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New Years’ Truth Blast: Life Is Messy & I Know It

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Dear world-changing superhero,

To kick off 2013, I am sharing a bare-all trust blast. And it’s important.

It’s important because what I’m sharing today is one of THE things that held me back in entrepreneurship and life. It f*ed me up, tore me down, and made me feel like shit.

I’m tired of this little nagging bullshit crapola controlling and limiting my happiness and success. And I don’t want it to halt yours either. (Swearing rant over.)

Why You Should Even Care

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered why your life wasn’t more like theirs? Have you ever secretly wished a coach or teacher would be your saving grace?

I have. And it was very, very messy move…. every time.

Before I can tell you exactly how I fell flat on my face (more than once), I have to tell you how I got to the stumbling block in the first place.

Where the Illusions Began

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an achiever. Honors in high school. Captain of the swim team. Ivy League college degree. Vice President of my sorority. A great job right out of college. Four patents in nanotechnology. Corporate management at age 26. And countless other gold stars that don’t add up to anything that really, truly matters.

I know that the gold-star-chasing is partially wired in who I am. But the other part of the desire for gold stars is to get “there.” Because, as the story goes, once we get “there,” we’ll be happy.

You know the rest of the story: there never makes you happy. Yet we often keep trying anyway.

My Big Mistake

The way I tried to get there was by looking at people I thought had it all together. Blissful happiness, a successful career, the perfect family, the great body, the adventurous spirit, or whatever traits I was longing for in my life.

Then, with every ounce of my being, I’d try to follow their lead. After all, they’re happy/ successful/ beautiful/ whatever, so if I did what they did, I would be all of those things, too.

Yeah, right.

You and I both know that’s baloney. But I did it anyway.

How I Got Caught in My Own Trap

I noticed this disaster-in-the-making pattern grabbed me tightly when I jumped into entrepreneurship.

My first self-created mess began when I hired one of my first coaches. (She was also one of the best coaches I’ve ever hired.) I thought she had the perfect life and a fabulous business, so if I could just get it together and be like her, I’d have the successful business and amazing life she had.

Nearly a year after I first hired her, I finally realized she was… human. Full of flaws, bad days, and other normal, messy human traits. My world came crashing down. Hard.

Not long after that disaster, I hired another coach. She, too, seemed to have it all together. Beautiful, happy, successful, and everything else I wanted. And six months in, I learned the same lesson again. She, too, was human, full of flaws and less-than-perfect moments. Dammit.

How could I have fallen for the illusion again? I should have known better.

But I didn’t. That’s why it took two hard falls for me to see the truth:

No one has it all together, even if it looks like they do. Tweet that!

Each time the illusion shattered in front of me, I struggled to regain my footing. I had to reevaluate what I wanted and ask the deep questions about who I was and what I want to create in the world.

I could have leap-frogged an entire year if I had asked those questions in the first place, instead of looking outward for what I wanted.

How to Make Sure This Illusion Doesn’t Hold You Back

I see how these false assumptions messed things up for me, and I want to make sure they don’t mess things up for you.

Here’s how to avoid making the same mistakes I did.

1. Check your assumptions about others.

The internet makes it easy to believe false ideas about other people. It’s easy to assume everyone has their shit together, is making a ton of money, has mind-blowing sex every night, eats the perfect diet daily, and gets along beautifully with everyone they know.

It’s not my previous coaches’ fault that I fell for the illusion that they had it all together. I take full responsibility for believing their public persona was the whole story. We don’t air all of our dirty laundry in public, so of course we don’t see the full story of anyone’s life.

No one has their shit fully together, even if it looks like it on Facebook. Everyone has their personal life and their public one; remember that what you’re seeing is the public one, and that’s not the whole story.

[And please, if you ever, ever, ever think that everything is perfect in my world, email me your assumptions, and I'll tell you the truth. Because the truth is that my life and business are very, very, very far from perfect.]

