Forgive the language in this post, but have you... have you got your shit together?
Well, what does that phrase even mean in reality?
This question came up in a conversation I had with a wonderful fellow coach earlier today and we laughed about it together because even though it’s something we hear all the time, neither of us actually knew what it really meant and whether we do indeed need to ‘have our shit together’ to be of powerful service to others.
The question wouldn't leave me and in reflecting on it further this afternoon, I realised this has been a key factor in my playing small in key areas of my business this last year. I had taken the idea that maybe I didn’t ‘have my shit together’ to hold myself back from putting myself out there to the world. I needed to be fixed, sorted, more knowledgable, happier, have overcome my anxiety AND THEN I would have my shit together and THEN I could get out there and help people.
We live in a society that often makes us feel we need ‘fixing’, that we are not ‘enough’ as we are, that tempts us with impossible ideals as being the norm and subconsciously ingrains the mindset that we could do better, should be more.
In the Cambridge online dictionary (yes it actually appears!) To have your shit together means: ‘to be or become effective, organised and skilful’
But how do you determine ‘effective, organised and skilfull’ when in reality all of these are largely subjective points of view? Who’s to say that what may appear effective to one person won’t be worthless to another? Equally, some may see you as super skilled in a particular area yet your inner critic has a field day in beating you up as having failed in that exact same thing from your own personal viewpoint.
There are no boxes to tick off. There is no base line when it comes to knowing if you have your shit together or even what it might specifically look like in our own lives day to day. This often (ironically) causes even more anxiety! It seems to be a general sense of having it ‘sorted’, exaggerated by the highlights of others lives we see on Facebook. It kinda comes down to managing to do the whole ‘life’ thing in an ‘effective, organised and skilful way’ or at least doing a good job of looking like it!
Of course I googled it, as is necessary in times like these, and was presented with a series of article headings such as:
15 Signs That You’re Finally Getting Your Shit Together
17 Ways You Know You Have Your Sh*t Together
12 Ways to Seriously Get Your Shit Together
Trick friends into thinking you have your shit together
Don't Stay Stuck: 16 Strategies to Get your Shit Together
10 Productivity Apps That Will Help You Get Your Shit Together
8 Ways To Get Your Shit Together
How To Stop Procrastinating - Get Your Shit Together
Get Your Shit Together Guidebook
Wow, we humans really do like a tick list or bullet point, don’t we!
I checked a few of these out and ‘Trick friends into thinking you have your shit together’ did have some pretty good points to be fair- for example tip no. 6 “Cover your couch with some stupid throw pillows with meaningless words on them.” Hmmmm…
Anyway, I digress. In all seriousness getting back to the point of this little reflection… we live in a society that often makes us feel we need ‘fixing’. I am not ok with this. I am not ok with battling constant thoughts of all the things I ‘should’ be doing better. I am not ok with the notion that we should have everything 'sorted' before we put ourselves out into the world to help others. It takes up so much head space and drains me of energy to think this way.... energy that I could be using in a much more empowering way.
It is so often our imperfections, our weaknesses and our vulnerabilities that creates the deepest connections, and gives others permission to be imperfect too. Powerful connection does not require 'having our shit together.'
If you feel you haven’t got your shit together, high five, that’s cool… but then OWN IT! Be aware of your imperfections, of course build strategies in place to support your struggles or weak spots. BUT OWN YOU exactly as you are. Show up from that place exactly as you are. Serve others exactly as you are.
We are all on a journey and we all vary somewhere along the continuum in any given moment of feeling ‘very together’ on the one hand to feeling ‘scattered in pieces on the floor’ on the other.
I believe it’s not the amount of pieces that matter but our ability, determination and willingness to piece ourselves back together and continue on that journey. To show up in this world regardless.
For me, that is the reality and my deepest understanding of truly having your shit together. Even when it’s the shit that is the glue that sticks your pieces.
Loving you and all your imperfect perfection.