Embracing Authenticity

Little.  Miss.  Perfect.  That used to be me.  Or at least I tried.  I grew up thinking the only way to be was perfect.

And if I couldn’t actually be perfect, at least I could convince others I was.  There was no room for the messiness of life.  The messiness was hidden or swept under the rug.  Heaven forbid anyone bring it up.

That is what was modeled all around me.  The game I learned to play.  In the game of perfectionism everyone loses.  No real connections are made.

You don’t ever feel truly accepted, because man if they knew about your messiness – your cover would be blown for sure.  Imposter!  You are not perfect!  I know.  I wasn’t.  But guess what?  Neither was anyone else!  It was all a charade.

Living in the hamster-wheel of perfectionism is exhausting and completely fake.  I think perfectionism plays into our insecurities.  If I pretend to be prefect everyone will like me.  If everyone likes me, I will feel valuable and secure.

The root cause?  Acceptance.  The need to earn people’s love and admiration but living like this produces the exact opposite result.

Instead of experiencing human connection we stay superficial.  We never go below the surface to talk about what is really going on.  And therein lies the problem.

We are lonely and isolated in our mess and pain when we put up the walls of perfectionism.  We become slaves to hiding our faults.  The very things that make us human and relatable.

Tidy it up.  Try to make it presentable.  Or we try to hide it all together.  If you can’t see it, it’s not real.  Right?  Wrong.  It’s still there.  It’s the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.

Some of you may think I have swayed to the opposite extreme. However, I would argue I have only embraced authenticity.  People don’t want to befriend little miss perfect. She’s unrelatable.  Fake.  And let’s be honest, a little intimidating too.

We want to befriend real people.  We crave community and connection.  We were made that way.  Putting on the perception of perfection prevents authentic connection. Say that ten times fast.

What about you?  Where do you fall on the spectrum?  Are you so concerned about what others think, you can’t step out the door without perfection?  Or do you embrace authenticity?  Do you invite people in to get to know the real you?  After all, the real you is what makes you uniquely you.

You know where I intend to fall on the spectrum.  Won’t you come with me? Let’s confidently go forth as we are – mess and all.  Let’s make authentic connections with people.  Be a safe space where people can share free of judgement or shame.  Embrace the mess.  Be free to be ourselves.  Mess and all.  Embrace authenticity.