 and you aren’t meant to break. As I’ve set out on my personal growth journey, I have set the precedent that we can get the job done while respecting our humanity. That our needs are just as important as those we serve. That I can take time for my family and still care about my job. It CAN all get done with clarity and level setting.
At the end of the day, what other people think isn’t what truly motivates us. It wears thin. Having a clear goal in mind and working toward it puts you in a position of power. And it’s a different power because it’s not about control-it’s about purpose. When you don’t care what you look like, there is a power in that. We may feel like we don’t have it all together, but that drive is inspiring. What mattered to me the most was actually seeing that I have the capacity to do WAY more than I thought. Seeing myself, being inspired by myself gives me the inspiration to help others. We are powerful creatures, so much more than we are allowed to believe. I welcome the age of us living up to our potential. For that, I admire everyone’s strength and hope to use mine as an example, a reminder to use yours as well.