Do you battle with perfectionism? I do. It often holds me back from my own success because I feel paralyzed by it.

The more real and confident I have become the more I realize that being a perfectionist is simply a cover for fear.

Fear of letting others down.

Fear of others not liking our work.

Fear of failing.

Fear of missing the mark.

Perfectionism is a trap because it convinces us that things have to be done perfectly or not at all. That causes us to freeze and take no action because it is actually impossible to do anything perfectly. Perfect is an impossible standard to reach.

Perfectionism can very much get in your own way of success. You may find yourself procrastinating or abandoning projects. Sometimes, perfectionists would rather abandon ship than face the possibility of falling short. Perfectionists rightfully worry they can never meet their own standards. Without any wiggle room, any task becomes difficult and unpleasant, which means it gets put off, and put off and put off.

You may feel overwhelmed. Perfectionists often feel like a deer in the headlights. It can make tasks totally overwhelming.

All of these hinder your success and happiness.

Here are five ways to get out of the impossible perfectionism loop.

  1. Acknowledge that being perfect is impossible. Truly no one is perfect 100 percent of the time at everything. No matter how things appear.
  2. Surround yourself with people who are imperfect and own it. This also applies to social media. When you follow people on social media who seem to be perfect or have a perfect life, it only adds unnecessary pressure for you to live up to their unrealistic standards.
  3. Get moving. Perfectionism causes procrastination because of the idea that you need to do all things perfectly or not at all. It’s like becoming paralyzed. I am guilty of this. If you wait until things are perfect, you’ll be waiting forever. Just take that first step – that’s the biggest step of all.
  4. Understand you don’t need to be perfect to have a great life. You can be mediocre or good at something and still live a happy and fulfilled life. Oftentimes, good is good enough.
  5. Understand that letting go of perfectionism is the only way to be truly happy. Perfectionism doesn’t make you feel perfect. In fact, it makes you feel inadequate. Changing the unrealistic standards you set for yourself can be the key that unlocks true happiness.

Always remember that you are a work in progress and be kinder to yourself as you continue to learn and grow and become the best version of yourself.

Quality vs. quantity is one of the questions I get a lot about posting to social media.

I’m also asked how to write posts that will be read and seen by your network.

But what does it mean and how does it impact your posts?

The key is to make every post:

  • Personalized
  • Value-based
  • Timely
  • Informational
  • Relevant
  • Unique (tell a story or ground it in something that happened to you)
  • Memorable

Don’t worry about the number of posts, likes, comments or shares at the beginning.

Instead focus on writing for your reader. Your audience will come.

Also write for the medium. This means adjusting your content for each platform. You can’t post the same content that you would post Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Take the time to adjust the language of your post on each. As well as to learn the hashtag strategies for each platform.

Anything worth doing takes time. Invest your time in crafting the right social media posts.

My 30s were a time of great personal and professional growth. I gained confidence, resilience, lifelong friendships, and experienced successes and failures.

It wasn’t easy. All of these experiences helped to shape who I am today. I always try to find the silver lining in things even when it’s not so easy to do so.

Here are some of the most important things I learned – I hope they’re helpful as you navigate your own journey.

  • Your struggles can become your biggest lessons
  • Stop choosing what isn’t choosing you
  • You don’t need to be perfect to be successful
  • Be self aware enough to make changes supporting your growth, but accept yourself for who you are
  • With time everything gets better
  • Don’t be afraid to give up the good for the great. The good is comfortable. The great is your next step.
  • The sacrifices you make now will pay off in the future
  • You can’t erase what happened to you but you can choose to put it behind you
  • Your diet isn’t just about what you eat. It’s what you watch/read, who you follow and with whom you spend time.
  • Bad things happen to good people
  • Learn how to put your ego in check
  • Always be humble
  • Let go of comparing yourself to others – your path is unique
  • Stop defining yourself by your mistakes
  • Don’t waste time on people who waste your time
  • Stop being so hard on yourself
  • Live life in the present, stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future
  • Be more patient and kind
  • Stop taking what others say & do personally
  • Invest in fewer, authentic relationships
  • Don’t be afraid of failing – failures help you become wiser
  • Be careful who you trust. Especially among female friends and colleagues. Sometimes they don’t have your best interests at heart.
  • Not everyone thinks like you – communication is key
  • Never say never no to anything professionally that pushes you out of your comfort zone
  • People make time for who they want
  • What you you wanted isn’t always what you need
  • Surround yourself with positivity

What would you add?