2. Notice what you’re chasing.

Where, when, and how you fall victim to the trap of illusions? Are you chasing success, money, happiness, a perfect body, status, recognition, or something else? When you know what you’re chasing, you can catch yourself in the act.

I was chasing the perfect business and a perfect life. I found two women who I thought had everything I wanted and I tried to follow their path. That ended up being a terrible, horrible, down right messy idea.

As cliche as it sounds, we are each on our own path, and trying to copy someone else’s life or business is never going to work. At some point, your copy of what they created will fall the f* apart.

3. Admit the truth: Life is messy!

Life is messy, you make mistakes, and those seemingly perfect people you want to emulate are anything but perfect.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go after your big, hairy, wild-ass goals in 2013. You absolutely should. Just skip trying to get them all done perfectly by tomorrow. And skip copying someone else’s life or business.

Instead, go for what you want, trust yourself to know what’s best, and look to others merely for inspiration. Shoot to be the be the best version of yourself that you can. We like you better that way, anyway.

Your Turn

Tell me – Have you fallen for the illusion that others have it all together? Have you sought perfection in life or a savior in your coach? Or have you made similar mistakes in life and business?

I can’t wait to read your raw truths in the comments below. The more we share our experiences with others, the faster we can move through them and onto the truth of who we really are. And that is a beautiful thing.

Happy Near Year, superhero!!

xo
Jenny

 

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynn

Oh, I’m a recovering perfectionist also, Jenny.

I also had a great corporate career and thought I could be “perfect” at this soloprenuer thing. I also based myself off of three great coaches and finally realized I needed to do this myself. What is good for me and MY business.

It was tough but now I’m happier. Not perfect, but happy!

Thanks for the great post.
Lynn

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2 Jenny Shih

I see it a lot with new coaches who are also new to entrepreneurship – copying other coaches when they start their biz. It’s not a bad thing, but it just means it’s not “your” thing. Good for you for keeping at it and creating your business!

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3 Allison Evans

This is great, Jenny, NOT an over-share! This is so helpful, because I really did think you were perfect and sometimes it felt lousy to see your name — again, so regularly, how does she do it? — in my e-mail in-box. Thank you not only of disabusing me of this convenient fiction — convenient because it prevented me from feeling that *I* could do it, too — but thank you for reminding me to look to myself. To authorize myself, and not look outside myself for The Person Who Can Get Me There Tomorrow. I am inspired! Thank you so much.

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4 Jenny Shih

You are so welcome that I broke the convenient fiction story that I have it all together. (I’m laughing at the thought. My life is so very messy.) The more entrepreneurs I get to know, the more I see how even the most successful ones are oh-so-human, full of flaws and all.

You can do it, and you will, in your own way, and it will be perfect in many ways and ugly, too, and that makes it all the more perfect for you!

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5 Sidsel

Awesome post, Jenny!
I think it’s part of finding your own legs to stand on, your own voice and confinedence when you embark on any new project, whether in life or business, to model after someone you admire – or think has it all together. The problem is when to cut free and go your own way. And that’s a toughie if you don’t know quite what your own way is. I totally get it, have been there and know what you’re saying.
Thanks for sharing, Jenny.
Happy new year to you and yours. May 2013 be awesome.
Love Sidsel

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6 Jenny Shih

You’re right, Sidsel. It is hard to go your own way when you don’t know what your way is. For me, one of the most challenging parts of life and business is knowing what I really, truly want. So looking at others was always an easy cop out from deciding for myself.

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7 Sally Canning

Great post. I so agree with you here Jenny. I know I’ve done it myself – trying to fit a mold that’s the wrong shape and worse still people do it to me – they assume I’m always cool, calm and have it all together with no room for the imperfections – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to gently remind students and clients over the years that if you put someone up on a pedestal the only way is down!

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8 Jenny Shih

Love this: “If you put someone up on a pedestal the only way is down!”

Totally true! Thanks for sharing that, Sally!

