Monday, April 23, 2012

Declaring War on Perfection

I have a deep, dark, secret that I've never shared with anyone before now. Here it goes:

*dramatic pause*
I'm not perfect.
*crickets chirping*

Seriously, I know that I'm not perfect and that no one is. But I certainly do feel the pressure to be perfect, or die trying. This belief in "perfect" has actually triggered an illness called NotGoodEnoughItus. If you have any of these symptoms, chances are you may have it too. Do you ever feel you are:
  • Not good enough as a mother
  • Not good enough as a wife
  • Not good enough as a daughter (or son)
  • Not good enough as a sibling
  • Not good enough as an employee
  • Not thin enough
  • Not nice enough
  • Not smart enough
  • Not grateful enough
  • Not wealthy enough
  • Not saving enough
  • Don't exercise enough
  • Don't eat healthy enough
  • Home isn't clean enough
  • Home isn't stylish enough
  • Just not enough
 But I discovered there is a cure!

I have often believed that the universe guides me by putting the book I need in my path at the right time. This time, the book came to me because of a keynote address I attended at the 2012 AMS Annual Convention. I have to admit I was not overly excited about listening to a shame researcher, and couldn't really see how she would give any insight let alone guidance to me as a Montessori teacher. However, her speech blew me away. I have never been so moved before -I actually teared up a few times! Through her research on shame, Dr. Brene Brown discovered the path to Wholehearted Living, a place of joy and acceptance. Her most recent book, The Gifts of Imperfection, is a must read! There is a book group discussion guide available on her website, so find a few friends and read it together. I recently started the e-course "A Year of Wholehearted Living", and there are many other links to interesting e-courses that I hope to take at some time.

I suggest watching Dr. Brown's TED Talks Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame.

Now, repeat after me:  I. Am. ENOUGH!

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