October 14, 2021

Striving for Perfection—& How it prevents us from embodying our Authentic Selves.


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I cannot wait for perfection any longer. I don’t think it’s necessary anymore.

It dawned on me. I could not language it at first, but it was enough to know, in some strange way, that I had missed it, not looking closely enough to realize what had always been there—present.

In the midst of every test and trial, in moments of uncertainty, and in so many dark nights of the soul, what kept me standing, woke me up, made me see, and kept me walking came in the form of courage, strength, resilience, and determination. All along, it was greatness. True greatness, or shall we say, love?

I had been mistakenly identifying with the belief of being someone who needed to perfect herself in order to share her gifts and talents. I kept cutting my wings short from my heart’s calling in order to do it right. It was an unnecessary struggle because the invitation was much simpler: to recognize the love within, allow it to shine on its own, and get myself out of the way.

It made sense. These past years have been full of transformation and deep healing. Although I now feel renewed on so many levels, I have been unable to recognize an almost unbearable persistent feeling buzzing inside. It was the silent death of unconsciously waiting and remaining quiet. Its many manifestations were red flags, pointing me to how misaligned I was to my own truth.

I had felt them everywhere on my skin as uncomfortable goosebumps whenever I heard the mention of words like “dreams” and “thrive.”

On my stomach was the feeling of shame as a numbing pain and an inner struggle. On my heart was the waiting to be worthy in order to feel worthy. I was attaching myself to smallness and resisting the flow. I was striving for perfection while blindly believing that I will become emotionally immune, bullet-proof. What an “aha” moment. What a revelation!

It is the mistaken view of myself that has led me to the search for ultimate safety. It’s been innocent but prideful. Now I see it. Innocent because I could not see it until I saw it, right? prideful because I had been sticking to my own view and perspective. To honor who I am, I had to set in place a new meaning for humility and let go of investing in the twisted belief of “I’m not good enough.”

Humility, as I now see it, has nothing to do with playing small, for it serves no one, but it has to do with being able to recognize what we have become, wherever we might be. To be able to admit the grandiosity of how we’ve held strong— sometimes clumsy, elephant footed, and insecure—but determined and open-hearted to see through our most fearful beliefs. To really notice that we now relate completely differently to ourselves and the world. To acknowledge our courageous hearts and how many times we let go, time after time. To be able to surrender to our true greatness.

I guess sooner or later, we meet in this bridge wherein we are called to own who we are and surrender independently to where it can take us. It seems to me that the untold truth about growth and evolution is that it replaces “you” with the “real you.” To embody it is our gift and to do it in our own personal way—expressing it unapologetically and allowing it to shine through—is our delight.

It is in this space that I learned about sharing as a natural virtue of love, and not as a self-reference of how knowledgeable or well versed we are. Paradoxically, where once there was a motivation to serve, I got to see that by sharing I end up being served and my understanding of it deepens. We become the source of refuge, openness, and availability. It is here that I am shown the interdependence between all of us. How we can only give to each other what we have become, how life serves itself, and how inspiration really works.

Yes, I confess, this dreadful wall has been in front of me before and I could not jump. The inner work presents no trouble for me but does not get me close to being fully exposed because I like my cave.

What an illusion I have been in, for in striving for perfection, I had not stepped into the healing power of sharing my own voice. It is in this loving vulnerability that my heart blossoms and I find so much joy and, most importantly, self-love.

I am getting it, I understand it. The source of my pain has been in believing that I was not yet ready to be who I am.

I am now stepping out of my own way, and this is why today, I write.


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Claudine Gua  |  Contribution: -195

author: Claudine Gua

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