Lifestyle, Humour, Health & Mindset

Is vulnerability the antidote to perfectionism?

Is vulnerability the antidote to perfectionism?

I started and quit soccer for the first time when I was five years old.

Here’s the thing, I was a really good child athlete, I have no idea why, but I was just an athletic kid. I peaked early which gave me false hope for the future and then eventually everyone caught up. The point is, on my first day of soccer I was a goal-scoring machine. However, somewhere along the line, I got turned around, and the next thing I knew I was scoring on my own goal.

I was fucking devastated.

I still remember it clear as day, and that was the first and LAST day my parents would be taking me to soccer. Despite their best efforts and encouragement, I wouldn’t budge, I was a stubborn kid…who grew into a stubborn adult.

It took me about three or four years before I would play organized soccer again, but let me tell you, I made damn sure never to embarrass myself like that again. (Let me also preface this by saying that not one other fucking five-year-old kid noticed I scored on the wrong goal, yet, internally my little heart was torn apart).

Looking back now, it’s clear that little perfectionist was in for a lifetime of missed opportunities. They say comparison is the thief of joy, but I argue that perfectionism is too. The good news is, unlike comparison which is something we will never shake but only learn to deal with, I believe that the antidote to perfectionism lies in vulnerability.

“Vulnerability is having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome.” – Brené Brown.

While I am still a struggling perfectionist, I’m in remission and there are a few key things I try to keep in mind to help me overcome my crippling fear of being shitty. Maybe these tips will help you too?

5 tips for overcoming perfectionism and embracing vulnerability.

1. Perfectionism is an excuse for procrastination.

Instead of taking action, a perfectionist will always put off what needs to get done until the timing is “perfect”, or will keep postponing shit until everything is just right. You know those people who won’t go to the gym because they are too out of shape, that’s insanity…and so is whatever you are waiting for.

What to do about it?

The reality is, the timing is never right, nothing will ever be perfect, take messy action, and remember that perfect is the enemy of progress.

“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make. Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.” – Brené Brown.

2. Failure is not fatal.

Vulnerable people aren’t afraid of failure. I’ve missed out on countless opportunities and experiences in life because I was afraid of failure, or afraid of looking stupid.

Can you name one successful person who hasn’t failed in their lifetime? It seems silly when we say it out loud, but I can honestly say that every failure in my life has been an incredible learning experience and I am better because of it.

What to do about it?

Take comfort in knowing that you are definitely going to fail, but it’s better to have failed at something you wanted to succeed in than to have never tried at all. Take the leap and trust that the parachute will open on the way down.

3. Vulnerability makes us human.

Why is it that we love watching reality TV, YouTube or IG videos? It’s because we can live vicariously through the experiences of those personalities– from the safety of our own homes. We don’t actually have to risk our heart or our reputation when we vicariously live through the experiences of others. It’s comforting to see other people struggle, and being vulnerable about those struggles is what makes us truly human and truly relatable.

You know what’s the worst though. FAKE vulnerability. Like…look at this before and after photo of me, I used to be super lean and have a six-pack, but now I workout way less and treat myself but I’m learning to be comfortable in my new body. BITCH PLEASE, your six-pack is still there and you have a body that 99% of the population would die for. Everyone struggles in their own way, I get it, but that’s not the kind of bullshit vulnerability I’m talking about. I’m talking about truly stepping outside of your comfort zone and giving those around you the permission to do the same.

What to do about it?

Think BIG picture. Whatever you’re feeling, I promise that you’re not alone. If you being vulnerable can make even one other person in the room feel more confident, more self-assured, and more likely to put themselves out there…is it worth it? Being vulnerable is human, perfection is not.

4. Perfection is not confidence, vulnerability is.

The perfectionist doesn’t hold themselves and others to such a high standard because they overflow with confidence; quite the contrary, they are very much insecure and the idea of failing, getting rejected, and being criticized terrifies them.

What to do about it?

According to Mark Manson, it’s the backwards law in action: in order to become more resilient, more formidable, you must first become vulnerable and bare your flaws and weaknesses for the world to see. In doing so, they lose their power over you, allowing you to live your life with more honesty and intention.

Show up as your true authentic self, flaws, failures, insecurities and all; it’s part of what it looks like to live a fulfilling and happy life.

5. Trust that you can deal.

Nothing is worse than putting yourself out there and getting rejected. Or, taking a risk and falling flat on your face. It may be cliché as fuck, but giving up is the only sure way to fail.

What to do about it?

Repeat after me: you are strong and you can do hard things.

Psychologist Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. from Psychology Today explains, “feeling that we possess the emotional strength to quiet our temporarily jangled nerves, we don’t need to flee from the situation . . . or ourselves. And being able to confront our vulnerability and persuade ourselves that the circumstance is not as worrisome as it might feel, reduces our anxiety and restores in us a sense of control.”

Last but not least, remember that usually, our funniest and best memories come from the times we took a risk and failed hard. Vulnerability doesn’t have to be so serious.

Have you ever gone too hard in a workout, accidentally redlined, and paid for it?

Same same but different.

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💥SOUND ON💥 Lololol @pvellner requested a voice over of my thoughts in my last round of my 20.1 re-do. Thought you guys might find it equally entertaining 🤣I’m constantly playing with pushing my limits. Lots of times, I’m pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, it’s an absolute disaster. So here’s your front row/behind the scenes seat to when it’s an ABSOLUTE disaster🤣🎥🍿🤷🏼‍♀️#enjoy #NotBetter #dontQuit #inTheOpen

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