Last week a friend and I were catching up at one of my favorite spots, Veggie Grill. During our conversation, I mentioned that my husband pokes fun at me for having too many pillows to which she replied, “That’s supposed to be a sign of insecurity.” She wasn’t mean or anything, it’s just that she’s a Yogi and often looks at things from a metaphysical point of view, which I dig.
My knee jerk reaction was to defend myself. “I mean, how dare she imply that I’m not confident.” said my ego to my heart. But in an unsolicited moment of self acceptance, I calmly replied, “ I’m okay with that. I like that I’ve chosen pillows to comfort myself. It’s a gorgeous way to be there for myself.” Instantly, I felt a shift in my heart, but also, I actually felt something fire in my brain. And just like that, I was liberated from perfectionism. We went on to laugh about my collection of candles that could potentially mean the same thing and I later thought about my collection of scarves and myriad other things. It was actually kind of fun looking around at the many ways that I’ve been nurturing myself without even knowing it.
Growing up, I somehow internalized the idea that there’s no room for insecurity if you want to be fearless and fully confident, but I now know that it’s okay…it really is. Insecurity doesn’t have to be debilitating or an excuse to be mediocre, it can be a platform for empowerment. If there’s something about myself that I am unwilling to look at and the only time I see it, is when someone else points it out or brings it to my attention, then my growth and development is always predicated upon outside circumstances and I will always be at the mercy of my fears.
In some cases, insecurities can be hiding until someone causes our brain to fire by making a comment or insinuation, which in the moment might feel like an affront, but is actually a gift. In those moments of self-uncertainty, we have been presented with the opportunity to reflect on areas in our being where we might need to shift our perception or make an internal change. We could be hiding things from ourselves that might be holding us back. We don’t always have to accept what another says or a situation dictates, but the gift is that we get the opportunity to just look at it, stand in integrity with our highest self, and either dismiss it or say ahhh… here is where I've been missing it. Then, we get the chance to be brave enough to blossom.
It’s scary because those moments ask our ego to be rational, which immediately signals to the ego that it’s irrational and who wants to be faced with that? Above all else the ego wants respect and often in our society, the message is sent that to gain that respect, you must be perfect. But for me, relatable people effortlessly gain my respect; those people and characters unwilling to be compacted into a version of humanness that says there’s little to no room to be well, human.
Since then, I’ve run off into the sunset with my new found vulnerability no longer afraid that someone is going to see my imperfections. I’m okay with being vulnerable enough to show that there are still some areas in my life that are a work in progress. I used to be all wound up that someone might point out something faulty on my resume as a “professional perfectionist”, but now I take a deep breath and welcome all opportunities for expansion.