Self Compassion v. Life Paralysis

The more I dive into this journey, the more I realize just how appropriate is the name I’ve chosen for this blog.  Everything keeps coming back to me learning how to accept and embrace my imperfection.  Learning to accept, embrace and even love my true authentic self rather than  the person I think I am supposed to be.  Who I think I have to be to be accepted and loved by others.

I’m reading two books right now which I could swear were written just for me.  The first I mentioned in my last post.  The second is “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown.  The subtitle of this book is “Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are”  (See what I mean!  I read the title and I knew I had to read this book!)

One chapter in her book is called Cultivating Self-Compassion, Letting Go of Perfectionism.  Self-Compassion has now become my goal in life.  Learning and cultivating compassion for myself!  Is that something you’ve learned to do for yourself?  I’m realizing this may very well be the key to all I am trying to achieve in my life.  It could be the key to my future and current happiness and sanity!

A couple things regarding perfectionism she points out in this chapter which really slapped me in the face and opened my eyes were:

  1. Perfectionism ≠Striving for Your Best  Perfectionism is NOT about healthy achievement and growth.  I did not even realize how much I equated these two things until I read this.  They were so entwined in my mind that I did not even see them as being two distinct things!  I can strive to be and do my best without the requirement of being perfect.  I don’t have to be perfect to be proud of myself.
  2. Perfectionism ≠Self Improvement  She notes that at its core perfectionism is about earning approval and acceptance. It is focused on what others will think about you.  Whereas, self improvement is focused on how you can improve and is self-focused.  Wow!  This seems so obvious to me now, but it was not something I saw before.  This is how I was living – trying to be the perfect person I thought I needed to be to earn approval and acceptance from others!  From everyone BUT myself!

Up to this point my belief system has always been what Brené points out in this chapter – “I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it.”  That is what I truly deep down believed.  And I refuse to believe it any longer.  I’m tired of all the things this belief system brings into my life – depression, anxiety and life-paralysis.

Life-paralysis refers to all the opportunities we miss because we’re too afraid to put anything out in the world that could be imperfect.  It’s also all of the dreams that we don’t follow because of our deep fear of failing, making mistakes, and disappointing others.  (Brené Brown)

My writing has been one of the biggest  areas of life-paralysis for me.  This is something I’ve dreamed of doing ever since I was a child – since I was able to read and write.  Yet I’ve never pursued it due to fear of failure and the reaction of others. And there it is again – the F Word rearing its ugly head.  It always comes back to FEAR!

This is why this blog is so important to me.  Regardless of where it leads in the end.  Regardless of who does or does not read it.  Regardless of who does or does not like it.  This blog is my way to learn how to be ME and let go of all the baggage and crap that has always held me back.  It is my journey to imperfection and self compassion.  It is my journey to finally meet the real, true ME!

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