Bravery, not perfection

Dear Reshna,

I watched your TED talk after a particular tough day at work. Someone had shared it on Facebook, and as you do, I clicked the link and watched it.

I’ve identified as a perfectionist for most of my life – things had to be done the right way, in a particular manner and had to look like perfect.

How many times have I sat in front of the computer, starting a blog post in a word document but then erasing the work because it wasn’t perfect?

How many times have I not applied for the job because I don’t match 100% of the criteria? Or simply because I gave into the negative voice that nagged me saying “you’re not brave enough to apply for that job despite having no qualification”?

Far too many times.

How many times have I set unrealistic goals and expectations when I’ve applied my perfectionistic mindset to how I relate to the world and then been disappointed?

How many times have I let the mantra “perfection or bust” guide my life?

Far too many times.

Part of it stemmed from a childish need for validation, and if I got perfect marks than, according to my perfectionist logic, I’d get the validation I was hoping for.

Part of it stemmed from the comfort of being able to control something when I felt unsettled and it looking perfect.

But most of it stemmed from my doubts and insecurities, hoping that if things were done perfectly, I led the perfect life and things look perfect, I could hide my doubts and not have to deal with them.

But the more I deal with my doubts and insecurities, and the more I make sure that I am not letting them rule my life, the more I realise I need to be more brave, and be less perfect.

I need to be comfortable with imperfection. But most of all I need to be brave. Brave enough to trust myself, my abilities and to trust that I am good enough. I am confident enough.

So thank you Reshna for the timely reminder to be brave, and to be comfortable with imperfection.


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