How to Embrace Your Perfect Imperfection

Susan McCorkindale
3 min readJul 24, 2020

“Susan Ann! I can hear you over all the other girls. You’re so loud out there!”

I’m quoting my mom verbatim.

As a kid, I was loud. Very loud. I thought this worked for me when I was ten and cheering for the peewee football team, but after every game my mom would tell me how she could hear me over all the other girls on the squad and it was clear she didn’t think it was a good thing. She also didn’t appreciate how comfortable I was being one of the centers of attention. (While some of the other girls got nervous in front of the stands, I was like “Out of my way! It’s time for my cheer!”)

I hated disappointing my mom.

I really felt guilty about it.

But it didn’t make me change my behavior.

Loud, stubborn, and happy in the spotlight. Can you say totally flawed by the fourth grade?

Or was I?

Flash-forward to adulthood and my stubbornness, comfort in front of crowds, and ability to make myself heard with or without a mic, has enabled me to pursue careers in sales, marketing, and public speaking. And to be successful at them.

Re-framing Our Flaws: The Key to Seeing Them as Strengths

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Get a notepad and a pen (or just open a word doc) and write down a few of your “flaws.” Then, read the following paragraph with an eye toward re-framing how you think about them:

Do you get obsessed with things? People thought Steve Jobs, God rest his soul, and his obsession with computers and then cell phones was crazy. He laughed all the way to the bank.

Are you an introvert? Bill Gates’ family worried he was so shy he’d never find a job. He didn’t need one. He founded Microsoft.

Are you one of those people who refuses to quit no matter how tough the going gets? Margaret Mitchell was rejected by 40 publishers before her book, Gone with the Wind, was published and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.

All of these traits — obsession, introversion, and stubbornness —and dozens of others I…