24th June 2021

The gifts of imperfection


Do you ever notice how sometimes random things appear to spotlight a particular thought or theme?

I noticed recently that a number of clients were wanting to explore how they could be “at their best” all the time.

Honestly?  Just the thought of being “at my best” the whole time made me feel exhausted!

Perfection is a myth. Seeking perfection as a human being is a short cut to shame, guilt and disappointment.

Actually, let me rephrase that.

Perfection isn’t a myth, it’s our understanding of perfection that is fundamentally flawed.

If we’re being really honest, when we think about perfection (or being at our best) we probably have a set of criteria (consciously or subconsciously) against which we score ourselves.  If we can score a 10/10 for each criteria, then we will be perfect, right?

So let’s take a look at what those criteria might be:

  • Never making a mistake
  • Never saying the wrong thing
  • Never losing your sh*t
  • Never asking for help

Or how about:

  • Being able to get on with everyone
  • Being what everyone else needs/wants/demands of you
  • Being outgoing and loud but also reflective and calm
  • Being able to get everyone to get on with each other
  • Looking a certain way (size, shape, hair, skin, clothes)

And let’s not forget;

  • Making ALL of the above look effortless

Ooof. Remember how I said at the beginning how perfection was a short cut to shame, guilt and disappointment?

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. I do it myself sometimes too, particularly when I have made a mistake, said the wrong thing or shouted at someone (or all 3 at the same time – teenagers anyone??!!!)

Fortunately, I have learned to catch it when it’s happening and to remind myself of the truth which is:

I am perfectly imperfect. I am enough.

So if you need it, here it is for you too:

You are perfectly imperfect. You are enough.

Imperfection is a hugely important aspect of us all. Mistakes enable us to learn and grow and develop. Not knowing sparks curiosity. Emotions forge connection and compassion.

My wish is that we all become more aware and accepting of ourselves as we are right now. We are  already creative, resourceful and knowledgeable.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t want to change and grow and explore what’s possible. It means we don’t have to wait until we have done that course, got that qualification, secured that job title to do it. It means we can be appreciative of who we are and what we bring NOW; with ALL our imperfections.

Which is why is just perfect(!) that it’s the 10th Anniversary of Brene Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection” – subtitle “let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are“.

Those of you who know me, know I love a bit of Brene and this does not disappoint. If you’d like to know more, take a look at the book and maybe try the Wholehearted Inventory before you start reading. It may surprise you.