The Price of Perfection

I’ve been thinking about vulnerability from the perspective of an author — from someone who chooses to write from the heart and then put that work out there for people to read, mock, love, hate, etc. I make myself vulnerable on a daily basis, but after listening to a TED talk shown below, I realized I’m missing a key element to vulnerability, and that is I have not fully embraced it and made it okay. I haven’t accepted that what makes me beautiful is my imperfection. 

I feel a lot of shame about things like my imperfect body, mistakes I’ve made, the way I forget so many things, the fact that I’m not a big bestseller.

But … it should be (although it isn’t yet) … my too-fat thighs? They’re imperfect. They make me me. That zit on my forehead? It means I’m human and alive. The first book I published and all those things I’d write better now that I have more experience under my belt? It’s imperfect. It’s who I was then and makes me now. The mistakes I’ve made? They have molded me into who I am.

The price of invulnerability, i.e, believing — we must be perfect, we must have it all or we are worthless, we must get an agent and sell big or writing isn’t worth it, we must lose weight to feel accepted and worthy and beautiful, we must have control, we must know what will happen — the price of living that way is a great price indeed. Watch this video to learn what that price is. It’s worth the time. Like her, it might take me years and a long fight to get to where I need to be. Where are you in your acceptance of imperfection?

Thank you to Linda Cassidy Lewis for sharing this video with me.

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle

9 comments

J. A. Bennett

Wow, so power, beautiful and empowering. It’s so freaking hard to embrace the negative, but once we do, wow! Yeah, I have a long way to go, but I’m going to keep my chin up as I go along 🙂

Michelle D. Argyle

Glad to hear it, Jennie! I have to admit I put this all in a post so I remember to watch this video once in awhile.

Jenn Hubbard

At some point, I just got tired of waiting “until” everything aligns perfectly. A whole life could pass by while I was still holding my breath …

Michelle D. Argyle

I think I’ve reached that point, Jenn. There’s no use in waiting around, trying new things I don’t really want to do and just hoping that is the thing that will get me to the dream for which I’ve been holding my breath. Accepting the vulnerability of where I am and being happy with that … that’s what holds true happiness, I think.

While I’m not so fond of half the TED tallks, there have been some very powerful messages over the years, too. I’m glad you found this one and that it has helped you so how shame and vulnerability are not evil, but doorways to truly loving yourself.

You are so loveable, Michelle! And I know you will continue to grow as you explore new futures potentials, brave present challanges, and accept past growth.

I believe accepting vulnerability in order to more fully love oneself is part of self-mastery. So for me I’m in the middle of that life-long journey.

Here is Brown’s follow-up TED talk, which you might also find insightful: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html

Michelle D. Argyle

Alicia, I’ll admit I haven’t watched very many. I usually wait for someone to recommend one to me, and then I’ll watch it. Self-mastery is the perfect term for this, and I do feel it’s a lifelong journey, as well. I’m going to watch the follow-up talk. Thank you!

I think you might get a lot out of this, too.

http://kriswrites.com/2012/06/27/the-business-rusch-perfection/

Michelle D. Argyle

Holli, that was seriously brilliant. Thank you for sharing it!

You’re very welcome! I notice you shared it, too. The more people who read her, the better.

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