“I trust you to finish this project – you don’t need to check in with me.”
“You know what? It’s totally fine the invitations are white, not ivory. Nothing’s perfect and I’m sure no one will notice.”
“I happen to love this dress. I don’t care if you think it’s unflattering.”
The above are statements I wish I said all the time.
But I don’t.
Like, not at all.
In addition to Pinterest boards that tell us how to entertain, style our hair, meditate our way to enlightenment, we’re deluged with opinions about the sort of people we should actually be.
If romantic comedies and popular media are to be believed, I’d be a better, more loveable version of myself if I were more laid back, a bit funnier, and a little more spontaneous.
But I’m not.
Finding the courage to move from “What will people think?” to “I am enough” isn’t easy. And I, like all of us, struggle with this daily.
I often feel:
I want a guaranteed outcome. I find myself manipulating the smallest moments or trying to will a specific end result so I can feel safe. Somehow, I believe that if I can predict an outcome everything in my life will be “OK.”
Like a perfectionist
I occasionally find myself believing that perfection will protect me. I get caught up in the belief that if I look perfect, act perfect and live perfectly, I can avoid the feelings of shame, judgement, or pain that are part of everyday life (no matter how perfect you are.)
Distracted with people pleasing
Did they like that post? Are my clients happy – like, over-the-moon happy? Should I take on that duty that I’m not really that excited about? I say ‘yes’ way too often because I’m afraid saying no will disappoint others.
I struggle with this – a lot. I spend so much time helping others that I can’t always ask for help myself. I struggle with my professional armor: How can I be vulnerable and tell the stories of my own imperfect journey without discrediting myself and my business?
Oh, and the biggest messy imperfection of all?
That inner critic who is constantly telling me that I am not “X” enough.
Nearly every human I’ve ever met has struggled (at one time or another) with not feeling quite “enough” and we’re afraid to admit it!
The “not enough” index is lengthy and complex. We all worry we’re not thin enough, not good enough, not certain enough, not powerful enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not wealthy enough, not interesting enough.
Somewhat bizarrely, I worry that I’m not accomplished enough – despite having a doctorate and owning a successful coaching practice! But I make a choice to approach myself and my messes with love and compassion – we all struggle with a plethora of irrational constructs and this is one of mine!
Despite my messes and neuroses I deeply believe
“I am my best work – a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles and prayers from the front lines.”
Feeling imperfect and being your own best work are not mutually exclusive.
I’m learning that it takes great courage to live on the front lines of your vulnerability, to tell your story, as is. It’s imperfect and sometimes scary but it’s also raw and real.
Of course, we open ourselves to criticism + judgement but it is our raw + real selves that allow for the type of connection that gives our lives purpose.
If we want to love with our whole selves + engage with the world from a place of worthiness, our first step is practicing the courage it takes to own our stories and tell the truth about who we are.
And furthermore to believe that our truth is enough.
Embrace your imperfection story.
I know I am.