The pursuit of being truly human is discombobulating. We are so darn tough on ourselves. Learning to be enough, with exactly who you are is not an easy journey. Many of you believe that to be whole; you should pursue not just being better – but being perfect. Either perfect at your job, your parenting, your partnering or your physical self.
What if I told you that achieving peace with who you are and where you are at in life is far easier than you think? The answer, I believe, is making friends with being ‘flawsome’.
How Can I Be Flawsome?
Flawsome is not just making peace with your flaws; it’s knowing that without them, you would not be you. It goes beyond surrendering to your flaws; it means owning them, understanding them and knowing that admitting them – gives you your power. It doesn’t take your power away.
Many of you will know the global icon Celeste Barber. Celeste made a name for herself via her ‘@celestechallengeaccepted’ social media series, which began in 2015 as a ‘fun experiment to see what it would look like for an average person to photograph herself doing rich-people things’. Her re-enactments of celebrity and model photos complete with weird poses and outfits are LOL-worthy. She takes the mickey and exaggerates her own flaws for humour.
I think one of the reasons we love her so much (aside from how hilarious she is); is that she is real. She is not hiding her body; she is saying; ‘This is me, I am flawsome’. And she’s made a living from it. With 9 million followers and counting, a flourishing comedy career and a book deal – she is doing fine.
The thing is, we are drawn to people not for their perfection, but for their acceptance of their imperfections. We admire people who may seem flawless, but they are hard to connect with and understand, and very hard to be like. The Pratfall Effect says that if you want to build trust quickly with people, showing your flaws is one way to do this. It’s about showing your vulnerability, and in doing so, that increases your connection with others.
So how do you make peace with who you are in all your colours? Well there is no checklist. Life is not a clear path. But there are three principles that when explored can help you be a better friend, leader, parent, partner, colleague and person.
1. Understand Your Triggers
Have you ever played a character in a play? Or been in a band, part of a group presentation or played in a team sport? For you to play your role you would have been looking for cues from someone else. Whether the cue was a phrase, a look, a movement, you would have looked for it to indicate it was your turn. Ideally anyway.
Identifying the things that trigger you off in life is the same. But if you don’t know what to look for, you won’t get to learn about the role you play when life, people or circumstances trigger you into a response. The reactions become things that either help us grow, and those around us, or hinder this growth. When we stay in our stress responses we are trapped.
Understanding the things that hold us back from being present and how we can learn from them is like finding gold – if you dare to look for it. Once we know our triggers it’s easier to know how to seek the truth.
2. Seek the Truth
The truth is tricky. What’s the truth in conversations or situations? Is it what you think, or another’s perspective? Maybe it’s a combo of both. Maybe it’s neither. Reconciling what you believe about yourself and the impact it has on those around you is where you learn. It might not be comfortable at the start but when you use this as data to help you grow, it becomes freeing.
We need to remain open to whatever is coming our way. When we treat feedback as information, not a personal attack, the learning begins. When we react poorly, and stay in our triggers, we stifle our opportunity to evolve. It’s the curiosity and our search for truth when the magic begins. It’s fear that holds us back from being and moving into our transformation.
3. Continue your Transformation
This is where your courage lies. The courage to be open to many truths, to know that one person’s perspective of you – is just that. It’s not automatically adopting others’ beliefs, or punishing them for having them. It’s seeing it as an opportunity to add to what you already know. The aim is to add to your pool of knowledge, not diminish it.
Transformation is endless and it requires discomfort. To know that you are perfectly flawed, that you are awesome because of your flaws. It’s the differences in each other that make us valuable. We just need to learn how to embrace our inner flawsome. To learn that the journey to being whole, is learning to be holey.