The Beauty in Vulnerability and Imperfection

Things I wish I would’ve known as a young girl that would’ve saved me some heartache

Let’s face it, being a woman is tough. You have the constant pressure to be perfect or appear to be perfect at all times in anything and everything that you do. We have all these roles we take on that can make life challenging. Whether it is being a mom, business owner, a wife, a daughter, a sister, employee you name it; it can be a lot at times to get it right in every role we play. What we must realize is that it’s okay if we mess up, we are only human.

What I constantly find myself asking is how this affects us and why do we try so hard to be perfect all the time?
I think Brene Brown really describes it best:

If I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect – I can avoid or minimize criticism, blame and ridicule. Perfectionism keeps us from being seen. ~ Brene Brown.

What we must ask ourselves as women is, is this about me and how I’m feeling about myself or about protecting and trying to control the perception that others have of me? As women we tend to hold our self-worth closely to how we perform and what we accomplish when really that has nothing to do with our self-worth and value.

How do we get caught up in this way of thinking without even realizing it? Is it something someone else implanted in us subconsciously without us realizing it or is it something we were brought up believing? Regardless, we must become aware of how and when we are being self-destructive and do our best to really take care of ourselves by switching up our self-talk.

imperfection

When I reflect back on things that have troubled me at work or in my personal life, it all makes sense now that I have a clear mind over everything.

If I could reach out to my younger self and guide her through some troubling times, here’s what I would tell her:

Don’t let people stress you out

People love to say, “I will prove them wrong”, but really this only puts you in the mindset of hustling your way to seek someone’s validation and approval. We can’t control people’s perception of us no matter what we do. At the end of the day, the only person you have to prove anything to is yourself. Holding on to what people say or think of you by becoming bitter or angry will only hurt you and hinder you from being happy.

Give without expecting.

The truth of the matter is that some people will give back in return and some people won’t even if they say they will. Whether it’s a business relationship or a friend, I think it’s important to give what you can to show your support and that you care.

I remember times where my friends told me they support me and will return the favor, and then didn’t or forgot. I got so offended and hurt because I know I did it for them, and often. Now that I reflect back, I realize that was wasted energy and it really doesn’t have anything to do with me.

The people that truly support me show up. Always.

Lesson: Give if it’s in your heart to do so, but don’t give because you’re expecting or wanting something in return. This completely defeats the purpose of giving.

If we are not taking care of ourselves, then giving to others and the world will be a wasted effort. We must first take care of ourselves and treat ourselves with respect and admiration or no amount of giving in the world can fill up the void. ~Shannon Kaiser

If you’re not okay with something, speak up.

I used to be so afraid of speaking my mind for I feared how it would make me look and how I would come off. I held back on a lot of things that I wanted or felt strongly about because I didn’t want to jeopardize my chances of not being liked.

Realizing how much I missed out on opportunities because of this, I decided I needed to take more risks and be myself. I no longer wonder ‘what if’ or what ‘could’ve been’. And I encourage you to do the same, to use your voice and speak up.

Remember, you are important and your voice matters 💜

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Jackie is the author of