Authenticity over Perfectionism

Several months ago before graduating with my Master's in Counseling Psychology a huge surge of doubt filled my mind. I thought I couldn't do it. I couldn't be a therapist. There was no way that I could help others when I couldn't even help myself.

Let's face it, I am still not over my own wounds. I struggle with depression. I am highly sensitive. I'm painfully critical of myself. I mess up constantly and most days I am unsure of how to live this one life with bravery, wholeness and love. 

So why become a Marriage and Family Therapist, create a website titled "Living Authentic" and share stories and reflections that stem from wholehearted living when more often times than not, I'm living in my own insecurity, fear and brokenness? 

Well the quick answer is because I'm imperfect and that's okay. 

It's okay that I struggle. It's okay that I don't have it all together. It's okay that I wrestle with my own uncertainties and insecurities. 

But it's my imperfections and yours that make us people who can live authentic lives, and authenticity is the only pathway to joy. 

Perfectionism is built on "shoulds," shame and shallow thinking. 

Authenticity is built on acceptance, courage and love. 

We must ask ourselves over and over again, do we want to live an authentic life or a perfect life? 

When I chose to live a perfect life I was always left unsatisfied, empty and searching for more. I was never good enough and nothing ever felt enough. 

But through the pursuit for perfection I learned the hard way that life is not about aiming for perfect. Life is about allowing ourselves to be imperfect and thus giving our imperfections permission to make us more real. 

This is why I do the work I do and fight for authentic living. I believe if I am not fighting for a more authentic life, I will allow my own fears, insecurities, failures, or limitations to swallow me and by my example I will encourage others to do the same. 

Therefore, the fact that I know pain and continue to experience my imperfections does not make me inadequate or incapable. It doesn't even make me a less effective therapist. It just makes me someone who has something more to offer-my whole and my own broken self. 

So I dedicate this site and my therapeutic work to the messiness, the fragility, the chaos, and the imperfections in each of us, with the hopes that together we can continue to discover a life that brings more hope, more love, more wholeness, and more authenticity. 

Grab a pen and journal for deeper reflection

  1. Have you ever thought you couldn't be or do something because you were afraid of your own imperfections? How did this fear impact your life? 

  2. When you think about your life, when do you feel like your most authentic self? 

  3. How have you tried to be perfect? In what ways has aiming for perfection limited you? How can your own imperfections make you more real? 

  4. How can you use more of your whole self- the broken and the whole parts? How can your whole self benefit another person and help you feel more connected to the imperfect, fragile and messiness of life?