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9 Liesel Beukes

Hello Jenny! This is very true and I make this mistake all the time. I tend to not trust that I know the way already, even if I have learned over and over again that you can never really know what exactly happens in other peoples lives, unless you’re them. There are so many dimensions to why people are what they are, do what they do. Looking from the outside into someone else’s life tend to be already halfway through a pair of glasses made up from your own experiences. Of course you can learn a lot from others – but we shouldn’t forget to bring what we’ve learned on our own journey’s to the table as well, this way the outcome will have its own surprise ending.

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10 Jenny Shih

So well said, Liesel. We can’t know what the full story is for anyone’s life, even when we know then well… let alone when we only know them via the internet!

We can learn a ton from others in terms of how to run our businesses or go after what we want, but we have to decide to bring ourselves to the picture and assess what we want. Thanks for articulating that so well!

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11 MamaRed

Oh Jenny, you have no idea AND you “got it” in a year. Congrats! The funny thing is that I got up to write a similar post, sharing with others so they can, hopefully, learn from my mistakes and assumptions. It took me five years of studying with others, getting discouraged, not implementing, screwing up to take the blinders off and realize folks were human, as am I. And to forgive and understand and allow so that we can all succeed by whatever definition that is.

I’ve got bookshelves and hard drives full of other people’s courses, ones I thought had all the answers.

Thanks for leading the way…truly…in sharing your humanness!

may your day be igKnighted with passionately powerful possibilities!
MamaRed

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12 MamaRed

Totally a different question…would love to know how you do your prepopulated “Tweet This” content!

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13 Jenny Shih

It’s a service called Click to Tweet. http://clicktotweet.com

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14 MamaRed

Thanks darlin! I had been seeing this in your posts, then saw them elsewhere. A google search (oh what did I do before google…smile) showed some ways to use html code (not a bad thought) and I had a suspicion there were other options.

Now back to your regularly scheduled amazingness.

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15 Betsy

Refreshing post, Jenny and this is part of the reason I look so forward to working with you! You offer inspiration, solid business coaching and reality check all in the same energetic package – a superpower to say the least. Look forward to putting our heads together to get my journey jump started in 2013.

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16 Tom Watson

Jenny… that was a KILLER post. It’s funny how you roam around and seemingly out of the blue you run into advice from someone you never met that resonates so deeply within you. I tend to think that is no accident, but that’s another story. Anyway… I’m happy I stumbled your way and happy new year!

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17 Jenny Shih

Glad you found your way here, Tom, to something that resonates with you so deeply. Glad you’re here, and thanks for saying hello!

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18 Linda Ursin

I don’t think I’ve ever fallen into the trap of thinking someone else is perfect, but I can be a bit of a perfectionist mysefl, which has made me fall flat on my face more than once.

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19 Patricia Cimino

Jenny,
What an awesome way to start a new year. Thank you for this very special insight which will serve as a reminder when I’m not listening to what is resonating within me because I’m too busy learning someone else’s formula for what appears to look like success.
Just found you and looking forward to more of your insights in 2013!

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20 Jenny Shih

Sounds like you know, Patricia, that you can never follow someone else’s formula for your own success :-)

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21 Sara

Totally NOT tmi, Jenny!

As a new entrepreneur I found myself thinking that my coach had all the answers (even still). I was annoyed that my coach was a little “too human” even from the beginning when what I wanted was for her to be perfect and my solution to every challenge I face as a new entrepreneur. I now realize that it’s dreamy and a total shift of responsibility to even think that’s possible. I’ve come to that realization over the past few months and know that this is the time for asking the real questions and being real about the answers.

Thanks so much for this! Love starting the new year with this voice in my ear.

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22 Jenny Shih

Love your honesty, Sara! It IS hard to see our coaches and mentors and teachers as human, flaws and all, when we’re striving for what they have.

I especially love that you pointed out the shift in responsibility that’s required, shifting the power back to yourself by learning from your coach/mentor/teacher but putting it together in your unique way. Rock on!

