Vulnerability does not mean weakness. Being open and honest may be the cure to the disease of perfectionism.
Have you struggled with comparison, perfectionism, or the need to keep up a façade of someone who seems to have it all together? Brené Brown, a researcher whose work is highlighted in the article “Bravery through Vulnerability: Finding Courage in Imperfection,” says that honesty and openness may be the cure to the disease of perfectionism.
Our first instinct might be to hide our secrets or shortcomings from others. Weaknesses make us feel exposed, and that can be uncomfortable. According to Brown’s research, rather than fighting the instinct to hide, we need to consciously choose vulnerability so we can be happier and more emotionally fulfilled.
Brown says, “Leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability unlocks important experiences in love, trust, joy, belonging, and creativity.” But how can we actually go about doing that?
Brown suggests four ways we can be more open with ourselves, others, and God:
- Believe you are worthy of love as you are.
- Be honest about who you are and accept your imperfections.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Find the courage to be vulnerable.
As we take charge of our emotional well-being and are honest about who we are, we’ll be able to create more satisfying connections with others.
To read more about how you can be strengthened through your imperfections, read Brené Brown’s article, “Bravery through Vulnerability: Finding Courage in Imperfection.”
Source: Wheatley Scholars, The Wheatley Institution
—Nicole Day Olson, Mormon Insights
For more insights
Watch Brené Brown’s TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” which has had tens of millions of views.
Photo credit to Penny & Boss.
I think that following the lesson that this article gives us is very important. When i was a teenager i was always worried about covering my weaknesses and appearing as perfect as i could, and i was terrified of showing myself. Now instead i learned that being myself brings the most fun in my life, and not only, but when you meet people that love you for what you are those relationships actually lasts and they are very gratifying.
What a relief to see this article! SOmetimes I get so caught up in trying to be A perfect Mormon That I have a meltdown whenever I realize I’m not. It is so important to let our barriers down and share our imperfections, especially with ourselves. Realizing that we are working on being better makes us stronger. Trying to be perfect makes us as fragile as glass. It’s an easy thing to break.
It is often difficult to move past the paralyzing power of perfectionism. I sometimes struggle with allowing myself to forget mistakes and move past failures. however, over the past couple years, I’ve made a real effort to allow myself to be more vulnerable, especially with those i love. this has only STRENGTHENED my relationships and increased my self-confidence. it may seem contradictory, but VULNERABILITY really is a key to eliminating the disappointment and unhappiness that perfectionism causes.