Foundations: Finding the Courage to be Imperfect

foundations“Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.” – Brené Brown

I came across this quote on twitter this morning (tweeted by @theparentcue), and it deeply resonated with me. Just last night I was talking to a close friend about how insecurity connects all of our fears and doubts in life, giving them the power to produce incapacitating stress and anxiety. One insecurity leads to another, and then another, until everything in your life seems completely hopeless.

“Dang, I messed that up. I’m so stupid.”

“Everyone else around me must know how stupid I am. They probably all hate me.”

“If everyone else hates me, then why should I like myself?”

“If I don’t even like myself, I must not be worth anything.”

“If I’m not worth anything, then why am I even here? My life is a big mistake.”

“If my life is a big mistake, then certainly God doesn’t care about me… if He even exists out there at all.”

It can be so easy to get stuck in one of these self-defeating mindsets, and to allow it to escalate beyond your control. I have done this time after time in my life, and I’m sure you have too. Where does it start? With a simple insecurity.

It is so true that when people don’t build their lives on a solid foundation of love and belonging, they will not have the courage to simply be themselves. Why? Because being themselves would mean putting their imperfections on display for the world to see. And how can you be brave enough to do that when you are unable to accept that you are loved, cherished, and valued?

As I have been working through my journey at braverthanbefore.com, and as I have had open conversations day after day with people who are struggling through the same issues as I am, it has become increasingly clear that we don’t just have anxiety problems. We have a problem that is much more central to the core of our beings than that. Our problem is that insecurity is feeding these vicious lies into our hearts and minds, and we seem to be none the wiser! Instead, we start to regard the lies as truth and, in doing so, we allow them to manipulate and control us. It’s like an unseen mind control drug that is quietly and covertly being fed to every person on the planet!

The more I look at my struggles this way, the more I realize that it is possible to overcome them. I have lived for 30 years as a total perfectionist, practically killing myself so that I could find the validation I have always been looking for. But I have found this to be a faulty and invalid method of soliciting acceptance. So it’s time for a new strategy, and I think Brené Brown’s quote is a good place to start.

I genuinely do believe that having a strong sense of love and belonging will give me the courage to be imperfect. For me, there is only one source of unconditional love and belonging in this world, and that is the all-powerful God of the universe.

At this point I want to say that I know and appreciate that my blog is followed by a wide variety of people who represent many different backgrounds, faiths, and ideologies. I want you to know that regardless of your beliefs, you are a valued part of my readership; and when I talk about God, my hope is not to alienate you or chase you away. Rather, I simply want to be honest with my experience, and hope/expect that you will do the same on your own platform. If we are willing to talk openly about our worldviews, without judgement, bias, or prejudice, perhaps we will find a deeper sense of the belonging that we are searching for!

In my worldview, I am loved by a God who created me to display His great image and to be a part of His family. In my worldview, there is no greater sense of belonging and love than the one that is found in a relationship with this compassionate God. And in my worldview, the starting point and foundation for overcoming insecurity is to allow the creator to define the created. In other words, if I believe that I am created by a God who loves me, it only makes sense for me to look to Him for an understanding of who I am, how I am loved, and where I belong. In doing so, I will find the courage to be imperfect. I will find the courage to just be me.

Whether you agree or disagree, I would love to hear your thoughts! Do you ever find your own self-defeating mindset escalating out of control? If so, how do you respond to it? Do you have a strong sense of love and belonging? Where does it come from? Tell me about your worldview!

7 thoughts on “Foundations: Finding the Courage to be Imperfect

  1. inkbiotic says:

    You have such warmth and hope in your blog, I love it! I’m struggling to process your questions though, I don’t think much about love and belonging. I have people around me who care very much, and when I need help with that self-defeating mindset they pull me out of the quagmire. But ultimately, I need the strength in myself: my love for other people, for work and study, and for things I write and draw, in order to feel like I belong. The world is a complicated, tetchy place, but if I feel like I belong in my own head, then I’m ok.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Talasi Guerra says:

      Thank you so much, it means a lot to me to hear that you find my blog full of warmth and hope 🙂 I’m sorry if my questions were confusing! But I appreciate you taking the time to leave some comments. I don’t necessarily relate to feeling like I belong in my own head… but I do relate to having caring people around me that pull me out of the quagmire! I love hearing different perspectives and having the opportunity to discover the similarities and differences that make each of us who we are 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marie Abanga says:

    Do you ever find your own self-defeating mindset escalating out of control?

    I now don’t find it escalating so out of control as often as it did before. Before, I just wanted to keep doing things which would make me not even feel my mindset which I so despised.

    If so, how do you respond to it?

    What I did and still do when it ocassionally starts spiralling like it did a few days ago are a small bunch really:

    1) I breathe in a while, sit or lie down, and say a little prayer; I remind myself of whose shoulder I stand on, how I am still alive and can read and write, I try to mentally fight that mind slowly but surely;
    2) I shame it out by telling someone else. I reach out to whoever my spirit tells me to reach out to… in the past it was in books and once published I knew that mindset had no more control over me – it had been fully exposed … and the feedback I get and got be it from the select few I told or from those who have read my books, have frankly helped all the time, barely any feedback which hurt; and oh blogging is another one altogether… big big arsenal
    3) I listen to and nurture my mind and body and my soul above all… I listen to calm gospel music or what I feel like listening to at the moment; I eat a little something like a chocloate bar if I have one or I fix myself some warm milk or hot chocolate; I just take it slow and repeat to myself am gorgeous and that too shall pass; I read a psalm (some like P 23, 139…) etc or just a page in a book… basically calming activities until I can sleep or get back up and about;

    Do you have a strong sense of love and belonging? Where does it come from?

    Big one here. It comes from two fold seriously:
    1) I had always found and sought the external sense of love and belonging … I deliberately say found before sought because I just recall feeling loved from day zero and belonging … but then I realized as I grew that I had to do things to keep pleasing and belonging…
    at some point it started to hurt, hurt so bad, I didn’t know me, I hated the little I knew and didn’t even feel I belonged to my own spirit/soul. I so needed to get there…
    2) long story short, some of my best songs are Hero by Mariah Carrey and I look up to you by Whitney Houston and then When you Believe by the two Divas. I am now finally there, where I have a strong sense of love and belonging from so deep within. And this one from deep within takes precedene over the external one.

    Talasi, thanks for your posts, I so wish you well on your blogging journey and life as a whole

    Liked by 2 people

    • Talasi Guerra says:

      I love your strategies. I also love that you have come to a place of having that strong sense of love and belonging from deep within. This is such an important step. For me, I find the power to do this by turning to God and allowing Him to fill me with His perfect love. I am thankful that His love gives me the power to love myself ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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