The Power of Sharing Our Imperfections: No One Is Perfect
Here was a teacher and a former dean at a local highschool sharing his struggles with depression and anxiety with a bunch of teenagers. And the kids absolutely loved it! He was an adult that could understand what it was like to question your self-worth and your feelings. He didn’t pretend to be perfect or to have all the answers. And that gave him credibility; it built trust, and it built connection.
I was honored to be part of a winter wellness event for teens this past Saturday. I talked about the power of our thoughts and the ability to “think about what we think about.” We learned about mental health resources, did some fun art projects, and enjoyed a great yoga class. But the kids really connected with the teacher who could be vulnerable and talk about his personal challenges.
Isn’t it funny that we relate more to people who share their imperfections, yet we try so hard to make it appear that we have it all together?? It feels like a bizarre catch-22. We feel the need to appear “perfect,” but that can actually distance people. And it makes us feel alone and isolated, like we’re the only one who struggles with the voice in our heads.
I was surprised to learn that even successful people feel insecure. In the book, Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, he did an anonymous survey of 100 CEOs that were attending a leadership development retreat. He asked them to share something about themselves that they had never shared before because they were afraid of losing credibility and respect. He read them out loud; confessions of feeling inadequate, undeserving, flawed, and incompetent. After a stunned silence, the CEOs said they felt relieved that their “inner torment was commonly shared.”
The lesson I’ve learned and the point I want to emphasize is that no one is perfect. Some are better at hiding it than others. So we shouldn’t feel like we’re the only one who questions our own self-worth, our abilities, our right to be happy and enjoy our life.
If you find yourself having these feelings, remind yourself that it’s part of being human and you are not alone.