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Lisa Nichols | Be Perfect in Your Imperfection
Lisa Nichols Speech

Lisa Nichols | Be Perfect in Your Imperfection

Lisa Nichols - You Are Enough

Lisa Nichols delivers a powerful motivational speech on how she found purpose by confronting her fear and failing at her job.


I struggled all through school, all through school. The last time I took a English class, I got a fail and my English teacher said, Lisa, you have to be the weakest writer that I've ever met in my entire life. I recommend you get a desk job and you never speak in public. I look at my life and for 18 years I wouldn't touch a microphone, I wouldn't do anything near speaking. As much as I loved speaking, I was afraid, say afraid.

- [Crowd] Afraid.

I was afraid of being judged and this conversation today is about confronting your fear, confronting your fear and I remember for years I wouldn't speak. And people would say God, you should be a speaker. I said no, no, no, my teacher told me, my teacher said I shouldn't speak in public and he's a speech teacher. He knows better.

So, I got a job in accounting. I was horrible at it. I was in collections. I wanna be liked too much to be in collections. Like my ultimate goal was that people love me. So, I'm in collections, I'm calling people telling them they have to pay, they're telling me that they can't pay, my child is in college, I can't pay and I go oh, okay, well, you know what? Since you can't pay and I know you can't pay because that story is a good story, I'm gonna do you a favor, I'm not only gonna zero your balance out, I'm gonna take you off the list.

So, my supervisor calls me into the office and she said Lisa, what do you wanna be when you grow up? I was about 23. I said I thought it was a test to my commitment to the company, I said I wanna be the best accounts receivable manager ever and I swear I saw her cringe. And she said, I don't know. She says I give you a list of 120 people to call and when I get it back, there's like 89. I don't know what's happening. I said, oh, don't worry, I'm doing you a favor. I'm taking off everyone who can't pay. She says people are asking for you when they call. I said I aim to please. Yes, yes. She said this is a collection company, they shouldn't be asking for you. She said I have to release you to find your dream. I said release me to find my dream? Do I clock in tomorrow and look for it here? She said no. And so, I got fired.

22 years later I walk out on stage in front of 3,300 women and this women, when my sizzle reel was playing, being on Oprah, Larry King, this woman's in the front row and she's crying and all while I'm speaking, all while I'm speaking she's crying and I go I can bring up a few tears but I haven't even gotten started yet. She's crying. I don't know. So, then afterwards, I'm signing autographs about 280 people in line, I'm signing autographs and she's crying the entire time. And after about 70 autographs I go over to here and I said excuse me, ma'am, you've been crying for like two and a half hours. Why are you crying. She said because 22 years ago I released you to find your dream and you found it.

That was the same woman who fired me. Yes, yes. Let me tell you something, some of your fears come out of something someone said about you, some of your best motivation came wrapped in sandpaper. Some of your best motivation didn't come wrapped in love and came with warm cookies and milk, it came wrapped in sandpaper, it came wrapped in thorns, it came wrapped in that divorce, it came wrapped in the loss of a loved one, it came wrapped in something that didn't work, some of your best motivation that you needed, some of the best lessons that you needed to learn came wrapped in sandpaper. Yes, yes? Yes, yes?

- [Crowd] Yes, yes.

You job is to take the information, to take the lesson and to take the opportunity and use it to fuel you, not make you afraid. In climbing over my fears, in climbing over my discouragement, in climbing over my issues, in that I'm perfect for you and so, there's not one thing you can be afraid of that doesn't make you perfect for us. Not one thing. Not one thing you can go through, not one thing you can come through, not one thing you can be on your way to that doesn't make you perfect. Say perfect.

- [Crowd] Perfect.

- Say perfect.

- [Crowd] Perfect.

- To do that thing that you've been designed to do, to say that thing you've been designed to say, to bring that experience that you've been called to bring, you are perfect. Say perfect.

- [Crowd] Perfect.

- In your imperfections. Say imperfection.

- [Crowd] Imperfection.

- When you become perfect really we no longer can relate to you. So, are you willing to go to the edge and hold fear in one hand and passion in the other and leap? I want you to repeat after me but I want you to understand that these are not my words, these are your words. I was just asked to bring them to you so you can say them to yourself. I stand here.

- [Crowd] I stand here.

- In my greatness.

- [Crowd] In my greatness.

- I own my light.

- [Crowd] I own my light.

- I own my brilliance.

- [Crowd] I own my brilliance.

- [Lisa] I am bold.

- [Crowd] I am bold.

- [Lisa] I am courageous.

- [Crowd] I am courageous.

- I'm perfect.

- [Crowd] I'm perfect.

- In my imperfections.

- [Crowd] In my imperfection.

- This is my time.

- [Crowd] This is my time.

- This is my time.

- [Crowd] This is my time.

- [Lisa] I'm bright enough.

- [Crowd] I'm bright enough.

- [Lisa] I'm old enough.

- [Crowd] I'm old enough.

- [Lisa] I'm young enough.

- [Crowd] I'm young enough.

- I've experienced enough.

- [Crowd] I'm experienced enough.

- [Lisa] I'm wise enough.

- [Crowd] I'm wise enough.

- [Lisa] I understand.

- [Crowd] I understand.

- [Lisa] That I.

- [Crowd] That I.

- Am.

- [Crowd] Am.

- Enough.

- [Crowd] Enough.

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