Since the feminist movement, women have openly discussed and debated what it means to be female. This multi-decade dialogue has led to a more nuanced understanding of the complexity of womanhood, and what it means to grow and develop as a multi-faceted woman. A similar dialogue between men about the nuanced intricacies of malehood has been slower to develop.
A few weeks ago, in the company of 5,000 other women, I heard Hillary Clinton offer advice I took to heart. She said, "Take criticism seriously, but not personally". For such a simple sentiment, it struck me as profound. In fact, it's not too much of a stretch to say that those six words knocked our collective socks off. The room grew rather still. I could tell that there were other recovering perfectionists, like myself, in the room for whom that struck home.
Very often, we use our "current" self to judge decisions that we made in the past. But we weren't the same person then. Instead, try to get back inside the head of the "you" who made those decisions. You'll often find that you were making a fair and balanced decision based on the facts available to you at the time and the emotional space you were in.
I had grown so tired and so very bored of my corporate life, glamorous as it looked on the outside, that I wanted to scream and not stop. It was truly a case of "it's not you, it's me" and I wanted to break up with my job in the very worst way. But, I couldn't, even though I knew it was for the best.