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Practically Perfect in Every Way?

Katy McGlaughlin • Stage Manager’s Kit • April 29, 2016
Are we trying too hard to balance everything perfectly?
Are we trying too hard to balance everything perfectly?

Should stage managers try to be perfect and what happens when we are not?

I recently ready a book called Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.  The book finds the author at his lowest low, he talks about reaching a point of despair and rather that allowing himself to plunge into the abyss he started to embrace a simple mantra, “I Love myself”.

Ravikant points out that while our actual lives (in a life or death sense) don’t depend on loving ourselves our quality of life can very much depend on it. He talks about how repeating a mantra, really meditating on it, trains our brains. We are constantly telling ourselves stories and by taking control of the stories that we tell ourselves we take control of how we want to interact with the world rather than constantly reacting to situations. When we are in control and not just reacting we can evaluate what really drives us, are we driven to succeed or are we simply driven not to fail?

Many of the stage managers I know are plagued by a desire to be perfect, and some of them are darn near to it. When I fall short of perfection I can be pretty hard on myself. I think that some of our drive for perfection comes from the need to set an example – I know that I expect my cast to be on time (and by “on time” I, of course, mean early) so on the rare occasion that I am running late I castigate myself for the rest of the day. Any time that I fall short of perfection I feel that I have failed. The book urges the reader to break negative thought loops and replace them with “I love myself”. When I pause that loop of guilt and insert a reminder that I am a human being deserving of love it changes my whole out look.

So as you go through your day, taking on more projects, bringing order to the chaos, and loading on the stress – if you start to get down on yourself for whatever reason, ask yourself, “If I loved myself, truly and deeply, what would I do?”  

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