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23 Karlie Moore

Thanks Jenny for your honesty! I started trying to focus on my mantra “happiness is not a destination, it is a journey” which I developed from taking Sara’s “happiest woman you know” class (post above…thanks Sara!). I learned recently that not everybody thinks about the future as much as I do, and in fact, thinking about the future is how I enjoy the present. That said, I constantly have to remind myself that the future will be just as messed up as today, so it’s silly to wait until then to feel satisfied with my life!

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24 Jenny Shih

I have to remind myself of that, too, Karlie, that the future will be just as messy as today, just in its own silly way.

Nice seeing you here — your website’s definitely come a long way since I first met you. Awesome!

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25 Sara

Karlie, I missed this the first time around! Thank you so much for being part of our course and I am so thrilled that it’s been useful for you! Your mantra is so fitting and I especially love how it helps you put things in perspective.

As a thank you for inadvertently flattering me by mentioning it here and finding the HWYK helpful, I’m happy to offer you complimentary enrollment in our next course (probably Spring). Just send me an email if you’d like to join us again :)

Best,
Sara

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26 Susan James

Jenny! You never cease to surprise and delight me. I look forward to your blog every week.
This blog is so real, raw and honest…I was a little floored. Although, really , I never expect less than authenticity and honesty from you. I too have been there and done that…usually with my Super heroes, e.g. Yogananda, Maharishi,Werner Erhard – just to name a few. Of course, I always fell short of my imagined way I thought they lived. I used my short comings to beat myself up and down.
Undaunted, I then started choosing more attainable gurus and found them to also live much better lives than me…in my imagination…oops, another idol just fell off the pedestal!
Finally, I have been left with me…who I am beginning to like a lot. I think that the best I can do, is do my personal best..and don’t think it will be perfect because I am not perfect nor do I really want to be. I love to coach people who want coaching. They call me forth in ways that no guru could or even be expected to. It is always my intention to give generously of what I know and admit when I don’t know something just as generously.
It is a honor to know you Jenny…YOU are a gold star in my book! And I do not think you are a saint…lol
Love,
Susan

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27 Jenny Shih

Susan, I like you a lot, too!! :-) Huge kudos to you for bringing your sights down to your level, realizing that you have a ton to offer your clients (and your family, no doubt), and striving to be like anyone else is just silly.

Thanks for always being here and adding such a positive, thoughtful perspective on the posts. I love that about you!

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28 Gail Kenny

Jenny – I totally know that one! Thanks for sharing your experience with the pedestal syndrome. I too know from experience that the thought “if only I could be her and have her success, I’d be happy” is not true. Today I pulled a card from a spiritual tarot deck the “Apprentice of Bowls” which means: A devotion of joy and healing. I was being critical that my bottom line for 2012 is not nearly where I wanted it be be. This passage about the card’s meaning really spoke to me: Your goal is GOD-realization, not success in worldly terms.

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29 Jenny Shih

Great way to look at it, Gail! And your bottom line will shift they way you want it to as you continue to do what you do. (I’ve heard how good you are at what you do!) But remembering your priorities keeps our silly mind’s antics at bay. Thanks for sharing that here.

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30 Kimberly Dawn

Love this post Jenny. Thanks for sharing. I already shared this with others. It’s so, so true. We are our own best versions of ourselves. The more I realize my role models aren’t perfect, the more I feel freed.

Great reminder! Keep doing your thing Jenny, we love you just the way you are!!!

xoxo,

Kim

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31 Jenny Shih

I hadn’t thought about it that – realizing that role models aren’t perfect DO make us more free. Wow, Kim. Thanks for the insight. Glad to have you adding that to the conversation!

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32 Kathy

I totally appreciate your candor and it makes me want to buy your products and services! By the way, you’re right…learning to go deep within and define ourselves is a lifelong journey and the challenges of life often make us reevaluate our path. I have had 2 surgeries since 2011-one a mastectomy for that feared diagnosis, breast cancer- and have spent the last year being grateful for what I do have and how I can retool my work. I value your insights and am happy to learn that you are human. That has to make you a much more relate-able, effective coach!

