I talk to women all the time about what I do and how I do it. And often the response I get is, “Of course you’ve been so successful. You’re so (insert word suggesting I have everything figured out). But I’m (insert word suggesting they don’t).” In other words, the recurring theme is that I’m perfect, my life is perfect and others aren’t and that’s why I’m successful.
In the naiveté of my younger years, I’d try and perpetuate the perfection myth, because that’s what others did. But I've learned that one of the best things we can do for one another (and ourselves) is to be authentic, vulnerable and completely honest about who we are. And it makes life a hell of a lot more fun.
So I must share further proof that I’m often a hot mess who goofs up as much as I hit home runs.
John and I recently attended our company’s massive convention in Las Vegas. For those of you who haven’t been to one of these things, it’s a multi-day marathon of big, glitzy general sessions, training, new product launches, loads of socializing and celebrations and lots of quick clothes changes to get to the next event. Yes, I actually got out of my yoga pants and ponytail and got my glam on.
We had a particularly busy convention, with 15,000 attendees this year, both of us training and lots of parties hosted by our top team members to attend and celebrate their success. We were feeling on top of the world as we raced back to our room Saturday evening to get ready for that night’s Gala. We did it! We got through the four-day marathon, and all that was left was to kick up our heels at our company’s version of the Oscars, including a mini-concert by Meghan Trainor.
I put on my make up while a hair guru gave me an evening look, and I marveled at how we were actually going to be ready on time. John finished his tie, grabbed his jacket and zipped up my gown that went up much easier than a week ago, thanks to the little-sleep, little-food week that is convention. And off we went to a magical night that included laughing at MC Andy Cohen’s jokes, celebrating our team’s top builders as we walked through a façade of Buckingham Palace in honor of our upcoming incentive trip to London, and dancing non-stop for an hour to Meghan Trainor. I’d like to apologize once again to my feet for the four-inch heels. #champagneproblems
We flew home and were once again immersed in our everyday lives of balancing the kids and our businesses and everything else on our plates. After a good night’s sleep and a big cup of coffee, I began my post-convention ritual of digging into the pics. And then I saw it. When the light was just right. Showing through the lace bodice of my gown was….wait for it….my granny panties.
When I was getting dressed I was so excited—giddy really—that the convention diet and the cut of my dress rendered tortuous undergarments unnecessary. So I grabbed my most comfortable undies. The ones that I assumed would work well because they’re skin color. Just not my skin color apparently.
Even just a few years ago, with this kind of wardrobe malfunction, or any public mishap, I would’ve allowed myself to feel shame and embarrassment, and it would’ve put a real damper on all the joy from my experience. But I’ve grown up. I started laughing so hard I was crying, and couldn’t wait to show John and the kids. It’s because I’ve come to embrace what Tony Robbins says about perfection:
“People always try to be perfect. That's why they don't start anything. Perfection is the lowest standard in the world. Because if you're trying to be perfect, you know you can't be. So what you really have is a standard you can never achieve. You want to be outstanding, not perfect.”
I’ve actually become more successful as I’ve let go of unrealistic expectations of myself and others and kicked self-imposed pressure to be perfect to the curb. I’ve taken more risks. I’ve put myself out there and shared more of me in the hope that I can help others be more themselves and live the lives they really want. And I’ve become a better role model for our kids. I want them to put themselves out there and, yes, make mistakes, but give themselves the chance to fly.
So to everyone out there who thinks I’ve been so successful because I always have my shizz together, it’s just not true. I forget things, say stupid stuff, lose patience, make bad decisions. In other words, I’m as human as you are. But I do take risks, and I’m willing to work my ass off for something I believe in. So let’s all say to hell with perfection! And to thinking you can’t possibly do something or become the person you were meant to be because you’re human.
Yes, you may end up a hot mess with your underwear showing occasionally. But I’m here to tell you, life is so much more fun and rewarding when you do.