I am a perfectionist. Let me explain. I am a perfectionist about some things. I think everyone has perfectionist traits. It is human nature to want things to be exact. The more exact something is, the less likely for pain or misunderstanding.
Last week, I confessed how I was a perfectionist about spelling on my blog. I want very much to create error free writing, every time. I know this will never be possible. The reality is nothing is life is perfect.
Today’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom selection discusses the gifts of being imperfect. The book is called, The Gifts of Imperfection – Letting Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. Quite a long title for a book, but it clearly explains what the book is about.
I bought this book a while ago. It was suggested to me when I purchased another book on Amazon. The book has sat with several other unread books, on my bedside table. Over the weekend, I finally got around to reading it. I should have read this gem a long time ago.
The Gifts of Imperfection is a self-help book. What it teaches is how to focus on what you feel and less about ‘what other people think’. It provides guidelines to let go of who you think you should be and embrace who you really are.
Most of my struggles in my midlife, have been coping with the concept of who I am and who I am supposed to be. I have had difficulty accepting who I am. I know I have limitations, but instead of realizing they are a part of me, I long for ways to change them. This book reminds me that I am enough…today, here and as I am.
The book is written in two formats: memoir and guideposts for change. Ms. Brown’s personal stories are very entertaining. I love how she describes her thoughts when she is going through a personal experience. Some of her experiences mirrored similar ones I have had, including a funny account of her misspelling another author’s name.
There are ten guideposts the author uses to lead to Wholehearted Living. Here is how the author describes Wholehearted living.
“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and thin, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”
Guideposts are concepts to encourage change. Accepting imperfection is not an easy thing to do. Each chapter focuses on a different idea that can lead toward greater self acceptance. These are the ideas behind each guidepost.
- Letting Go of What people Think
- Letting Go of Perfectionism
- Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
- Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
- Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
- Letting Go of Comparison
- Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
- Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
- Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
- Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
This book is filled with a lot of useful information. Although I read the entire book, there are some guidepost chapters that I will re-read again. The author reminds the reader over and over, that the process of Wholehearted living is a life long one. Reading this book requires reflection and thinking. I know it will take time for me to grasp all the information provided.
Interestingly, I caught my husband reading the book last night. When I asked why he said, “You are not the only one who struggles with self-acceptance.” It is good to know I am not alone.
Writing my blog provides a way to show the real me…flaws and all. It has been difficult at times, but according to The Gifts of Imperfection, I am on the right track. My favorite quote from the book explains.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy-the experiences that make us most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Powerful words and thoughts. I highly recommend this book.
Talk with you soon my friends.