the tyranny of “perfect”


lisa fabrega

I recently wrote this line in an email to one of my mentors “Being blind to my sh&t is just about the most terrifying thing I can think of. NO THANK YOU.”

After I wrote this, it got me thinking about blindspots, and how terrifying it can feel to also FACE them. After speaking with so many people over the years, I’ve seen people turn DOWN doing Capacity Work, specifically because they’re afraid they’re going to see their blindspots.

What if they finally have to face their marriage is no longer working? (or is working)
What if seeing their blindspots means they’re going to have to make some hard changes to their careers or businesses they aren’t sure they can “handle”?

I even recently had an intro call with a woman who kept reminding me SHE was evaluating ME on our call, seemed very defensive and controlling and wouldn’t let me get a word in trying to control our entire conversation. When I asked her point blank if she felt she was really ready for coaching, because a good coach like me would point out blind spots she might not see…she went into a long, non-consensual rant about all my flaws as a human.

Of course I didn’t offer her a spot to work with me (and ended the call soon after), but what I thought about afterwards was this…

How terrified we are of seeing we’re not perfect. And how even MORE terrified we are of OTHER PEOPLE seeing we’re not perfect.

Because that’s what was beneath her incredibly energetically-violent energy on the call. She was so terrified I’d fully see her, she had to play weird power games with me on the call and control every part of the process. It made her uncoachable. And unreachable.

It’s what makes big leaders who get rightfully called out respond defensively and dig even deeper holes for themselves, angering and hurting even more people.

AND, it’s ONE of the things I think is behind why so many of you HIDE and don’t allow yourself to be fully seen in your work, your leadership and in your relationships.

Did you know the virtual Visibility Capacity retreat is our most popular virtual retreat? It sells out EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Visibility is SUCH a huge topic for y’all.

So many of you write to us about that retreat, sign up for it and share how groundbreaking it is for you. Because SO MANY of us are hiding or not FULLY showing up as the powerhouses we know we are here to be.

And this happens for people I work with at ALL levels of success. I was just talking with a new client who owns an eight-figure company, who is struggling with visibility issues. And last week I spoke with a woman who keeps sabotaging her brand new business because of visibility issues.

We’re so afraid of what other people will think of us, what they’ll say, how our families will react. We worry about whether we can “have the capacity” to deal with the haters or potential trolls arising from our increased visibility.

And it’s ALL because we have this idea leaders are supposed to look, feel and BE perfect, at ALL times.

The idea you have to show up perfect, without any flaws and no blind spots in order to lead is literally left over white supremacist toxic patriarchal BS living inside of you.

Perfection is the disease of that system. When we show up thinking we have to appear perfect we’re also terrified of valuable feedback which would help us grow as humans. Like the energetically hostile woman I spoke to on the phone a few weeks ago.

When we live under the tyranny of perfection, we can be defensive and not listen to the necessary call-outs of our blindspots from others because the call outs make us feel shame.

We feel shame for having blind spots, for being humans who still have growth to undergo, for not “knowing it all” at all times, for having places within us where we still need to dis-indoctrinate. Shame we might be perceived in ways we don’t want to be perceived because we can “only be good if we’re perfect.”

But if you can let go of the shame of not being perfect and let go of the shame over others not always seeing you as perfect, you’ll find something powerful happens: a small space opens up inside you to be compassionate towards yourself in the areas where you still need to grow and learn.

And that opens up the door to:

  • not being defensive when something you don’t like within you is pointed out either by you or someone else.
  • not beating yourself up if you see something in you which needs to grow or improve.
  • NOT being afraid to face the things you NEED to unravel.

It also opens the door to deep listening and compassion for yourself. You hear your true inner voice clearly for the first time in a long time. You learn to not be so awful to yourself for not knowing it all.

And this is when you can really begin to face those parts indoctrinated into “perfection”, heal them and stop unconsciously using them to perpetuate harm. Both to yourself and to others around you (whether it be your team, your clients or your loved ones.)

Because let’s face it, this pandemic has been showing you the places in your life and your business that have BEEN unraveling (or need to unravel) which you’ve been too afraid to face and finally fix WITHOUT quick fixes.

And if you don’t finally get the courage to face it, when this pandemic gets worse in the fall, you’re going to be hurting doubly. You know what you don’t face just keeps coming back til you do. Preferably you want to avoid having to do it in the middle of a pandemic because you were FORCED TO because you ignored it for so long.

I KNOW it’s painful to see things inside of ourselves and our businesses/careers we may not want to look at. This is exactly why we do Capacity Work™.

If you can dive into our emotional capacity and release the shame you feel for being imperfect, you can be more compassionate with yourself as you explore the parts you don’t want to see. Cause you know what? Sometimes those parts you don’t want to see hold the most POWERFUL PARTS of you.Those parts, when healed and put to good use, make you more magnetic and yes, more impactful and even more wealthy.

In a space of self-compassion and in the willingness to be with the parts of you you run from or are unconsciously perpetuating oppressive systems in the world…that’s where true transformation can occur and you can really begin to lead from a place which doesn’t unconsciously perpetuate shame and harm both towards yourself and others.

When you harm yourself with your own judgment, you hide. I don’t get to see ALL of you in your work. And I lose the uniqueness of you, the most potent aspects of what makes YOUR work stand out from everyone else’s.

In that place, call outs from people who have your best interest at heart might still sting but you become willing to listen. You will also become less afraid of people who you don’t know calling you out and less afraid they might be right. With Capacity, you’re willing to be wrong, keep growing and show up as an authentic, imperfect, flawed leader.

Can you see how this can influence raising your prices, offering a service you’ve been dying to offer but have been too afraid to put out there, or announcing the big thing you’ve been wanting to?

Once, a client was afraid of being seen as “imperfect” to her audience, held back the most intuitive part of her from her business for years. You’d never know this about her from looking at her website. When we worked on her Embodiment Capacity, she released a new offering. It had TRIPLE the enrollment numbers of her previously “most popular” offering. Let that sink it. The power of increasing your capacity!

You don’t realize it, but emotional capacity (and your capacity to release shame and the myth of the perfect leader) is one of your strongest allies on your way to more growth and impact. You cannot keep growing without it.

Release the idea perfection is goodness. It’s the most harmful narrative in you and causes the most harm to yourself and others.

And if you want help increasing your capacity in this way so you can be more visible and HANDLE the emotional load of being FULLY SEEN for who you are in your work… fill out the Capacity Discovery form, tell me more about yourself and let’s talk.

We have programs to help you do just that starting at only $375 a month.