Sued51's Blog

{April 4, 2014}   When the Reader is Ready, the Book will Appear…

Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection



Does this happen to you? Books seem to appear just when you need them? And they all tie together?

A co-worker dropped this off at my cubicle with the caveat: “My friend loved this book and gave it to me…it didn’t do anything for me, but I thought you might like it…if you don’t, pass it on.”

I will admit that my co-worker and I have had book discussions, so she has some idea about what books I like to read, but…I REALLY needed to read this book…NOW.

I have been struggling to embrace and accept my imperfections for a while (including the blurry photo at the left, which I took several times. I figured as long as you can see it and read it…it doesn’t have to be PERFECT). It fulfills its purpose as is.

I recently had a get-together with some wonderful supportive friends who love me and see me as gifted, talented and creative. I read some poems for them, including one I had recently, with trepidation, brought to a workshop. I was sharing with them some of the comments (which actually were mostly good and quite helpful). I told them “when it was finished” I was going to submit it. They thought it was fine the way it was. We laughed about how nothing was ever “finished” for me. I now know why: I believe that there is ONE thing I will create that will be THE thing that will prove my worthiness…if I keep working at it and never finish it…then the magical piece of work might still exist (like believing in Santa Claus…or the Elusive Comic Book!) I guess it is my way of believing life can change overnight. Though this appears to happen to some people, it is for the most part, not true. It certainly is not something I can will or force to happen. Life happens when you live it.

This book helped me understand why I can’t create a body of work. Perfectionism is a big, bad monster for me. I am “hustling” for my worthiness as Brene Brown says in her book. (I LOVE this phrase…I picture myself walking the streets, begging people to appreciate me.)

The book is broken into ten guideposts that represent ways of thinking you need to let go of in order to embrace your imperfection and believe in your own worthiness. Guidepost #2 is “Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism”.

And my favorite (V8…knock in the head) moment while I was reading the book was when the author wrote, “I think everyone should read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist — I try to read it at least once a year. It’s a powerful way of seeing the connections between our gifts, our spirituality, and our work…and how they come together to create meaning in our lives.” WHAT?! I recently wrote a blog about that book!

I just love when the dots connect!

BTW…I submitted the poem last week…with some of the workshop suggestions. 😀

it seems so many people struggle with this. Have you ever heard of the blogger Moneysavingmom? She recently wrote about her perfectionism issues and it sparked a ZILLION comments from others who felt exactly like she does.
Do you think it has something to do with modern society or people of a certain generation? I don’t know your age, but Moneysavingmom is around 30yrs old and the ladies who commented are of similar demographic.
I’m 57 and will admit i struggle with all kinds of things but perfectionism is NOWHERE on the list.
Human behaviour fascinates me so I look forward to reading more comments about this excellent post!


sued51 says:

Thanks for your thoughtful comment SHBG. I am in your age group! (55)
But I can see how it would affect the younger generation more as they have been brought up in a time where women are expected TO DO IT ALL! I will check out MoneySavingMom (and probably make a comment!)
For me there are other dynamics involved (being the only girl with 6 brothers is a big one). It was nice to read that it was a huge thing for Ms. Brown and yet she is a VERY accomplished woman!


nrhatch says:

Repeat after me:
No body likes PERFECT people.

Then go out and just BE!


sued51 says:

Thanks, Nancy…I’m working hard at learning to be (probably TOO hard) 🙂


bluebee says:

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. While it’s difficult to break a lifetime’s thinking, try and take Nancy’s advice – you might just find that your life will change overnight in surprising ways, or not 🙂 but you will probably be happier for letting go.


sued51 says:

I’m working on it…I know what you and Nancy say is true (I read it everywhere), but it is easier said than done. Living with it is like being like carrying a huge weight every day and every task feels like you are rolling a boulder up a hill…all to no avail…


One of the fascinating aspects of being human is how we all approach and see things differently, Sue. Your way may be right for you 🙂


sued51 says:

Jo, I have a hard time cutting myself slack because I have a fear of turning into a slug and not getting ANYTHING done…wish I could find the happy medium…


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