I continue holding an intention of sharing insights discovered from challenge to support you in traversing trials or, even, using them to improve.
In that vein, I offer you ‘Imperfection.’
Before reforming perfectionism, I was type A getting ‘schtuff done’ with ‘high standards.’ This served me at times; other times, not so much.
Nominally tolerating my mistakes, perfectionistic thinking exhaustingly drove me to try to make ‘all look great’ or ‘fix what’s broken’ while average or good enough felt disappointing. Failures left me feeling shame, chastising myself over any-sized transgressions.
When my life big-time downturned, I heard a sage say that perfectionism and shame may be 2 sides of the same coin and rejecting difficulty or Imperfections might not help. Initially I thought, ummmm, no; after mulling, praying, and meditating, I reassessed.
A willingness to attempt what I’d previously not been aware of – nor ok with giving a whirl – budded within in a way it hadn’t in easier times. An actual opportunity of profound hardship.
What if adversity or Imperfect-ness had a purpose – catalyzing me to fresh Action?
What if hard times surfaced what longed to heal, change, or be different?
What if, maaaaybe, I was standing in an opening, a place for possibilities, a chance for something potentially better?
Questioning like this brought hope glimmers because, if horrid situations are a possible portal to upgrades in life, I had material-a-plenty.
Accepting instead of avoiding the real me – blemishes and all – felt scary yet it dawned on me that perfectionism kept me bound in proverbial chains.
Looking at my MO, modus operandi, I decided and felt with deep Gut Knowing that I could Incrementally let fall away what no longer served me. Initially not quite easy. ‘Tis a practice – and I am a perpetual student.
Cultivating Imperfection, I
• Opened to others being right more often. This approached more of what’s actually True. I am human and wrong at times,
• Realized perfection’s an impossible goal that held me back from trying and perhaps faceplanting, I realized failing was a way to learn, innovate, and actually part of a successful path,
• Saw flaws as less negative and maybe had an upside – if itty bitty. They can be an invisible link or unifying with others as everyone’s got ‘em,
• Asked questions instead of supplying answers,
• Reminded myself that rigid rules or stories may be made up in my head and not necessarily accurate which reduced following Shoulds, Gottas and Don’ts. As in – ‘You should do this. You gotta say that. Don’t do that as so and so won’t like it,’
• Chose vulnerability and shared mini hiccups, at first, with dear ones. Then, larger oopsies and struggles with others. Eventually, I (incredibly) decided to do this as part of helping others, and
• Admitted mistakes and learned lessons which aided growth. Mistakes are Practice and “mistakes are training” per Ryan Holiday in The Obstacle is the Way to take alternate or more effective action going forward. Ultimately, mistakes are real while perfectionism may be off-putting. Listening to others, learning from wise ones, and choosing do-overs can be a beautiful means of connecting. Bonus – it expands Wisdom.
This process involved Imperfect awkward raw attempts and messy-starting execution of inventive-to-me ideas. Brainstorming various – sometimes less than fab – plans sans banishing poor seeming ones initially made my reforming perfectionist blanch. With Imperfection, I had to get ‘it’ wrong in order to eventually get ‘it’ right like a baby learning to walk, with many falls to hone and improve along the way.
Surprisingly, it was exhilarating to Reframe and gradually make new Choices. Albeit, not always. Sigh.
Owning Imperfections over time and facing fear of them was liberating. Incrementally, owning who I was – quirky, unpretty parts and all, I kept peeling and continuing to peel away perfectionistic onion layers. Thanks to Grace, more Peace arrived.
Creativity flowed when wrong/Imperfect ideas weren’t banished and, in opening to myriad perspectives, I accepted teachings and gained Wisdom from varied books and teachers. Imperfection could be chosen in certain situations and excellence could be applied elsewhere.
In aiming for ‘good now instead of perfect later,’ more was and is accomplished, in more of a flow state, with less perfectionism performance drag – which shrinks, creates fear, or presses under.
Approaching, slowly Accepting, and then leaning into dents and oopsies, Imperfections became more ok, holding less power over me. Concerns about these continue to decrease. Authenticity bloomed while more of my spiritual DNA – that I believe is Divinely perfect and the essence all have – expressed and stepped forward. An improved, ever evolving, more whole continues emerging.
Imperfection was part of my coming more fully alive, healed, and real me – including wrinkles and faults which are part of humanness.
With a Process over Perfection approach, I adopted Flexibility over rigidity, a gently downcast face in lieu of an inauthentic smile, approachable instead of an invisible force field keeping others away, and showing up over hiding. Imperfectly.
With a less than perfect closing and big ol’ love beams,