It feels like it has been a long time since I last wrote. It is because it has. I had to take some time off to recover from wisdom teeth surgery (extracted all 4) and did not expect my recovery to take so long. As a result, I am very behind with everything and have spent the past week just catching up.
I would like to share what I have been processing while I was recovering. I am going to be quite vulnerable, but I think that many of you might be able to relate to what I am about to share.
As creatives, we are familiar with vulnerability. It is one of the key elements in the creative process. When we speak of vulnerability, we know that it is about having the courage to do 3 main things: 1. To be yourself, 2. To speak your truth, 3. To show up to be seen.
But what if that isn't enough? What if MY ENOUGH... isn't enough?
I have been re-reading some books to capture truths that I might have missed. I am going through The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brenè Brown once again and I can't believe how much I needed to read this again! I have come to realise how I am still driven by perfectionism and still trying to identify my worth through the lens of how perfect I need to be before I can succeed. This is where 'I'm not enough' comes from.
Perfectionism runs deep and it impacts the way I show up as me. While I don't have a problem saying 'no' to people, I still have a lot to grow when it comes to believing that I am enough.
Let us unpack this a little further. I am re-learning that the feeling of 'striving to be enough or to be perfect' comes from the sense of unworthiness. Brenè Brown says, 'Perfectionism hampers success. It is the path to destruction, anxiety, depression and life paralysis.' Ok, I may not experience all those things any longer, but it is the dialogue that STILL happens in my head that concerns me.
'You are supposed to be helping people but you don't help yourself enough.'
'You work hard but obviously not enough because you have not made it.'
'No, you are not a high achiever, because nothing you have achieved is high enough.'
Yes... I need to tell my thoughts to shut the f*** up and practice self-compassion. I am more aware of these sinister talk now but it can be hard trying to differentiate aiming for perfection and aiming for excellence. I found myself in a puddle of emotions, because these are what I am dealing with:
• When I focus on perfection, I am not giving my best. I am not working from strength, I am working from fear.
• When I pursue to try to be enough, I am not helping people. It is about them liking me (ouch!). This will set me on a never-ending cycle of approval-seeking and overextending myself.
• When I aim to create a perfect life, I am not living in the moment. I miss the curves in life that help me grow into who I am meant to be.
• While I am busy trying to be perfect, I neglect the process of mastering excellence.
• When I focus on perfection, my outlook is often short term, but its negative impact is long term
Here are some truths that I am taking hold of, to reframe my mindset:
• Being enough and the sense of worthiness isn't a goal I have to work towards. It is a belief I need to have. I believe I am enough and worthy, and from here I live and create.
• Believing that I am enough and worthy means that what I have is of value. I may not be perfect but I am invaluable.
• There is beauty and authenticity in imperfection that cannot be manufactured or replicated.
• 'Perfectionism does not lead me to results. It leads me to peanut butter.' - Brenè Brown
• Become a master, not a perfectionist, because mastery leads to excellence
Our mindsets impact the way we show up, create and live our lives. If we want to increase our creative resilience, we need to look at what we believe. If this resonates with you and would like to share your story, please feel free to write to me. In the meantime, I hope that we can all take intentional steps towards wholehearted living and creativity.
Founder of Made to Create