Go make a few mistakes today.
A couple weeks ago, I was recording a promotional video with a colleague of mine.
I’m based in Hawaii. She’s in Indiana. We’re doing split-screen, recording our talking points, discussing a new program. Filming is going great. We’re on a roll. And then…
Right in the middle of filming, her husband barges through the doorway and explodes into the room behind her. He’s practically naked. Clad in his boxers and nothing more, holding a plump little puppy that had recently peed on the carpeting.
My colleague shrieks, “Honey, get outta here! I told you not to come in this room, remember?! We’re filming!”
Horrified, realizing he’s being captured on camera, he slinks out of the room.
She cracks up. I busted up laughing.
She is a successful entrepreneur with 10 employees. He’s a smart man.
Nobody is perfect.
Whenever I make a mistake—small, big, any size—at first, I usually feel a hot wave of shame. Panic careens through my body for a moment. So intense, it’s almost blinding.
In those moments, I have to breathe and remind myself, “Everybody makes mistakes. Even Oprah. Even the people who seem super-human. It’s normal. It’s okay. Nobody does things perfectly 100% of the time.”
Nobody. Not even the leaders that we greatly admire.
President Barack Obama’s team once released a message with a glaring typo: “Congrssional Budget Office.” Whoops.
Senator Cory Booker once urged everyone to “re-elect President Barak Obama.” Another typo there. Doh!
Once, I got invited to be a guest on a major radio show. I was intimidated and worried that I wouldn’t do a good enough job. I prepped diligently, because I definitely wanted to be “perfect.”
I dialed into the show, and then—much to my shock and amusement—the host proceeded to called me “Andrea” and “Amber” throughout the entire conversation. My name is Alexandra. This happened live. On the air.
This man is a well-respected media personality. He goofed up…and honestly? I didn’t mind. I was actually relieved. Because it reminded me that…he’s human. Just like me. Just like you.
I hope this message brings some relief into your heart.
You can be imperfect and successful.
Perfection is not required for greatness.
A project can be excellent, helpful, and inspirational. Even if it contain a few mistakes.
You can improve thousands of people’s lives through your business and the services you offer. Even if your next email contains a typo or a broken link or the wrong date.
Your book can bring hope into someone’s heart, or even change someone’s life. Even if there’s a misspelled word on page 72.
We can aim for excellence, and get pretty darn close, with the knowledge that humans are humans, and clunky moments will inevitably happen…and it is okay.
Most mistakes are quickly forgotten, immediately forgiven, and usually not as big a deal as we think. And the mistakes that truly are a big deal? There’s always a way to handle those situations with professionalism, humility, and grace, and emerge better than before.
Go make a few mistakes today.
When you make a mistake, instead of being ashamed, be proud. Because each mistake is proof that you’re fully in it. You’re trying. You’re creating. You’re pressing forward. You’re sharing. You’re taking risks. You’re in the arena, not waiting idly on the sidelines.
Nobody is doing it perfectly.
And isn’t that such a relief.