When I started this blog about a year ago I had this idyllic image of sitting in my sun room, a cup of black, steaming coffee in hand, pounding away at the keyboard producing profound statements to share with the world. My mission was two-fold: one, to reconnect with my spiritual side and two, to find my voice in a way that would push past my fear of writing again. Reflecting now, with a year under my belt and only 12 published posts I realize that my perfectionism has taken root in yet another endeavor and it must be extirpated (humor me, I have always wanted to use that word in a sentence).
I’ve recently become a fan of Brene’ Brown, a well-known researcher who specializes in the study of shame and vulnerability. She sheds an interesting light on perfectionism as an unhealthy personality trait. Brene Brown states in The Gifts of Imperfection, “Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”
Perfectionism is a mask, a trait we take on to keep the world from seeing our imperfections. I see areas in my life where I strive for excellence and I see areas where I fall back on the uncomfortable “comfort zone” of perfectionism. After a bit of discernment I realize that I strive for excellence in areas where I am confident in my abilities and perfectionism sneaks in when I doubt my skill set. I’ve been so caught up in producing profound blog posts that I have completely lost sight of the “finding my voice” intention. Every day in my WordPress Reader I follow people who regularly put themselves out there without fear of being judged or criticized. They share their feelings, their insights and their and tribulations with the world, throwing themselves naked into the arena everyday. Countless times I have sat at my computer wanting to spew my thoughts and feelings through this blog and then I stop myself, mid-rant, and ask “who really cares what you think, Susan?”
In what I though was a bold attempt at finding my voice and writing again I managed to stay sheltered in my perfectionism and didn’t remotely test the waters of vulnerability. Well, that ends today. If I’m the only one who reads this blog, so be it. If I’m the only one who benefits from my ramblings and sometimes scary stream-of-consciousness, that’s ok too. From this day forward I give myself permission to use this blog to not only find my voice, but to openly share it regardless of the critics or naysayers.
Not all of my topics will impress. Some may even sound a little crazy as I navigate the waters of my spirituality (that still has strong roots in Catholicism). But I pledge to myself that I will write, I will write authentically, and I will write for ME.
Blessings to all,