I am Enough
You know those people who want to have everything together? Who like to have a plan? Who fear making mistakes, being inefficient or sloppy?
This is not a word I would use to describe myself, at least not until a couple months ago.
A dear mentor of mine recommended that I read the book “Daring Greatly”. In summary, this book examines the need for vulnerability and the defenses we use to do everything but be vulnerable, which actually results in more exhaustion than being genuine. I could spend hours telling you about all the reasons this book has spoken into my soul, and I suspect there will be many more posts in the future that will reference this book. For today, I am going to pull from just a couple pages about a word that has nothing to do with me…or so I thought.
The following is an excerpt from “Daring Greatly”. Dr. Brene’ Brown defines perfectionism as the following:
- Perfection is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.
- Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because perfection doesn’t exist. It’s an unattainable goal. Perfectionism is more about perception than internal motivation, and there is no way to control perception, no matter how much time and energy we spend trying.
- Perfectionism is addictive, because when we invariably do experience shame, judgment, and blame, we often believe it’s because we weren’t perfect enough. Rather than questioning the faulty logic of perfectionism, we become even more entrenched in our quest to look and do everything just right.
- Perfectionism actually sets us up to feel shame, judgment and blame, which then leads to even more shame and self-blame: “It’s my fault. I’m feeling this way because I’m not good enough.”
Okay, maybe this does describe me more than I realized, more than I ever care to admit. Fantastic.
And how does Dr. Brown suggest we combat this defense mechanism that fights tooth and nail to avoid vulnerability? She suggests making the journey from “What will people think?” to “I am enough.”
I am enough. Now THAT is something I can hold on to.
I can’t read a book without filtering it through the lens of what scripture says. It turns out Dr. Brown isn’t the first one to try to convince me that I am enough. It also turns out that my Creator has been telling me that I am enough before I was even born.
“For you created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” I am enough. “So God created man in his own image.” I am enough. “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son.” I am enough. “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” I am enough.
So even as I write this, questioning if I actually want to put this online, I will dare to be vulnerable because I am enough. I hesitate, wondering if I should write another paragraph to clarify, questioning if I put enough information, too much information, the wrong information and so on. But I will stop right here and take another step forward in believing that I am enough.
I am enough. And so are you.
Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because perfection doesn’t exist.