How many times have you not tried for a new job because you didn’t meet all the qualifications? How many times did you not put forward an idea because you hadn’t perfected it yet?
I need to be perfect.
If this speaks to you, then you are not alone. Many of us have struggled with wanting to be perfect our entire lives. In fact, one of my personal derailers is that I am a perfectionist. Although, over years of experience, I’ve learned that I don’t have to wait until I have perfected an idea to present it. I keep telling myself – use the 80/20 rule – if it’s 80% there then move forward and the other 20% will come over time.
But that isn’t easy for someone who has always thought she had to be perfect. Somewhere along the way I got the message that people weren’t going to like me unless I was perfect. Oh, my other derailer is that I am a pleaser – I want people to like me!
However, I love learning new things.
It’s interesting that although I struggled with this my entire technology career, I always took on jobs that no one else wanted to do. Mainly because these jobs involved new technologies that weren’t fully explored. I guess my love for learning and research was more powerful than my lack of confidence!
Girls just want to be perfect.
I don’t know if you can relate to this fear of not being perfect, but many young girls today struggle with this. This is one of the reasons they are not going into coding. Girls are just as capable as boys in aptitude but studies have found that many girls are not going into coding because they lack confidence. And we need girls to go into technology related fields, especially computers, as this is where all the new jobs will be.
Let’s teach our girls to be brave.
I wanted to write this blog because I listened to an inspiring Ted Talk on International Women’s Day last week. Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, speaks on “Teach girls bravery, not perfection.” Her message is so powerful and it really hit home with me. I once was that little girl that she talks about!
I truly believe that she is correct – we need to teach our girls to be brave, put themselves forward. We have to socialize our girls to be comfortable with imperfection, and we’ve got to do it now. I don’t want them to struggle with it as I did for so many years! Click below to listen to Reshma’s talk.