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33 Jenny Shih

It’s such a funny thing, Kathy, how we (read: me) often want to put up an air of “I have it all together,” believing that no one will hire me if I’m not. Yet recently I’ve found myself gravitating toward those who are authentic, real, and tell it like it is. So thanks for saying you like it, because although I never plan to share all of my dirty laundry online, I do like to give people a glimpse into reality (meaning, my imperfections)!

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34 Cathy Goodwin

In all fairness, when you say you tried to copy coaches – a lot of coaches use what I call the “Here’s what I did” school of coaching.

We don’t see this in other sectors. In sports, we know someone can be a great player and a lousy coach – and some of the best coaches were mediocre players at best. What worked for your coach may not be applicable to you.

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35 Anne

I fell into the same trap – and thought the same thing about the coach that I’m now working with (via an online training on growing my list) – Jenny Shih. Why do we torture ourselves believing these illusions? Thanks for sharing! Happy 2013.

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36 Jenny Shih

Honestly, I have no idea why we torture ourselves with these illusions. Maybe it’s because we don’t realize they are illusions, but a reality we hope could be ours. Silly, humans! (that’s what I say when I catch ourselves doing thing like that)

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37 Tina Pruitt

Love this post Jenny! It says so much of what I have been thinking/feeling. Thanks for expressing it so I can further identify it for myself.
Cheers to 2013 and all the goodness it has to offer!
xo, Tina

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38 Alison Elissa Horner

Very thoughtful post post Jenny!

On a similar note, I read this bit from the FAQs page of a site called Design Mom ages ago and it stuck with me.

“2) How do you do it all? How do you achieve work/life balance?
…the answer is: I don’t. Not even close. In fact, on some level, I believe the whole idea is a myth. If my blog is really good on a given week, then you can bet my house is a wreck. If my blog seems a little bleh, then it’s guaranteed we’ve got a lot going on at home. If you know me in real life, then you know I work in my pjs as often as possible and that I’m a very typical mom. As each new child joins our family, I have to learn to be a more flexible and lower my expectations another notch.

One more thing. Please keep in mind that on this blog I attempt to keep things very positive and showcase the best and prettiest things happening in my life. That doesn’t mean there aren’t bad days and failed projects and lost tempers. At the end of the day, blogs are a show. I suppose that’s why we like them so much.”

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39 Jenny Shih

I love how you always have something great to add when you comment, Ali! I LOVE that quote from Design Mom. Thank you so much for sharing it here!

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40 Jennifer

Hi Jenny! Thanks for this very honest and meaningful post. It’s important to remember to forgive both ourselves and others for not being perfect and also to realize that everyone’s path is uniquely theirs. So glad you shared this!

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41 Rebecca Tracey

Yep yep yep. LOVE this. Thanks for being so honest about this.

I don’t think I’ve met an entrepreneur yet (myself very much included) who hasn’t fallen into this trap at some point or another.

I’m curious, Jenny, if this still happens to you, and if so, do you find your recovery time is shorter? Or are you able to avoid it altogether now that you’re so very aware of it?

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42 Jenny Shih

It definitely still happens but not in the big way it used to. I learned this lesson with those two coaches. Now, I notice it in small ways with my current coach or with friends, but I always catch myself in the act. I think it’s one of those mental habits that either take a long time to go away or never go away. It’s my awareness of the tendency that keeps it from controlling me.

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43 Loralee Hutton

Great post Jenny! It’s so good to have this reminder from time to time. I do think it’s valuable when you’re a complete newbie to use someone elses blueprint, until you can find your own way. But similar to borrowing someone’s dress for your first big dance, you may not like looking at the photo evidence later. Yet at some stage soon you do find your own style, know what looks good on you and what doesn’t! And then you show up looking like YOU – no more copy-cat syndrome. (yep – personal story in there :), and things change. But I still think there’s some awesome value in this stage where we believe “they are perfect”, because it often gives us the courage to step up and try something that would otherwise be completely and utterly terrifying. Would you agree? Sort of like drinking an elixir and then letting it wear off to see our own truth?

