Last week I decided to practice imperfection. It was school vacation week, so not really a difficult endeavor with so many extra parenting opportunities in which to be less than stellar.
I chose imperfection when I skipped posting to this blog last Tuesday like I normally do. The sky did not fall. No one even texted me to complain. Maybe a few were even appreciative of a little less clutter in their Inboxes.
I chose imperfection when I got back to people belatedly - with no excuses and just an apology.
I chose imperfection when I skipped out on a whole week's worth of yoga.
I chose imperfection when I showed up unshowered to a video call.
I chose imperfection when I left my son's baseball game a few innings early because I was cold.
And guess what, not only has the sky not fallen, but people still love me.
Yup, it's true. Which means that I can do the same for myself.
I can love myself amidst all the mistakes, lazy moments and complete brain farts. And this is a big deal because I have long lived in the world of long shadows and loud buzzers announcing flaws, imperfection and shortcomings.
I am very familiar with the dualistic approach to self-love. Mistakes = not worthy, Perfection = worthy. It is a world of potholes, sinkholes and black holes.
Thanks to coaching, thanks to the likes of Brené Brown and Annie Lamott, thanks to increased self-awareness, I have made a conscious choice to walk out of that world.
Anne Lamott describes perfectionism as "the voice of the oppressor." Well, guess what? I have sent my inner oppressor out to lunch. Maybe it'll even be a long lunch.
I co-led an event for coaches the other day and instead of thinking of all the ways in which is was not perfect, I soaked in the positive feedback and appreciation that I received. People felt inspired, energized, connected, and safe, and I had a part in that. Instead of I wish we had…, I reflected on it from Yes, that was awesome AND this is more that we can do to create more awesomeness…
How freeing it is! I can see my gifts and appreciate them. I can say YES to myself.
The weight of perfection lifts and we can sprout wings. I swear it is true.
Where do you find yourself in the grips of a perfectionist mindset? How might you show yourself more of that love you shower on others?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.