In the continuing series of “Magic book club” posts (you can see the others in the series by clicking here), I thought I would pick something from a book recommended to me by a friend of mine.
I’d never really heard of Brené Brown before getting a copy of “Daring Greatly” and, after reading and enjoying that book, I decided to also read “The Gifts of Imperfection“; a book that encourages to let go of who you should be or what you think you’re supposed to be doing, and actually concentrate on finding out who you actually are.
I really enjoyed The Gifts of Imperfection, even more so that Daring Greatly. It’s only a short book, based around 7 Guideposts for “Wholehearted Living”. If you’re the kind of person that constantly finds themselves seeking other for validation, or comparing your life to everyone else’s on your Facebook feed, you’d probably get a lot out of the book.
Anyway, I promised that I wouldn’t become too “preachy”, so let’s get to the idea from the book that can help you when planning an event or when your wedding list seems like a monumental task.
So here it is:
You have to let go of perfectionism.
I know, I know. It’s your wedding day, and you want everything to be absolutely perfect. The trouble is that the odds of everything, both in the lead up, and on the day, being perfect are very slim.
In fact, there is no “perfect”.
Things will go wrong.
And that’s OK.
You can’t control everything, so don’t be too hard on yourself when it doesn’t quite go to plan.
In the book, Brené highlights the difference between Perfectionism and Healthy Striving.
Perfectionism points out all of your flaws and tells you that you’re only worthy when you reach perfect…whatever that is. Healthy striving acknowledges the journey; that the very fact you are trying to be better, doing good work makes you worthy of connection and compassion in your life.
So go easy on yourself. There is no perfect, if you’re doing good work and making progress, that’s enough.
At weddings especially, brides and grooms attend wedding fayres, read magazines and download internet blogs on wedding themes, colours and practices. Drowning in a sea of “perfect weddings”, it’s natural to feel daunted, scared or worried that you’ll never match up to these idealistic standards.
These idealistic standard become “normal”: the minimum standard for what is to be expected.
As you think about all of your wedding guests, feelings of shame and self worth can rise up, paralysing you.
Maybe your friends and family have all been reading the same blogs, books and magazines. Maybe they’re expecting this to be a perfect wedding.
More shame. More unworthiness.
There is no perfect, so stop trying to find it.
In the book, Brené quotes a line from a Leonard Cohen song, “Anthem”:
“There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
Remember, the goal isn’t to have a perfect wedding or corporate party. It’s to have a wedding that you are happy with, or to have a works party that all your colleagues enjoy.
It’s YOUR day.
How can you let other peoples ideals influence YOUR special day?
Once you drop the words “perfect” and “supposed to” from your wedding planner, you give yourself more room for happiness.
So, stop striving for perfection, and give yourself a break. You’re trying your best, and that is (honestly) enough.
Other note: some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that, if you click the link to buy the book, I’ll receive a very small commission from Amazon. It doesn’t cost you any more, but I like being honest. It won’t make me a fortune, but it will all go towards buying me that Faberge Egg I’ve always wanted.*
* Who am I kidding, I’ll probably just spend it on doughnuts!
Hopefully, you enjoyed this post. If so, let me know. If not, let me know.
I’m always on the lookout for new books to read that are uplifting, fun and useful, so feel free to email me any recommendations!
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