Stop Pretending You’re Perfect


Did you ever notice that when you really fess up and admit your vulnerability, that the air leaks out of your fear balloon?

When Shonda Rhimes, creator of such mega-hits as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, gave the commencement address at Dartmouth College, she decided to delete her well-written but typical rah-rah speech and just shoot from the hip. She talked about how she hated public speaking, that it made her mouth dry and her body go wacky, and she thought she might “poop in her pants.”

And can you guess what happened next? When she led with the truth, that fear-of-speaking cloud lifted, and she had fun with her speech – even enjoyed it! And so did the audience.

Rhimes went on to write The Year of Saying Yes and described how leaning in to our danger, our fears and saying yes to them can make us stronger. In my vocabulary, it can help us find our Super Power.

What can we learn from this?  Tweet: When we’re honest with our patients, we become brave by owning our imperfection.

It turns out that admitting we are wrong or made a mistake isn’t a bad thing. It actually is a sign of true maturity and success.

When we are honest with ourselves, our friends, our families the fear of not being everything they think we are disappears.

When we are honest with our colleagues, our clients, our patients we become brave by owning our imperfection.

Here’s a little challenge for you this week. Rise up and voice the following phrases without guilt or embarrassment:

  •   I don’t know.
  •   I made a mistake.
  •   I need help.
  •   I forgot.
  •   I’m in trouble.
  •   I’m hurting.

When we can look in the mirror and see our true reflection and be okay with that, and be okay with how we are truly revealing ourselves to others, that spells freedom.

And it’s a freedom that allows for vision. And for growth.

What truth would you like to share today? Please leave your cloak at the door and share with us.



CATEGORIES: Blog, Connection on February 2, 2016 by Starla Fitch, M.D.

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2 thoughts on “Stop Pretending You’re Perfect

  1. Jen Welsh

    I’m a medical director for my organization. About 6 months ago, I invited 3 other directors to meet every 2 weeks for 1 hour over the phone. We present leadership cases and can be open and honest about our challenges in a way that is hard to do in our leadership role. Being vulnerable with our bosses and the doctors we lead is so hard! By being vulnerable with each other, we are able to extend that courage into our daily lives. It’s a struggle every day for me, mostly because I don’t feel safe.

    1. Starla Fitch, M.D. Post author

      Jen, thanks so much for this feedback. I love it that you started your own “mini-mastermind” group to aid and support each other. Raising our hands and asking for help is not something most of us are good at — for sure! Vulnerability rocks!


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