Why I am no longer giving 110%. Ever.

Last month I was fortunate enough to attend the @ACTW Conference in Seattle. This was the first conference I’ve attended that is aimed directly at empowering women to continue their careers in tech, and starting their own companies. Guest mentors, teachers and speakers shared their thoughts, experiences and advice as we continue to make waves in the tech industry.

One speaker stood out to me. Perhaps it was her use of expletives (I use them fairly often), her candidness about mental health issues, her use of GIFs, or a combination of all of those — I don’t know. What I do know is that after listening to her, I am ready to re-evaluate.

Her name is Jen Hope. She is a bull***t slayer. Naturally, when I heard this, I automatically began my 110% engine. I was convinced that I could also lean all in and become a bull***t slayer too! After all, I can do everything all the time. Perfectly. Of course, she went on. And then, she said it, “… You do not need to give 110%.”


She went on. Apparently, in constantly giving my everything, I left myself with very little. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, I just wanted everything to be perfect all the time. Except in searching for that “perfect”, I left myself with very little. I wasn’t recognizing the hard work that I do daily, regardless of success rates. I wasn’t working on making myself Me. Where did self-care go?

I have created what she calls a “Badass Database”. When I built this database, I learned that while I may fail at times, I have also succeeded.

Here is my badass database :

1. I started an Intro to Web Dev class at my school!

2. I’m a blogger!

3. I am designing my own webpage!

4. I maintain a group of 50+ teenagers in check.

5. I manage my sanity through deep breathing and practicing mindfulness.

I am growing. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. I manage a lot, but I am no longer giving 110% to 100% of things. I am a recovering perfectionist. I am only human. And, this human will only give about 87% (OK, maybe a bit more).