I facepalmed myself when I blurted this out…

Next week The Sacred Podcast comes to life. Woo!

I’ve recorded about half a dozen conversations already and I’m so excited to share them with you! This podcast thing feels sooo right.

Except for when this happened…

While recording the 2nd episode, I was responding to something the guest said and I used the word ‘contentuous’.

In case your head is cocked to the side in confusion, yes, contentuous is not a word.

The word I wanted to say was contentious – meaning argumentative or controversial.

But in my rush to translate the thoughts in my brain through my mouth, I mispronounced it. Instead of con-ten-chus, I said con-ten-choo-us.

So what, you say?

Here’s what:

I was a Journalism and then Communications major in college. I used to write speeches for politicians. Heck, for the past 4 years, I’ve been getting paid to copyedit and copywrite for other entrepreneurs.

And my love of language isn’t limited just to written forms. I was a strong debater in high school. I’ve been giving speeches and eulogies since I was 15.

Whether speaking them or writing, I am a woman of words.

And giving those words correct spelling and grammar and pronunciation is important to me. For my entire life, I’ve been thanked and applauded for “getting it right”.

So when I listened to the recording and heard me mispronounce this word I clearly know how to spell and pronounce properly, I felt like a total ass.

I was embarrassed.

 
I briefly considered how I could record just that one word and splice it in so that mispronunciation would go away.

And when I concluded that would be too noticeable in the finished product, I hung my head in disappointment and went into the kitchen for an Oreo. (Okay, three.)

People will think I’m a faker, using words I don’t really know.
Anyone who listens to that episode is gonna laugh at me.
I sound like a nutball.

You know, the shame spiral we put ourselves on from time to time. Most of us are way harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else in our life.

And then someone I greatly admire, someone with a hugely successful business and raving fans and clients who adore her, did something…

She made a mistake.

Very publicly, she goofed something up. A tiny thing. Almost as tiny as mispronouncing a word.

And instead of sharp criticism or her audience storming out of the room, everyone leaned in closer.

Because when she revealed her slip-up, tiny though it was, she showed everyone: I’m a human being, just like you.

When she came out of the glass box we often put our role models into (or we put ourselves into) and let everyone see her human-ness, which includes her vulnerabilities and mistakes, no one was turned off. We were turned ON.

 
We trusted her more.
She was easier to relate to.
By laughing at her mistake, she gave us permission to laugh at our own.

If you are leading or want to lead (and headsup: Parenting is leading. Organizing a dinner party is leading. Sometimes, in your romantic and business relationships, you will be the leader), remember:

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 11.29.02 AMNo one wants a flawless façade. They want to see your HUMAN self, its light and its shadows.

 
From time to time, take off your camera-ready makeup and let us see who you are underneath it all.

That’s what the world wants.
That’s what your partner wants.
That’s what your kids want.
That’s what your clients and customers and co-workers want.

There are times to erect solid boundaries of protection, but very often, our work is to pull down those boundaries.

And to let the truth of us, the humanness of us, be witnessed. Because those vulnerabilities are just as beautiful and admirable as all our so-called ‘achievements’.

Having the courage to be vulnerable in safe spaces IS an achievement.

Contentuously in love with you,
Annika