I’m a “Recovering Perfectionist”. I’ve struggled with perfectionism and the fear that “I’m not enough” and the fear of “I don’t measure up” for most of my life. I’m a 1 on the Enneagram (The Perfectionist) and I also grade high as a 3 (The Performer). That’s a volatile combination and makes me a difficult person to live with (and I’m just talking about me living with me — you have no idea of the ongoing conversations I have running in my head most of the time, ha!).
So, when I discovered the works of Brené Brown via her TED Talks a few years ago it was like a breath of fresh air that my soul needed to continue to recover daily from the toll of being a perfectionist who is also a high achiever.
Here is how she defines perfectionism:
“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”
If you’re not familiar with Brené here is how she describes herself:
“The official line: I’m a research professor at the University of Houston where I hold the Huffington Endowed Chair. I’ve spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame. I’m the author of four books: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness.
The bottom line: I believe that vulnerability – the willingness to be “all in” even when you know it can mean failing and hurting – is brave. I do NOT believe that cussing and praying are mutually exclusive. And, I absolutely believe that the passing lane is for passing only.”
Check out these 3 must-read books by Brené Brown:
Your turn… How have these resources impacted your life?
PS: Her most recent book, Braving the Wilderness, released last week (I started it last night and read half of it in one sitting; so good and relevant… Get your copy today!)