Pay no attention to the cracks

brene brown perfectionism

I’ve been reading Brené Brown's Daring Greatly, which should not surprise you all if you have been reading my blog. I reference her often, because I believe in her work. 

Brené does such an incredible job of describing perfectionism. It is real and raw and without shaming. According to her, perfectionism is an armor worn to guard against shame, and it is the faulty and dangerous belief that as long as I am perfect, I can protect myself from shame, judgment, and blame (Daring Greatly, pg. 130).

Shame, judgment, and blame, otherwise known as the icky feelings.

Perfectionism is striving for the impossible

The tricky part about perfectionism is that it fools you into thinking perfect is attainable. That’s a lie. No one walking the Earth today is perfect. We are all human and imperfect by nature.

Set up for failure

If that’s the truth, that human beings, by nature, cannot be perfect, then it also follows logic to say that striving to be perfect will only end in failure. 

The icky feelings are unavoidable

What are you to do if trying to avoid the ick only makes you end up there?

Embrace the cracks

You are not the only one that makes mistakes. You are not the only imperfect person on this great big Earth. We all have cracks and imperfections. It’s what makes us human and individual.

Your cracks are okay, but mine aren’t

Why is it that we are able to love the imperfections in others, but not in ourselves? Brené says there are three keys to finding what she calls "beauty in the cracks".

  • Self-kindness: have some grace for yourself instead of berating yourself for every perceived wrongdoing
  • Common humanity: this is understanding the concept that you are not the only person who feels inadequate; this concept is shared throughout humanity
  • Mindfulness: don’t ignore the negative emotions, but don’t get swept up in them either.

Today, I am going to practice finding beauty in my imperfections, and I hope you will, too. To buy Brené’s book, you can click here. I do get some reimbursement for you going through this link, so feel free to just type "Daring Greatly" into the search engine of your favorite book store, if you’re more comfortable with that.

Are you constantly striving for something unattainable to get away from something unavoidable? I’d love to help! If you’re in the Vancouver, WA area, please schedule a free 15-minute consultation here.

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Tamara Duarte

Tamara Duarte is a counselor, author, speaker, and activist. Her private practice, Get Centered Counseling in Vancouver WA, helps women with food and body issues learn to love themselves, their body, their life, and their relationships. Her life’s work is steeped in personal experience, having fifteen years in recovery for anorexia, in addition to being a breast cancer survivor. An up and coming force in the counseling community, Tamara has been published in a textbook called Treatment Strategies for Substance and Process Addictions, and has sat on a panel at the American Counseling Association Conference, where she spoke to her peers on strategies and tools to use with clients struggling with eating disorders. Having a deep, personal understanding of what it takes to recover from this condition, she seeks to be an example to those she treats, to let them know that recovery is possible. Currently developing a podcast which addresses the cultural issues that promote body shame, self-esteem issues and eating disorders, Tamara lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband and best friend, Adam, enjoying life to the fullest with their two beautiful children, Jacob and Chloe.