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44 Jenny Shih

Oh, Loralee, one of the things I love about you is how you can offer a totally different perspective in a gentle way that opens me and others up. (As opposed to how most do it: forceful and in your face, which never helps someone open up!)

I think you make two very good points. It is helpful to use someone else’s model to get you started when you otherwise have no idea where to go. The trick is just to not let yourself do it for too long.

Your point about believing they’re perfect helps us get the courage to go for it is really fair. If I hadn’t thought my coaches had perfect businesses and lives, I may not have invested the time into my own personal development, because I would have thought it wouldn’t get me where I wanted to go. That’s a super-great point!

Thanks for sharing this here. You’re really bringing great depth to this topic. Thanks for that!

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45 Shaleen

Hi Jenny
Yep…I can certainly say that I too have fallen into the ‘idolisation’ trap a good few times as I’ve sought to ‘improve’ my own life by emulating those whom I saw as ‘being, doing or having’ what I thought I needed to BE, DO, or HAVE to enjoy my life.
Once the rose-coloured glass effect wore off however, I was left disappointed and disillusioned and I’d wander off to look for the ‘REAL DEAL’ in someone else. What a recipe for self delusion and confusion!
It really is about owning our right to determine for ourselves what works for us and allowing both ourselves and others to be the less than perfect yet nevertheless wonderful and unique individuals that we all can be once we decide to be the best versions of ourselves:-)
Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. And BTW I love your unique super-hero self and your unique voice in the world! And in your own words…You’re awesome!

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46 Jenny Shih

It takes a few stumbles to get past this sticky mess, doesn’t it, Shaleen? :-)

I’m glad you found your way back to your own genius because I know you have great things to offer the world!

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47 Nikole Gipps

This has to be the most amazing post I have read in the past year. Thank you for summing up everything I have been feeling for YEARS but unable to put a point on it. I sit here thinking the next coach/person/program/course/book will have ALL THE ANSWERS I NEED to be awesome, and then I am just disappointed time after time. I’m so tired of running this ship … SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO! But all the solutions never work. I can’t have their happiness or their bubblygummy sunshininess. And the people I am seeking the answers from know less than me (even if I won’t admit that). When will I finally start trusting myself?

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48 Jenny Shih

Thanks for your honesty, Nikole! And I’m so glad I was able to help you see what’s been holding you back.

As far as when you’ll finally start trusting yourself…. when you decide to.

You could also seek out the help of a life coach. They are pretty amazing people! There are a ton of great coaches out there and who you pick is all about whoever resonates with you the most. Search around and see if you have any luck. If not, email us using the contact form and I’ll have my assistant send you some suggestions. We’re taking a break from email so it will be a week or so before we can get back to you, but I will definitely send ideas your way if you want them.

You can do this, supergirl!!

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49 Nikole Gipps

I’m actually going to try some new things this year – like my little gratitude journal app and taking Erin Stutland’s Shrink Sessions (http://shrinksessionworkout.com). I think a little butt-kicking + affirmations is exactly what this supergirl needs. :-)

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50 Cat Virzi

I love your posts, Jenny. This one feels so good, as I have wondered recently whether I over-shared my “humanity” with the people I mentor. I wear my heart on my sleeve, yet the defensive, protective part of me says “Never let ‘em see you sweat!” Or “That’s not leader-like!”

I realize that I have played that role of meticulously hiding my flaws from people (and that was what the culture I was in condoned). Totally unsustainable. Like a straight jacket.

Thanks to beautiful people like you, Molly Gordon, Mark Silver, and so many others now who purvey the high standard of keeping it real and sharing vulnerability, even if that flies in the face of convention at times. You are a game-changer and I feel inspired to continue to grow, albeit messy and imperfect at times.

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51 Jenny Shih

I believe that if we all put out only our perfect, pretty faces, we can’t really make a difference for all the people out there who need our help. Authenticity is the new way and I can’t wait for everyone to be on that train!