I know everyone is thinking “woo hoo, 2020 is finally over!” but now what?

Well now the hard work begins to set intentions and do the work to become the best version of yourself!

So many of us are quick to want to jump into the next year in the hopes that it will be better than the last.

The problem with this is that if you do nothing to realize and appreciate what you’ve just experienced, chances are the next year is going to be pretty much the same.

Hopefully you were doing work on yourself in 2020 when you were socially distancing and staying close to home.

I had much more time to reflect on my life and what was important to me. I am thankful for the time I had, particularly at the beginning of the year when I was healing from a failed relationship and trying to find my identity professionally after experiencing a major setback.

I challenge you to do what I did – which was setting intentions throughout the new year of things to help me become a better, stronger person and rebuild my life.

My good friend Chris is the one who suggested I do this years ago during another tough time in my life, and it worked then and now to help me manifest what I wanted.

Setting intentions is a great way to increase your likelihood of manifesting what you want. There is tremendous power in taking time to tap into what you want from your life and then declaring that to the universe.

Note that I did not use the word “resolution” intentionally, and I also want to stress that you do not have to set intentions only at the beginning of the year. You can do this at any point during the year. You can also veer off course and change or refine these goals. You are a work in progress, nothing is set in stone and you should change your goals as you change!

When you write down your intentions, try and be as specific as possible. The universe loves specific requests. Dive into the details of the things, people, places and experiences you want to manifest in your life.

Also, try to complete any unfinished business in your life before creating this list so you are as focused as possible and have a clean slate.

Here are some questions to think about as you set your intentions to help create the next version of you:

  • Who do you want to be?
  • What do you want your life to look like next year? In five years?
  • What have you been putting off because you’ve been too busy or you need specialized help?
  • What are some of your bad habits/shortcomings?
  • What criticism do you hear from trusted friends and business colleagues? How can you address it?
  • What do you want to accomplish in the short- and long-term?
  • What is something that you have always wanted to do but have been too scared/busy to do it?
  • What does success look like to you?
  • How has the pandemic changed your business/life?
  • How do you want to be remembered?

I suggest that you write down your intentions – either type or write them out – I have mine in the notes section of my iPhone. It makes it easy to refer back and refine them.

In order to make your intentions as powerful as possible, put your focus on – who you want to be – rather than – what you want to get. The more connected you are to your intentions, the more likely they are to manifest.

In every difficult situation we face there is always an opportunity for growth.

Try to reframe everything tough that happened in 2020 (and I know there was a lot of it for many of us), and see it as a learning experience that made you stronger and wiser.

Remember that you have within yourself the power to change your life, learn from all of your mistakes and missteps, and become the best version of yourself! Making lists like this can help you prioritize what you want and how to get there.

My 30s were a time of great personal and professional growth. Of course failures and tough times were sprinkled in as well.

During that decade I went through things I never thought imaginable, such as losing my mom to cancer, losing a great love who just didn’t want the same things as me and a few jobs that just didn’t turn out as expected or hoped.

I gained a lot too. Confidence. Resilience. Lifelong friendships. Stronger ties with my family. Success at work. It wasn’t easy.

Here are some of the most important things I learned, which have helped me to come into my own today. I wouldn’t trade in any of the experiences I had as they have made me who I am.

Every hard period in my life showed me that I am stronger and more resilient than I thought I was.

I hope these tips are helpful to some of you so that you don’t have to go through some of the things I have. My entire reason for having this blog is to help others.

