“You can be a hot mess and a masterpiece at the same time.” Hannah Corbin, Peloton.
I can’t recall the context but I think it was about letting yourself “get ugly” in order to grow. No one looks their best when they are red-faced, dripping with sweat, and struggling to cycle up a steep hill. And yet – doing so, helps you chip away at the work of art that lies beneath.
That when you try, fail, get up again, strain, get uncomfortable, get scared, yet keep moving forward, you are working toward becoming your own masterpiece.
AND not just working toward it. You already are a masterpiece.
It felt like she saw me. I feel like a hot mess most days, while I’m striving to be a masterpiece, a better person. It sometimes feels like everyone else has it together but me.
But we’re never just one thing or the other, are we? We can be two opposing things at the very same time. We can be striving and struggling while still being the best version of ourselves.
That’s the journey we’re all on, whether you’re hopping on a Peloton bike, or trying to be a better parent, or seeking to coach and inspire your team with empathy. It’s a process. And just because you’re not at your ideal goal (which is fictitious anyway), doesn’t mean you are not both a hot mess in progress and closer to your destination.
And it also doesn’t mean you don’t have impact along the way, either.
Even if you don’t believe you have perfected being an empathetic leader, human, or parent, it doesn’t mean you are not impacting lives yet. YOU ARE. You are making incremental differences and changes. People notice when you see, hear, and value them. They are affected by your grace and compassion. They are moved to perform, deliver, innovate, and start their own journey to being more empathetic.
Don’t give up or assume it’s perfection or nothing. Just making the attempt day after day means you are a masterpiece. And if you are stumbling along while you do it, that’s okay, too. Both/And.
Photo credit: Ave Calvar, Unsplash