Sunday Snippet: Julie Morgenstern

“If you’re afraid to let someone else see your weakness, take heart: Nobody’s perfect. Besides, your attempts to hide your flaws don’t work as well as you think they do.”

For better or for worse, appearances matter. When you go into a job interview, you want to look as qualified as possible. When you’re doing the PR for a company, you want to project a positive company image. When you go on a first date, you want to make sure that you look your best.

Because of this, many of us may feel inclined to hide our shortcomings. You wear certain clothes because you think they’re slimming. Companies brush the bad press under the rug and highlight the positives. You keep smiling at the interviewer, even if you’re feeling very uncomfortable. The trouble, as professional organizer and productivity expert Julie Morgenstern points out, is that your “attempts to hide your flaws don’t work as well as you think they do.”

People can still see your faults. People can still see where you might come up short. That’s okay, because those same people also have faults, shortcomings, and flaws. As cliche as it may sound, it is absolutely true that nobody is perfect. Most people are too busy being too afraid to fail to even consider the possibility of success. The sooner you realize that making a mistake is not the end of the world, the sooner you’ll learn how to learn from your mistakes and then to avoid making them again in the future.

Again, it’s a very simple truth, but it is one that many people don’t embrace: you’re allowed to make mistakes. You’re allowed to be less proficient in one area or another. Warren Buffett may know a thing or two about the business world, but he certainly doesn’t have the physicality to qualify for the US Olympic team. Michael Jordan may have been one of the greatest basketball players this world has ever known, but he’s not the one you’d ask to explain the Higgs boson particle.

We all have our respective strengths and weaknesses. Work to improve upon your weaknesses. Don’t try to hide them.

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