Ladies, give yourself permission to be flaw-some.
It’s a combination of awesome and flawed and celebrates how beautifully imperfect you are.
I know it’s a tough call for the perfectionists among us. The word ‘flawed’ causes immediate intestinal distress and involuntary sweating.
Tell me about it. I’m a perfectionist in recovery.
While perfectionism was the driver behind a list of ‘accomplishments’ in my life it didn’t bode well in my relationships as I strove to be the perfect mother, friend, partner, and daughter.
I did get a lot done mind you. I basked in what I took as compliments, “You are aaaamazing…. look at you go… I have no idea how you do what you do… never in a million years could I do this.”
Hindsight is everything and looking back I can clearly see it.
The ONE word that consistently popped up.
I was always doing instead of being.
All the doing was leaving me far too exhausted to hear properly, think rationally or see clearly.
The reality was…
I had zero time for myself and barely enough time for the things that mattered most in my life, but hey when you’re that amazing you have a standard to uphold.
But like all good illusions it had to crack. Crack it did about 10 years ago when I fell into what felt like a dark hole. Unfamiliar and foreign. How the heck did I get here?
For those of us who struggle with perfectionism we often have to hit bottom and break apart to find a more compassionate, kinder way forward.
It took a while to figure this mess out.
In my case perfectionism was driven by fear of not being good enough. My unconscious mind found a clever way to take care of business. It figured if I just tried harder and did more, then everything would be ok.
It made sense.
I mean if I was that busy doing then I wouldn’t have a single second to feel vulnerable or harbor any negative thoughts about myself. But perfectionism is the harshest of critics so the more I did, the more it directed me to do. It never was enough.
A nasty cycle.
Clawing my way out of the dark hole I started to talk honestly about my struggle (something this perfect person had never done). And my flaws? Without the mask of constant doing and accomplishment they were on permanent display.
I had immediate feedback and it wasn’t what I was expecting. Family and friends said they liked me better this way. They found me (of all things) more lovable as my vulnerable self.
Love…… wasn’t this what I was always chasing as my perfect self?
I saw that perfectionism didn’t allow for flaws. Yet it was those flaws that made me human, authentic, relatable, real and most importantly loveable.
So, I coined a new word.
Flaw-some (as mentioned above) a combination of awesome and flawed. And it was my goal to be this every day.
I’m not going to tell you it was easy because it took a good year (and regular reminders to this day) to learn to love this vulnerable version of myself. But when I do, I find a peace that had always alluded me and time for the things that matter most.
Flaw-some will likely feel uncomfortable especially at first so take small steps.
Worth a try tho’. The payoff is big.
Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
If you’re up for it, I’d love to hear how it’s going.
For Your Further Consideration
After being flaw-somed – try wabi-sabi. It’s the Japanese practice of celebrating imperfection. It helps up look at life, personal struggle, and physical objects form a clear, mindful and non-judgmental perspective. Just another little way to love yourself up.
Thank you for this reminder Cheryl. I think Mom’s especially tend to be doers and it’s encouraging to know that we can change, once we become aware.
Cheryl Wilson-Stewart says
Encouraging and a relief:)