It’s not often that I am publicly transparent. There is a small circle who help hold me both accountable and together depending on the issue. But transparent for the world? Yikes! (I promise I’m not going to say or do anything that will make you feel like I do watching Michael Scott manage The Office. So read on.)
Reading the work of Brene Brown has moved my personal growth forward by leaps and bounds. Her second book, The Gifts of Imperfection jolted me into the hard journey forward out of shame.
I am slow to integrate and apply what I learn. I read that in 2010 when it was published. Sheesh. You think I’d have moved on by now.
The Hubster and I joined her e-course this spring: Living Brave. The course is based on her two latest books: Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. (The course is more than worth the tuition, compared to the quality of the content.)
Enough back story. Why does this matter?
I learned that I am a Perfectionist. (A therapist told me that years ago but I didn’t believe her because I’m not perfect. I didn’t quite get the concept obviously.)
Being a Perfectionist is a broken way of living causing me to isolate, resulting in loneliness. Here’s the deal: when I am struggling with something I keep it to myself rather than ask for someone to listen to my heart. I tell myself things like I don’t want to be a burden or they don’t have time for me or they don’t need to hear all my issues.
It’s been almost 3 years since we moved to a different region of the state and I found myself needing to build community. I am typically a there for others kind of person; when they need something I make myself available to listen. But I rarely let my guard down to share how hard life is for me. (Ridiculous I know)
Is it pride that makes me a Perfectionist? Probably in part. It goes deeper than that. As a child and teen any mistake I made was met with harsh ridicule and a command to do better or be better. Less than an A or being president of every organization I took part in was tantamount to failure.
Hard to be vulnerable under pressure like that. So I developed the habit of “soldiering on”.
Not only is being vulnerable hard, it’s risky. People might not accept me if I have needs. This soldiering thing is a lonely burden. And I’m tired of it. I want to be free of the mindset of needing to appear like I have all my ducks in a row.
Brene tells me that I need to Dare Greatly. Which is to say, be Vulnerable, which means Risking and Braving and probably Falling and all kinds of messy yuck.
I already know the alternative. Loneliness. Isolation. Shame. Living in the land of Not Enough.
Risk Vulnerability or Stay Lonely.
I know I’m not the only one dealing with this dichotomy. This is messy business but I’m daring to share this confession here.
Breaking the pattern one piece at a time.