Thursday, August 14, 2014

A 10-Day Journey of Imperfection (Part 1 of 10)

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One of our most popular Curva-Lish posts was "The Key to Wholehearted Living" where we gave a highlight of Brene' Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection", her wildly popular book that serves as a guide to wholehearted living.

Although I was happy to write about it, I wanted to delve deeper and didn't think one post covering all 10 Guideposts (Tips) was sufficient so I am going to use myself as an example to discuss each guidepost over the next 10 days and how it leads me down a path to envelop my imperfections.

Book Summary: In The Gifts of Imperfection, BrenĂ© Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living—a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, "What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?"

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, "No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough," and to go to bed at night thinking, "Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging."

GuidePost #1:  Cultivating Authenticity (Letting Go of What People Think)
I don't know about you but when I hear people announce, "I don't care what other people think about me.", those seem to be the people who cares THE MOST about what other people think of them!  I maybe wrong but to me, if you are comfortable in not caring what others think about you, then there doesn't seem to be a reason to announce it as if it's something that was an award...ok, let me not digress.
This is perhaps my most favorite of all of the guideposts because Brown's messaging of authenticity is directly connected to our mission statement.  What I love even more about the guidepost is that she used the word "cultivating".  In my own journey to do my best to present my most authentic self to the world as my life evolved and as I age to different seasons in my life, it requires a different method of cultivating authenticity.  

For example, when I was a new college graduate starting my career, authenticity meant be brave enough to believe that even though 90% of the people I worked with in my department were twice my age, I still had a voice to contribute.  When I became a leader of a publicly traded company, authenticity meant believing in being a leader that empowered my team without assuming the dictatorship leadership style that was prevalent in the industry that the company operated.  Each instance was tough but each instance started with me making a other words, to let go of what people might think of my decision to bring my authentic self to the workplace.

Does this resonate with you?

Whether you are a mom who doesn't have the time to be the #1 PTA volunteer, the board member who decides that you can't lead the committee due to your promise to your family to be more "present" during family socials, or the single woman who chooses to live a life of traveling until you do get married despite the constant comments about how "you must not be happy since you are not married"...deciding to do what will work best for you is the most sure-fire way I know of letting go of what others think and thus, creating a life of authenticity.

Be brave, make decisions that correlate to your evolution and season in life and more importantly, let go of whether everyone understands your are worth it.


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