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52 Emily

Jenny – No this is not an over share. I’ve totally made my mentor my “savior” which doesn’t go well at all. I put her on a pedestal and its so easy for her to fall off. And I hate it when people do that to me too. It’s lonely and not real. It’s coming from ego – the part of us that is comparing- either putting someone up and ourselves down or the reverse of that. Verses coming from love or coming from our higher self which focuses on the “oneness” between us or what we share in common. Thank you so much for your simple straight-forward tips. You’re suggestions are great! Thank you!

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53 Jenny Shih

We can’t be saviors for our clients, and our coaches can’t save us. That makes for a messy mess of things.

Thanks for joining the conversation here!

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54 Stephanie Watanabe

Oh girl – thank you x thank you for writing this post. For speaking out loud what so many of us have also gone through!
This is why I adore you + wanted to work with you. Your transparency, honesty and vulnerability.
I had the same experience with my first coach. I looked to her for all the answers. I wanted to BE her in many ways. And then I saw that she was human. She was flawed. She was figuring it all out, just like me. And it made me breathe a sigh of relief.
This post really reminded me to not put others up on that super high pedestal. And to examine my “why” – to figure out what it is about others that I so admire and find that quality within myself.
What a great post – thanks for sharing Jenny! I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for us both. xoxo

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55 Jenny Shih

That’s a great idea, Stephanie, to look at the people we admire and ask ourselves what it is about them that we admire. That way we’re looking at the qualities, not the people. Super smart for separating the two (and super essential!).

Thanks for adding that to the discussion!

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56 Carlen

Great post. I used to compare myself to my friends and people I saw online, but that made me feel worse. Everything changed when I turned my focus to what I could control. I focused on MY talents and reminded myself constantly that what I have to offer the world is unique. B-School helped me a lot with that.

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57 Jenny Shih

Focusing on what you can control is a great way to look at it. Good addition. Thank you!

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58 Jenna Dalton

Wow! I LOVED this!

Thank you so much, Jenny. When I first started my business I was a big copy-cat because I was insecure about my own thoughts and ideas. Although I’m better now and have started to carve my own path, I still sometimes look at other women/business owners and think, “If only…”

Thank you so much for the courage-boost and sigh of relief. I needed it to kick off a great year :)

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59 Jenny Shih

Oh, those “if only’s” will get you every time! (Me, too!)

Happy to give you the boost to go for it this year!

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60 Felicity Fields | Online Marketing Coach

I sort of fell into the coach trap, except it happened to be B-School. Luckily for me, B-School is a lot more than how to follow in the steps of greatness, but even so, it took me a year and a half before I realized that I didn’t want to build my business the same way that Laura and Marie had built theirs.

It was a pretty awesome feeling, and this year, for the first time, I have a plan and a vision for where I want my business to go in 2013. So hurray for that! ;)

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61 Jenny Shih

It’s so easy to look at people like Marie and Laura and want to copy — “They made it,” we think. But part of the reason they made it is because they found the business that works for them. If we tried to copy, it just wouldn’t be the same vibe… and it wouldn’t work.

Good for you for finding your path and making it work. Hurray for 2013 is right!

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62 Lesley Rennie

Hi Jenny,

I have read this article in August 2013, rather than January. Your honesty is a positive attribute, rather than an over-share. Perfectionism in my opinion is an illness; I strived a lifetime to be perfect and as a result, paid the ultimate price; poor mental health. Although I am a sufferer of OCD, I learnt to manage the condition and now live a life free from being perfect and it’s such a relief. It’s okay to ‘mess up’, although I see it has making choices that sometimes could have been different.

I teach people to live to their authentic selves as I learnt to do and I love breaking the mould. When you live your life to suit who you really are, there is a lightness of spirit that is incredible.

Thanks for sharing your life with us, it’s much appreciated.

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63 Jenny Shih

Lesley, I love how you’ve found your way through these challenges and how help others break the mold. So beautiful and freeing! Thanks for commenting here!

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