The problem with perfectionism (and when to step down from the pedestal) - Gutsy Girl Club

The problem with perfectionism (and when to step down from the pedestal)

by Heather Freeman, click here to get all our posts.

Something happens when a woman becomes a mom.

From the moment those big glossy eyes look up, she sees a Super Hero. 

The Super Hero that is her everything – her ray of light in darkness, her spotlight in times of glory.

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When she quietly nestles her head into your shoulder, Super Hero Mom holds on tight. Her arms, like the wings of a giant bird give her an escape from the wild winds, relentless protection and comfort. 

She assumes you are the strongest human alive with super hero powers. You’re the one who pulls together birthday parties and holiday gatherings and somehow, manages to generally fall apart less than everyone else. You work hard coordinating after school activities, playdates, dentist appointments. You’re the obliging carpool escort, and biggest fan on the bleachers, and the best cook around. 

It’s all incredibly admirable. Our girls need to see a woman’s strength.  When she cries for help, a girl has a rock to lean on. When a mom creates a safe space, a little girl knows where to run to seek shelter from the storm.

However, when she never sees Super Hero falter, it undermines her own truth.  The truth that shows her vulnerability, her imperfection, her humanism.  

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Brené Brown

I don’t know a single successful mother who isn’t juggling the ups and downs, the tugs and pulls, the emotional rollercoaster of the every day.  Who sometimes gets it wrong – the nature of real life.

In her TedX Talk, Brene Brown explains how to expand our perception of vulnerability. When Brene found her way to embrace the messiness of life, she was able to love it and share this reality of life with her own daughter.  This wasn’t always easy for her. It meant she needed to start from the beginning with her connection. She says feeling connected is why we’re here. And in order for us to feel connection we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen. 

This courage to be imperfect and to fully embrace vulnerability, is what makes us real, what makes us human. Life is not about being perfect, living perfect, doing everything perfectly. We can take much value from the science and wisdom of the courage to be vulnerable when we take a step down from the pedestal.

 

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