Shame, shame shame, hey shame on you. If you can’t dance too.
I had a conversation with my cousin about my last blog that touched upon the subject of perfectionism and how it relates to feeling of shame. It was about how great the book The Gifts Of Imperfection- letting go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are- by Brené Brown is. I’ve read the book when it was released years ago, but am reading it now again because it is mind blowing. The book talks about your whole life and has a lot of work related stories that will register with you.
The way she describes how much of it is related to shame really hit home to me. So I am really going out of my comfort zone here, but here it goes……….
I get extremely uncomfortable and feel ashamed when people ask me why I am still single. It drives me insane mostly, because at that moment I only think about what the person asking me the question is thinking. I get into my “what will other people think” mode. Being perfect to me is that whole “having it all” idea of the perfect man with the perfect child and the perfect career you know…. fantasy island ?.
But reading her book again and listening to her talk about it I realize I am just good enough being Nancy. I don’t need to explain myself to the person asking that question.
I do not need to be perfect! I should just be a healthy striver. Because that is internally focused. It’s focused on what you want to do and how you can be the best you can be.
Brené says about perfectionism:
- Perfectionism: Keeps us from being seen.
- Perfectionism is thinking: What will people think?
- Perfectionism is: If I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect, I can avoid or minimize criticism, blame and ridicule.
Brené talks about living a wholehearted life (a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness) and she offers lessons on just how important embracing our imperfections is. She calls this a proces. I love that word. It means you can always improve if you want. In the chapter “Cultivating Authenticity” entrepreneurs learn how breaking away from what people think they should do and beginning to trust in what they themselves feel, is an important step toward thinking creatively and embracing that crazy business idea that just might become a huge success. Or in “Cultivating a Resilient Spirit” employees can identify key action steps to keep them from falling prey to feelings of powerlessness in their career.
This important book is about the lifelong journey from ‘What will people think?’ to ‘I am enough.’ Something that we can all relate to, don’t you think?