Lean Into Discomfort

May 11, 2012

“Lean into discomfort” – Brene’ Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection


I’ve been pondering this thought for the last two weeks. Not questioning its truth, but questioning my capacity for it. I have never liked discomfort and I’ve attempted to create a life that protects me from it. Perfectionism is one of the tools I’ve used in my attempts to create problem-free living.


Brene’ Brown says, “Perfectionism is NOT the same thing as striving to be your best.  Perfectionism is NOT about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism IS the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It’s a shield. Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.”


Perfectionism is about protection. I feel the need for protection when I feel fear. So my conclusion is perfectionism is rooted in FEAR!


Fear that I am not enough. Fear that I am too much. Fear that others will not be able to love all of me. Fear of mistakes and the discomfort they bring.


The only remedy I have found for fear is facing it. Facing fear requires vulnerability, and honesty. It requires acknowledging the things that scare me instead of pretending they don’t exist. I must “lean into discomfort” instead of protecting myself against it. It is not always easy and comfortable to be honest. It’s not comfortable to express hurts, fears, jealously, anger, and resentment. And it is sometimes just as difficult to express love, joy, and pleasure.


Perfection is not possible. It is only an illusion that keeps me from being authentic!


I cannot be real AND perfect! I must choose between the two and I choose real. I choose authenticity. I choose honesty and I choose vulnerability. These are not always the popular choices. They can leave me feeling like the “freak” or the “weirdo.”  They have left me feeling lonely, abandoned, and insecure at times, but so does pretending. The difference is when I am pretending, the lonely, abandoned and unsure never go away. If you think about it, it’s not really a bad deal. Discomfort for deep connection and love.  I’m leaning…