success is in perception

success is in perceptionvia Wild Thicket

Lately I’ve had a weird surge in people asking me a variation of the same question: How do you do it all? My immediate reaction is to wonder Wait, what?!

When left to my own devices and the ruthlessly self deprecating corners of my brain, the answer is I don’t do it all. There are notebooks full of projects that I’d like to start and people I’d like to collaborate with. There are way too many days when I’m too quick to yell at my kids or at my husband. There are more books to be read and friends to hang out with and skills to master. Also, my house is disgusting. And have you seen my hair recently?! I don’t come anywhere close to doing it all.

But, sometimes, it’s nice to be shocked out of your own brain. Do people really think I have my shit together? Because most days, that couldn’t feel further from the truth.

But the more I consider it, the more I think that might be a major life secret: How do you do it all? You don’t. In fact, nobody does.

Some people are just really good fakers. I don’t generally count myself as part of that category because I get all spastic and tomato faced when I’m uncomfortable—but maybe I’m better at it than I thought. Or maybe the secret to “success” is owning what you do have instead of wallowing in how inadequate it all feels or how imperfect it all seems.

Perception can make things seem real that aren’t.

Let’s talk business for a second. A business that has their branding together and has a social media strategy that fits it seems a million times more successful than one that sort of throws things out there in a half-assed attempt to just get it done. It doesn’t really matter which one is actually better at what they do or which one is making a profit. The business that is packaged nicely automatically has a leg up. They seem more pulled together and you immediately assume they are better at what they do.

They don’t have to be better. They just seem better. Why? Because you don’t see their mess. You don’t see the sleepless nights and failures. You don’t see the mistakes and revisions and the last minute revamping before a product launches. All you see is their highlight reel.

Whether you’re a small business owner or just a girl trying to get through the day, you can’t let yourself get bogged down in your own muck—and you can’t let yourself get depressed by how seemingly easy someone else has it.

The truth is, we all have shit to deal with—we just don’t see everyone else’s shit as much as or as clearly as our own. Once in awhile it pays to be jolted out of your way of seeing things and to see yourself (or your business) as other people do.

Strangers on the Internet printby Emily McDowell

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Written by Jennifer Garry

Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she’s not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.