Musings on imperfection and professionalism

I shared on social media recently that I was feeling really tired, exhausted from a busy few months. That maybe I hadn’t got the mix of work quite right, that I needed some time to rest and replenish.

Then I spoke with a colleague about it. She said she admired how I share openly about the different parts of myself.

I thanked her for that reflection and shared that I feel like I have to be honest about the hard stuff, because being in integrity with my feelings is how I want my work to be. And asking for help and support, that’s a big ongoing life challenge for me, an area of growth, so it feels like good practice to ask sometimes.

I shared with her that I sometimes worry it’s ‘not professional’ but then I think ‘f*^k it, that’s just the truth of who I am’. People who are scared to see the dark, who want ‘perfect’ and who want a coach that seems to have no problems ever – they are not my people.

I try to bring self awareness and compassion to my strong feelings. I try to process them and tend to them before I share them publicly. I am aware that my journal / therapist/ mentor/ coach/ friends are where the raw feelings get processed and made sense of. I never do that with my clients. I always check in first that it’s not raw and ‘in the moment’ and that there is some sense of it the sharing being for the greater good and not just for myself before I hit publish.

She said ‘maybe we need a new version of what professional is’.

I agree.

Does anything resonate for you about this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

3 thoughts on “Musings on imperfection and professionalism”

  1. I feel like you are balancing it just right, and can understand your musings and doubts “is it professional what I am doing or not” – it reflects the pressures from outside always having to be perfect and strong without any (personal) issues and it is so true that this is just not possible for any human being to achieve and should not be. And see how in so many areas of life this unhealthy drive for perfection has led people to anxiety and illness. So especially those in the helping-professions need to take extra-care for themselves! For some of those helping-professionals it is best to speak out about their thoughts and feelings , some might deal with it differently. For me personally, I feel drawn to the way you handle it, because it really makes you “real” and approachable for me.

  2. Thank you Jade for being so open about it. I think it adds massively to your credibility as a coach. You practice what you preach.

    Being busy all the time does not make you happy, it does not mean you do meaningful work. It just means you are busy.

    I think that it is important to bust the “I am so busy” myth. Especially as solopreneurs, especially in the coaching/ teaching/ training profession, we are sometimes prone to self-exploitation. We are “on a mission”, right?
    But it is also necessary to go into “stop” mode to re-adjust the direction of the business. Or to simply refuel. Or to whatever we want to do. We became our own bosses to have that freedom of decision. So I’d call this wise time management – thus very professional behavior. 😉

    And we should talk about it more.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply.

      I agree that “busy” takes on a life of its own and can become almost a substitute for meaning or other measures of wellbeing. It’s certainly a status symbol and we are rewarded for being always busy. It can be so hard to sloooow down and stop! But for our own well being we must.

      Here’s to all coaches/ therapists/ wellbeing professionals/ solopreneurs being kind managers to ourselves and taking the time we need! 🙂

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