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As the former President of the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants (www.acpa-la.com), I’m often asked how personal assistants cope while working in an environment that insists that they be perfect at what they do. My answer is: no one is perfect.

When I worked as a booking agent for the Los Angeles UnifiedSchool system in the late 1970s (scheduling artists to appear in school assemblies in order to showcase their crafts to students), I learned through trial and error about booking people on the wrong day or time, or at the wrong location.

For example, before we put the schedules into a computerized system, everything was done by hand, so mix-ups were just waiting to happen. I remember sending an entire band of Hispanic puppeteers very early in the morning to a school that was already setting up their auditorium for a different performing group… which had been sent by my office also. All of these artists relied on the pay they would receive for each performance they gave, so obviously, on that day, one group was going to be paid and one wasn’t. Oops. It was all a learning process, and my patient and understanding boss gave me the leeway to make those rookie mistakes. This goes to show you, even if you make a mistake, it isn’t the end of the world. Don’t feel like you have to be flawless, because nobody is.

Additionally, comparing oneself to everyone around is a bad idea because different people have different abilities, strengths, etc. Therefore, if someone outperforms you in some area, it isn’t necessarily because you’re stupid, foolish, or anything like that. You may simply be less experienced, so don’t beat yourself up.

One of the ways people give their power away is to talk down to themselves. Don’t ever say, “I’m stupid.” Trust yourself to do the right thing. Know that you’re doing the best that you can right now given the knowledge you have at this moment in time. In fact, everyone is just doing the best they can.

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