“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life.” ~ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
I greatly admire the work of Brené Brown, and specifically her research on vulnerability and the healing of our perfectionist tendencies. From where do those tendencies arise? I’m not seeking to put blame upon society or our families. It’s natural for us to encourage ourselves and others around us to strive to be better, to succeed. However, success has many definitions.
Working to achieve perfection feels to me hard-edged, rigid. I have been shifting my focus toward replacing old perfectionist tendencies, shedding habitual attempts to be better than I was yesterday by means of grasping tighter, pushing harder. Instead, my goal and definition of success is to be the best version of myself, every day. To me, it means the inevitability of stumbling from time to time, but finding the soft strength to admit my vulnerability, to allow myself to sit with the swirling emotions and convoluted circumstances, then watch them unravel naturally, without the use of force. From this authentic place, I remind myself to get back up and proceed with the agenda, ticking off tasks as I go, allowing myself to feel, to observe, to experience, owning up to my mistakes and gathering closely the lessons that I continue to acquire. Those are the lessons that nudge me closer toward today’s goal, reminding me to forgive, to accept, and to continue working to be the best version of myself.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” ~ Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
What is your definition of success? I would love to read about the steps you have taken to heal perfectionist tendencies that do not serve you. Please leave a comment below.
Thank you, as always, for sharing this blog with a friend.