Leadership is About Progress, not Perfection

by Jeanne Rahilly

What if we were already perfect.

What if the only thing we had to do was to appreciate, value and love our uniqueness and allow our true self to shine its beauty on the world.

Did we ever question the beauty of a tree in the forest? A wild flower in a field? I don’t think so. Most of us see nature as perfect as it is.

What happened from the time we were born until now that has made us so hard and judgmental on ourselves? Why are we being our toughest critic? Where did we learn that we had to be perfect?

Having three “perfect “children at home, I started to observe their state of mind. For those who have forgotten, we don’t come out of our mother’s womb skillful. Just the art of walking takes up to two years to master. How many falls did we have to take to get there? I am sure it was many. But we never gave up, we practiced over and over again with the same willpower and faith until we succeeded to master this critical skill. It was the same with learning to talk and all the other skills we had to learn as humans.

Can we rediscover the power of our innocent inner child? The one that always has a playful attitude and is willing to try anything without fear of being judged. Can we trust life and allow people to see us and hear us for who we truly are and can we accept to be authentic and vulnerable.

Perfection is fuelled by our fear of not being enough. It kills our creativity and our initiative. Worse than that, it stops us from being the person we truly want to be.

Have you ever questioned yourself on what would be your biggest failure in life?

For me, it would be to not follow my heart desires and allowing my uniqueness to shine.

I have always been afraid to talk in front of large crowds. According to my parents I was sickly shy since a very young age. I moved to France form Canada when I was 4. French education has a more rigid approach than Canada. When the teacher asked me to recite the alphabet, she asked to say it, not sing it, I just knew how to sing it, so I lost my bearings and stumbled on the letters, the other children started laughing and I lost the little confidence l had. Since then, talking in front of a crowd has been associated with danger and has been a limiting belief all my life.

Reprogramming a limiting belief is not very easy to do. In fact, it is one of the hardest thing to do. I have developed my own technique that helps me to move forward.

First, you have to realize that you have a limiting belief. For this, you need to be anchored in the present moment so you catch your limiting belief when it is emerging, because it is the opportunity to transform it.

Second, you have to accept that you have this limiting belief instead of rejecting it. If you accept that you have it, it is like removing the conditions around your belief, bringing it into your unconditional heart. Allowing the healing to happen.

A month ago, at our conscious leadership gathering, I felt a strong desire to share with the crowd. I didn’t sleep much the night before and I had the bad idea to drink a very strong espresso just before the meeting which was not a good idea as I am sensitive to caffeine. When I started to speak, I felt all the attention of the people on me, which threw me completely off balance and provoked a strong feeling of anxiety. I was speechless and looked over to my partner Stephane with eyes asking him to save me. He simply looked at me with trust and love, he then said “go Jeanne”, then I looked at the people in the room and I saw that my vulnerability was welcomed.

So, I accepted the situation and worked with my state, to find my way to say what I wanted to share. The outcome was far from my initial expectation but it was definitely a transformative moment. Many people came to thank me after not just for my sharing but also for having the courage to persevere and overcome my breakdown. I was moved by their response. I realized how hard I am on myself. This is not helping anyone, especially myself.

So, it is one of my strong belief, that leadership is not about perfection, it is about progress. Being courageous enough to get out there, to try something different and allowing you to practice as much as possible to master what you want the most out of life. And to do it from a place of love and faith.

This is the only way to access the greatness that is already inside all of us.