Feb 3, 2014

The Monday Pep Talk | Gifts of imperfection

"Belonging starts with self-acceptance...
Believing that you're enough
is what gives you the courage
to be authentic."
—  Brené Brown

We all want to fit in. We all want to belong. Those are kind of the same thing, right? According to Brené Brown, they´re not. She has spent the last 12 years researching this subject at the University of Houston. She has also published the book "The gifts of imperfection". Brené Brown talks to Oprah about "Life lessons we all need to learn":

- Fitting in, I've discovered during the past decade of research, is assessing situations and groups of people, then twisting yourself into a human pretzel in order to get them to let you hang out with them. Belonging is something else entirely—it's showing up and letting yourself be seen and known as you really are. Many of us suffer from this split between who we are and who we present to the world in order to be accepted. But we're not letting ourselves be known, and this kind of incongruent living is soul-sucking.

Healthy striving, meanwhile, focuses on you. It occurs when you ask yourself, "How can I improve?" Perfectionism keeps the focus on others. It occurs when you ask, "What will they think?" Research, unfortunately, shows that perfectionism hampers success and often leads to depression, anxiety, addiction and missed opportunities, due to fears of putting anything out in the world that could be imperfect or disappoint others. It's a 20-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it's the thing that's really preventing us from taking flight.

Another way to think about it? Consider Leonard Cohen's song "Anthem," which says, "There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Brene Brown, as told to Oprah.

Don´t you think these are really great said words? We are so many, women often, that are perfectionists, and that doesn´t always serve us well. I think Brené Brown has many great points in her research. Especially raising the questions what you do for yourself and what you do for others. I didn´t see perfectionism this clearly linked to keeping focus on others. "Healthy striving focuses on you", that sounds better. So, we should present ourselves to the world as we want to be known. After all, who wants to live a soul-sucking life?

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Life-Lessons-We-All-Need-to-Learn-Brene-Brown

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