Courageous Connection

» Posted by on Jan 1, 2013 in Blog | 4 comments

Courageous Connection

Much of my upcoming book – Stepping into More – Lessons from a Recovering Perfectionist focuses on grappling with perfectionism and understanding the power of vulnerability.

When you think of it, we are hardwired as human beings with a longing to experience connection and belonging. Without these, we feel isolated, alone and, incomplete.  Without this sense we feel pain. Think of the countless stories of people’s tragic lives as a result of not feeling like they are part of a “tribe.”

I am a recovering perfectionist. I have learned through my journey that perfectionism is an attempt to put up our armor to protect us from some sort of perceived shame or sense of inadequacy. We don’t want to feel the pain stemming from our lack of perfection so we attempt to cover it up by creating an illusion of perfection. This persona or mask requires vast amounts of energy and builds walls between ourselves and others. Ironically, it winds up creating greater disconnection within ourselves and with others. Nobody can relate to the mirror of perfection and it turns people off.

We need to courageously connect with others if we truly want to fulfill our desire for belonging and bonding. “Courageously connecting” means willing to be vulnerable. It requires us to be authentically seen and experienced. I use the word “courageous” because it is not an easy feat to stay grounded in our authenticity especially when there is such pressure to be politically correct or to conform to the norm. It would be much simpler in theory to be “absorbed by the “borg” (concept from Star Trek movie).

Being vulnerable is not always pretty. Many times I experience “vulnerability hangovers” after I take the risk of expressing myself openly with others. I ask myself “what the hell did I just say or do? Am I crazy? Why can’t I just play it safe?”

I have been called forward to delve into grappling with perfectionism. I continue to recognize that the process to support me with working though perfectionism requires me to work through my shame and judgments, forgive and accept myself and others, and learn to express myself in an authentic way. All of this requires a tremendous amount of vulnerability.

I am about to publish my memoir and guide. I have been working on this project for over 2 years. I was quite vulnerable in writing the book. I share parts of my life and experience that I am not necessarily proud of. I want people to know the real me and to understand that they too can lead a more fulfilling life by owning their “good, bad, and ugly (or less pretty).”

I can already anticipate a “vulnerability hangover” about to hit me as I prepare to launch this book. Sometimes I question myself and wonder what makes me want to move forward in this way.

I am learning that I too desire connection and belonging and the only way to experience this is to be brave and courageous. I need to authentically communicate who I am in order to attract other likeminded people. I will only find my tribe by being me.

I do not know what the future holds as I move forward into 2013. My intuition tells me to follow my heart and soul. I have a strong knowing that I need to continue to move forward with my vision no matter how scary it may seem. I am stepping into more without being tied to any type of expectation or outcome. I am learning to enjoy the journey as I a courageously connect with myself and you.

As you embark into the New Year, I hold the same wish for you. May you courageously connect with yourself and others with grace and ease and experience true delight in the process.

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  1. Go Rachel! I loved this post and can relate to it as a fellow recovering perfectionist. Best wishes for much happiness, health, and success in the New Year!!

    • Thanks for your affirming words Michelle. I am so glad my post has meaning for you. Wishing you much joy and fulfillment in the coming year!!

  2. Bravo Rachel! I enjoyed meeting you at the ASTD Special Division Meeting and your blog is powerful. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience. I look forward to reading more blog posts.



    • Hi Janet – It was a pleasure meeting you. Thanks so much for your kind words and for reading my blog. I invite you to check out my new book on amazon – Stepping into More – Lessons from a Recovering Perfectionist.

      I hope our paths cross again soon. I wish you continued joy and fulfillment!


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