Admit it—we’d all like to be perfect. However, in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection author Brene’ Brown discusses courage, compassion and connection as the gifts we receive when we’re willing to accept our less than perfect selves. She urges us to ‘live wholeheartedly.”
She explores the power of love, belonging and being enough as well as shame and worthiness–two other things that really get in our way.
Most of us are not even aware of how inauthentic we can be in any situation. We’re on auto pilot–just getting things done so we feel like we have value. These are shame-based thoughts that we must own if we want to have the gifts of imperfection.
“…we’ve worked hard to make sure everything looks “just right” on the outside. The stakes are high when it comes to truth telling. This is why shame loves perfectionists–it’s so easy to keep us quiet.”
To me authenticity is about your inside thoughts and feelings matching your outside behaviors and actions. In the first of ten Guideposts, Dr. Brown shows readers how to cultivate authenticity. Further in the book she discusses self-compassion, gratitude and joy, creativity, joy and doing meaningful work among other topics. Dr. Brown shares personal stories that will resonate with you whether you’re a parent or a working professional. She urges us to discover our authenticity and act it out not as a self- focuses exercise, but as a gift to others as well as ourselves.
I’ll be taking the lessons learned here to the arena with my horses. With horses it’s impossible to be inauthentic. They respond ONLY to what is real. You may act like a hard driving, confident boss at the office, but if your true self is softer, the horse will respond to the authentic you. Interacting with the horses is an excellent way to check your authenticity.
Do your insides match your outsides or are you just putting on a good show for others and for yourself?