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Start Again! How Adele’s Public Mistake & Recovery at the Grammy’s Makes an Impact

What happens when one of the world’s most well-known and highly regarded superstars makes a mistake at the Grammy’s and asks to restart her George Michael Tribute? More than you think.

“I know it’s live TV; I’m sorry I can’t do it again, like last year. I’m sorry for swearing. I’m sorry for starting again. Can we please start it again? I’m sorry — I cant mess this up for him. I’m sorry, I’m sorry for swearing! I’m really sorry. Sorry.”

Young fans often see the highly airbrushed, perfectly lit, professionally made-up and styled version of their favorite singers and actors. It can do a number on the brain—making onlookers believe that perfection is possible and there are people who have achieved it. Such a conclusion can plant an insidious seed that strangles a young person’s self esteem- they strive for the impossible—both inwardly and outwardly, in appearance, academics, relationships. They miss the mark and feel worthless.

When we see the human side of the highly beloved and recognized, we realize five main lessons:

(1) No one is infallible. No matter how much money you make, how famous you are or how much power you have been given, people are flawed. We all make mistakes and nobody is immune to this time-honored tradition as a human being.

(2) It is possible to recover. When we make a mistake, we can restart. You don’t like how it’s going? Begin again. Try again. Life often provides moments for a do-over. All is not lost.On the other side of failure can be success if you go for it. Just keep moving forward.

(3) Assertively ask: When we make a mistake, we can ask to begin again. There is no need to bow your head in shame. We can often have another chance if we ask for it. This may be one of the most important lessons of the night.

(4) You will likely be loved even more for it. We are so used to seeing the perfect side of Hollywood and the music world- everything orchestrated and choreographed. This authentic peek into the character of this superstar, Adele, speaks volumes to young people about who Adele is as a person. Of course, as it turns out, faults are beautiful. Accept yourself, as is; you are enough.

(5) You can persevere and get to the other side. Another try may just be what you needed. No doubt someone in your life repeated some version of “when at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” or, as my mom always sung to me; “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”  Turns out, Mom was right. Even if millions of people are watching and you are a mega-superstar.

It is apropos that Adele won tonight at the Grammy’s because each time someone in the lime light reminds us that we are all flawed and flaws are what make us unique and beautiful, we step forward into ourselves a little bit more. And that is a win for all of us.

~ Dr. Robyn

 

Conversations that Matter: Leadership and Making Mistakes

When do you talk about the importance of making mistakes? When can you convey, at home or at work, the growth opportunities that happen because you go out on a limb and make mistakes? I say; whenever the opportunity presents itself.

In the 2-minute video above, I talk about seizing the opportunity and conveying to ourselves and to those we teach, inspire, train, guide or lead that when trying newer skills:

(1) Mistakes are normal.

(2) Mistakes often show that you had the courage to try.

(3) Mistakes allow you to learn and grow.

(4) Aim for doing your best NOT being perfect.

(5) Our flaws are what make us human, lovable and interesting.

bigstock-mistake-concepts-with-oops-me-94865918-450x300If you think about it, if we aren’t making mistakes, it may be because we aren’t trying something new or we aren’t truly engaging in the learning process. Without mistakes, how would we know that we do our best when we have more time to study (and worse when we leave it until the last minute)? Without mistakes, how would we learn when we get our best work done, where and when we are the most productive (and when we are not), who are the right people to surround ourselves with and who drag us down? We must love ourselves as the learners we are and realize that without learning, there would be no growth. As leaders, growth is what makes us better, stronger and more skilled.

In other words; don’t fear mistakes, embrace them. They are the ticket to your next learning opportunity.

Dr. Robyn Signature

 

 

 

Progress from Imperfection: Making Room for Mistakes, Doubt and Risk Personally and Professionally

i-am-a-work-in-progress_bigstock-450x452Women (and many men too) are notorious for aiming for perfect. Whether it’s in parenthood, the workplace, our looks or the overall appearance that we have it all together, imperfections are painted over with a broad brush.

The result?

Low risk. Low reward.

Our lack of honesty with ourselves and others is hurting much more than it’s helping.

For any of us to move forward in any realm of life, there must be room to make mistakes. To take the risks. To swim in doubt. To be authentic and imperfect and unsure on our path to success. Living a photoshopped life grounded in reality show flawlessness and Facebook photo perfection does not lead to forward movement.

So here’s some food for thought.

  • When do you feel most connected with people? To truly connect, we must be real. Think about those friends, work buddies, clients or relatives in your life to whom you feel the closest. They know the real you, don’t they? The messy you. And it’s this raw honesty that allows the relationships to deepen. When we reveal our concerns, doubts and mistakes along with the strengths and accomplishments, you allow others to love you for who you are rather than who you project yourself to be. And the relationship authenticity can then go both ways.
  • When can you progress as a parent, professional, athlete or performer? It’s when you take risks and go beyond your comfort zone, isn’t it? When trying a new technique or going down a path you have not yet visited, it’s hard to be perfect. We must embrace ourselves as the learners we are so we can take risks without the baggage. Each time we learn—each time we make a mistake—we become stronger, more knowledgeable and ironically, more successful.
  • When can you figure out your next steps in life? It’s often when we provide room for doubt. If we continue to plug in the next move, the next job and the next conversation without providing space and time to figure out what we do and don’t want, we can be squelching our true, thought-out next steps. We must be able to ask ourselves, whether professionally or personally; “Am I happy with the direction I am going? Do I want to change my trajectory? Do I want to try something new? What do I truly want?” Doubt can be uncomfortable—but it’s a necessary vehicle for progress.

Life is not perfect. We must stop striving for perfection and instead, try for our best. Try for learning. Try for better, stronger, more nuanced and more open than yesterday. Life is messy, weird and wonderful. We make progress from imperfection. Letting go of perfect can feel like it’s shining high beams on our weaknesses but in actuality, it demonstrates our courage and strength.

Go for it!

Dr. Robyn Signature