Have you ever been scrolling through LinkedIn and noticed how every job opportunity is touted as the most amazing thing ever!? I went through my feed recently, and here are a few direct quotes I found:
“I have an open position that you're definitely going to want to take a look at! That is, if you're incredibly passionate and ready to look at an exciting new opportunity!
“Does explosive sales growth, stock price up 80% YTD, amazing culture and being surrounded by smart & energetic people sound good to you? We're looking for YOU!”
“You don’t want to miss this amazing opening!”
And of course, this doesn’t just apply to job postings - in my world of entrepreneurship and coaching, this everything is the most amazing thing ever approach is rampant:
“This automated series of five emails will change your life!”
“Just give me $997 and you’ll never feel sad again!”
I’m exaggerating, but I hope you see the point I’m making. There’s a temptation to be, sell, produce, or do the most amazing thing ever - all the time.
The temptation is so strong that many of us, entrepreneurs or not, start to believe that all we have to do in order to get what we want is to sell ourselves as the cure to someone else’s problem. We get asked questions like:
“How does what you do fix everything for everyone?”
“How is your personality the perfect fit?”
“How are you the most amazing thing ever?”
Have you felt this pressure before? I know it’s something a lot of my clients feel, especially during the job search process.
But the pressure to sell yourself makes no sense once you decide that you’re not for sale.
I had this realization recently when I was in total angsty-sell-myself mode over a project I’m working on with someone. My mind was in its usual “am I good enough?” tailspin, and a little nugget of clarity just landed right in my lap. I realized:
If he doesn’t like the way I’m doing this, he can fire me!
He can just fire me!
Once I realized this, I felt so free to stop trying to sell myself and just focus on the work instead. I felt free to not be the most amazing thing ever - to not always get it right, or be a strategic mastermind, or even make it to our meetings on time every time.
And you know what? I got a lot more done with a lot less angst.
All of this hyperbole in our job postings, our marketing materials, and even in our cover letters is problematic because it starts to create a world that’s not real.
The truth is, every job will be kind of shitty sometimes.
Every candidate will disappoint someone at some point.
Every program you sign up for is still going to leave you a little bit unfulfilled.
My business coach would probably throw her headset out the window if I told her that this was how I wanted to talk to you about my new coaching program, but I’m just so tired of the pressure to be the most amazing fucking thing ever, and I just want to be honest instead.
I’m genuinely very excited about this 12-week program I’ve put together. I think it can really help some people - mostly women who are mid-career and work in fields that support others, like human resources or office management.
In the past, some of my clients have told me that it really did change their lives, but others didn’t really resonate with it and we just did the best we could together.
The truth is, the best, most transformative work seems to happen when someone is willing to give up a lot of old habits and thought patterns, buy into the belief that sharing their gifts with the world is sacred, and accept that they’re in charge of their life, for better or worse.
It’s sort of a magical thing that happens - we connect, you show up for the work, and we figure out the next best thing in your career together.
It’s amazing and it’s not amazing.
I believe that it’s truly sacred work, and yet - it’s one step in your journey.
My coaching program isn’t going to cure everything, and I know that - even though lots of experts tell me to sell it as though it will.
What I want to do is show up, be honest and unwavering in authenticity, and offer this process to others who are willing to do the same.
If that’s you, I’d love to connect and talk more.
No matter what, though, I hope this post reminds you that everything is not the most amazing thing ever - it can’t possibly be.
It’s okay for you to show up less than fully present once in awhile. It’s okay to be disheveled or late or less "put together" than you want to be sometimes. It’s okay to be “meh” about a job posting but apply anyway.
It’s okay to just be, or offer, or promote something that could be helpful. Or pretty. Or pleasant. Or good enough for now.
The comfort with what is and the honesty that it requires? That is the most amazing thing ever.