Before 2013 I gave myself permission to be 3 things – 1. perfect 2. perfect and 3. perfect. Nothing less (there really is nothing less) and nothing more (again – if you are perfect you really are at the top of the top so…well done, delusional, but well done).
What I finally realized in 2013 – with the help of many, many, many TED Talks – was that it wasn’t perfection that I was seeking, it was wholeness. I was unfulfilled in many aspects of my life and therefore searching for perfection was my solution, or so I thought, to finally finding contentment.
As my idolization of perfectionism began to unravel I s-l-o-w-l-y I realized that perfectionism is not achievable. Stunning, I know. I was so blinded by thinking that I would achieve great things and have so many great relationships – if only I was perfect. What I was beginning to discover was exactly the opposite. It isn’t brave to hide all of your insecurities and it isn’t admirable to hide behind an image of what you want others to see. I would only be courageous if I could show my messy when the messy happens. The crazy thing I needed to learn was that in the messy is where you grow and that is how you get close to others in a way that isn’t possible otherwise.
This quote about connection really made me stop and think:
Vulnerability is what we want to hide from the world, yet it is the first thing we seek in others. – Brene Brown.
This is true in life and in business. As a new entrepreneur, you will not be successful at everything you try. As a matter of fact, in the first year, you will probably get most things wrong and have to learn how to fix them. When I first started, I decided I was going to show all my mistakes and have others, who have been in my shoes, show me the way. This is definitely a new approach for me. In my networking groups when it came time to share our struggles I was first to put my hand up and share the things that were difficult for me or that I just didn’t know at all how to even start. I was honest with my clients and shared if I couldn’t deliver certain services or if I was learning how to do certain things. This didn’t mean that I let my vulnerability be an excuse for sloppy or incomplete work – what it did for me was let me be honest and open with myself, and others, about the things that I was still working on.
I decided to retire my cloak of perfection in my business so I could be part of something wonderful. I wanted to really belong to a group where we all worked together to achieve incredible success, and that is exactly what happened. I shared the things I was good at and I let others guide me in the things they were good at. It wasn’t always easy and still isn’t, but I am working to live in this space instead of just visiting from time to time.
To remind myself of this gift every day – I granted myself permission to be imperfect based on these 3 things:
1. To know that I am enough. I am enough if I don’t accomplish one more thing in my entire life. Whatever came from this day forward was great, but didn’t define my worthiness to the world.
2. I was able to let others have imperfect opinions of me but I was not required to act on it or to justify it. I was no longer striving to make others happy by doing what they expected of me. I was going to actively participate in my life – and my decisions.
3. I granted myself permission to believe in myself and my dreams – and to go for it in a big way.
These were, and still are, the gifts that I granted myself that I have to work on every day. You don’t turn a recovering perfectionist into an accepting imperfect soul overnight. It is a work in progress to constantly remind myself that what I don’t have to be perfect to be worthy. I am worthy in my imperfection, and perhaps even more so, for at least I am real.
Until next time – dream, experience and love your life.
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