  1. The struggles you faced and the pain you’ve gone through can become your biggest strengths and lessons.
  2. If you feel hesitant or nervous telling someone close to you about good news, they probably shouldn’t be close to you.
  3. Spend less time chasing people and more time chasing your dreams.
  4. Worry less about whether someone likes you or whether they want to hire you and more about if you even like them or want the job.
  5. Stop choosing what isn’t choosing you.
  6. Stop being surprised by repeated bad behavior. Notice and believe patterns.
  7. You don’t need to be perfect to be successful in any area of your life. No one is perfect.
  8. Never let anyone make you feel like you aren’t good enough or you aren’t doing a good job when you are.
  9. Be self aware enough to make changes that support your growth, but at the same time, accept yourself for who you are.
  10. With time everything gets better. No matter how terrible something is right now, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  11. You can make it through anything – a breakup or divorce, death in family, getting fired.
  12. The sacrifices you make now will pay off in the future.
  13. Life is about quality over quantity.
  14. Your diet isn’t just about what you eat. It’s what you watch, what you read, who you follow and spend time with. If your goal is to be healthier, you have to start by removing all of the “junk” from your “diet.”
  15. Learn how to put your ego in check. Sometimes our pride can get in the way of a lot of things.
  16. Always be humble. Don’t brag. Especially as you continue to become more successful.
  17. Let go of comparing yourself to others.
  18. Stop defining yourself by your mistakes. You will get things wrong from time to time. We are all imperfect. Just keep growing.
  19. Forgive yourself for the red flags you overlooked. Now you know better.
  20. Stop being so hard on yourself.
  21. Live your life in the present. Stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future.
  22. Reflect on the lessons you’ve learned instead of ruminating on your mistakes.
  23. Be more patient and kind.
  24. Suspend your snap judgment on something or someone until you have more facts.
  25. Stop taking what others say and do so personally.
  26. Invest in fewer, authentic relationships and keep your circle small.
  27. Don’t be afraid of failure – failures help lead to success.
  28. It’s no one’s responsibility to make you happy. Don’t expect someone or something to change your life. Only you can do that.
  29. No one owes you anything. You are the leader of your own life. Work hard for what you want.
  30. Not everyone thinks like you. What makes sense to you doesn’t always make sense to someone else. Communication is key.

Remember that you can do anything to which you put your mind. And you are not defined by your past. Learn from every experience good and bad. It’s never too late to find happiness or success.

I have a very timely and important social media and marketing PSA for you today.

Don’t post anything further on social media or do any marketing at all today and over the next few days. In this video I discuss why  although it should be obvious.

U.S. companies and individuals – don’t post anything further today or even tomorrow – maybe not even at all for the remainder of the week.

I strongly recommend halting all social media and content marketing efforts right now given what’s going on in Washington, DC.

Put most of your posts on your editorial calendar on hold.

Turn off any scheduled posts for the week ASAP.

Go into your scheduled posting tool to ensure you don’t have anything in the queue.

You don’t need to send out that client alert, blog post, press release or webinar reminder right now either. They can wait.

It’s not business as usual.

You can certainly prepare content for posting later, but PLEASE take a break given what’s happening at the Capitol.

I recommend that you also halt all unnecessary email marketing and external marketing.

You don’t want to seem tone deaf and out of touch. This is not the time to post congratulatory content or big wins. Lay low.

Also please be careful what you say on your personal social on the events in DC. It’s better to say nothing when emotions are high.

Stay safe.

Sometimes all it takes is for someone to believe in you to push you out of your comfort zone and get you to where you’re supposed to be.

A few years ago Kevin O’Keefe reached out to me and said “you should have a blog.” And I said “who me?!” I wasn’t confident enough in myself and my writing to think that anyone would read or follow it.

Kevin saw something in me that I did not.

He continued to check in over several months, and I continued to procrastinate about it. I wondered if I had what it took to be a blogger. But he believed in me, so I took his advice and we set on this journey.

We came up with the name for the blog – The Social Media Butterfly – together on a call. We both knew it was a perfect way to describe what I loved to write about and who I am.

In a world where we are often so busy in our daily lives to stop show gratitude, I want to take the time to thank Kevin for his guidance and believing in me as well as to LexBlog, Inc. for making it so easy for me to reach others through an outlet that I love.

If you’re thinking about becoming a blogger, I’m happy to brainstorm with you about it. If you love to write, this might be a great channel for you.

If I can do it so can you! It just takes commitment, courage, grit and passion.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to deal with something awful or have been stabbed in the back or hurt by people close to me.

Sometimes the worst-case scenario happens and there is no silver lining.

My mom died of Multiple Myeloma four years ago after battling this cancer for a long time. At the time, I was working at a big law firm. My new boss – a former colleague of mine who was promoted to the role – judged me for going back to work too quickly in her eyes. To me, having some sense of normalcy and routine was incredibly helpful to take my mind off of the grief process, which is long and winding . She suddenly picked on me daily for fabricated reasons, gave me a phony bad review and tons of extra work. I couldn’t seem to do anything right no matter what. She later pushed me out of the firm just five months later. I learned from a senior person at the firm that she wanted to fire me right when my mom died but the firm wouldn’t allow her to do it.

My significant replaced me while we were living together with one of our acquaintances and then spread lies about me to cover for his desire to end our relationship and make me look like the villain. I felt as if I was framed for things I didn’t do and once again I couldn’t do anything right and was picked on almost daily over the two months before he left. He then came after me with a heartless vengeance as I tried to make sense of suddenly being discarded

A former friend of mine told my ex and others many damaging and untrue things that I allegedly said about others in our friend group. Her sole motive seems to have been to cause drama and turmoil. She wound up causing so much pain in my life such as encouraging my ex and the woman he started dating after me to be together. I struggle to make sense of her betrayal.

My employer turned its back on me when I was going through a mental health crisis due to my ex suddenly leaving me. I loved that job and the people there, and I was so shocked and hurt at how they treated me.

My beloved dog died after struggling with epilepsy his whole life. I could go on and on.

But I don’t let these bad things that happened to me stop me from being a good person and helping others, because that’s just not who I am as a person.

You don’t need a good reason to be good to others or to help others.

What you do reflects who you are. If you go out of your way to help others and be kind, that defines you.

If you are kind and helpful without asked to do those things, that shows your true character. Now this doesn’t mean that you continue to be kind and go out of your way for people who have hurt or disappointed you. That means that you have boundaries and focus your attention on those who do appreciate you.

I also think giving back to your community and finding a cause for which you are passionate is one way to positively channel your good intentions. For me it is homelessness and animals in need. Finding ways to help those who really need help is how I find fulfillment and hope even after all of the bad things that have unfairly happened to me. I strongly encourage you to find and actively participate in a cause that is important to you.

I know it’s hard to keep being kind and good to people when you’ve been knocked down or hurt, or when you see good things happen to bad people, but stay true to who you are. Good people eventually triumph. And karma works in mysterious ways. Being a good person is just the right thing to do.

I am a big fan of Major, Lindsey and Africa top recruiter Dimitri Mastrocola’s LinkedIn posts – you should follow him if you aren’t already.

In this guest post excerpted from a longer article of his, which you should read, learn his five tips to help you be laser-focused about going after and getting what you want this year.

1. Push Yourself Harder Than Anyone Else Would.

There is always more to do as you journey to your goals, and there is always a “better” way to do it that you haven’t found yet. Push yourself harder than anyone else to find it.

2. Do It For Yourself, Not External Validation.

Leaders are fueled from within, not by the accolades of others. Hold yourself to the highest standard of excellence, not for the recognition but because that’s who you are.

3. Seek Out Pressure Situations.

Lean into situations that challenge you. Let that “under pressure” feeling compel you to dig deep and tap the powerful resources that lie dormant within you.

4. Never See Failure as Final.

There is no such thing as failure. Learn to reframe every temporary setback as a lesson, then figure out a way to harness it into something you are looking to achieve.

5. Only Compete Against Yourself.

Leaders never compete with anyone else, knowing their true competition is with themselves. Remember that your toughest competition is and will always be the person you are capable of becoming.

I’m working with a lawyer client who has been practicing law for 25+ years and recently lateraled to this firm.

When I looked at his LinkedIn profile, I immediately noticed that only had his most current role listed in his work experience section, making it look like he had only been practicing law for 8 years.

He also omitted his career prior to becoming a lawyer – which was incredibly relevant as he was a scientist and he is now an IP lawyer.

He told me that he left off former positions because he didn’t realize it was important to include them because they were so long ago. He also didn’t want make it seem like he had moved around so much.

When I explained the importance of listing his full professional history in order to tell a more robust story of his background and career, it clicked for him.

He also had left off his undergraduate school, which is important so LinkedIn can send you suggestions of potential connections, as well as to establish commonalities with people searching you and connecting with former classmates and joining certain groups.

In this video, I explore why it’s so important to fill out all of the sections in your LinkedIn profile, including past roles and education.

The short of it is to fill out all of the sections so that you can be discovered more easily and have more commonalities with others searching for you. While I often say less is more, not in this case.  Listing all of your past positions (even some prominent internships) can help you find commonalities with others and then also use LinkedIn’s connection tools, which get smarter with suggestions when you include your full biographical information.

Watch the video.