The Perfectly Imperfect series is about acknowledging and embracing our individual gifts and quirks-our perfect imperfection. It's time we release the idea that every part of us must be "perfect" and we open to our full creative potential as unique beings. Stay here to learn how to replace guilt, worry and self-criticism with joy, wonder and purpose.
So many of my clients -- brilliant men and women with impressively successful lives and careers -- experience self-doubt and engage in self-criticism to an extent I rarely see in other folks.
Chances are, if you're reading this, that you're juggling a gazillion things at once and not giving yourself enough credit. You may also throw the occasion mudsling party, where you're the only guest.
When not-good-enough and self-sabotage do swing by, it's because you've lost your direction; you're so overwhelmed/overworked/overstimulated you can't remember your WHY (Why did I say yes to to more work, same pay? Why in the world did I start by own business? Why did I come into the kitchen again?). You've lost your sense of purpose and focus.
The good news is that you can quickly regain your direction and determination in a matter of minutes -- yes, minutes (and, yes, even when you're swamped and feeling totally uninspired). Here are three surefire hacks to move past insecurity and into purposeful intent NOW:
#1: MEDITATE! I know, I know... you hear it everywhere. And there's a reason for that: IT WORKS. Dedicating even just a few minutes a day to stillness will dramatically improve your ability to get and stay focused. And, as you go deeper into the practice, you'll also experience what I call Dynamic Peace -- your decisions will be more systematic and intentional, all those moving parts in your life will fit and flow more harmoniously, and your intuition and sense of interconnectedness will kick into sixth gear (kind of like the OS Scarlett Johansson in Her).
Now if you're saying, "That all sounds great, Cortney, but I've tried meditation and it didn't work," Wayne Dyer's Gap Meditation just might do the trick. It did for me back when I thought I'd never get my mind into that quiet, "connected" state everyone was talking about. (Use the shorter version if you're pressed for time.) And if you need a step before that, try this: decide today to dedicate 3-5 minutes (set a timer) at the same time every day for the next 21 days (schedule this as you would any other appointment) to close your eyes and breathe deeply, gently bringing your attention back to your breath every time it strays. This exercise alone will work miracles.
#2: DANCE! Okay, so I like to dance. But any intense physical burst will INSTANTLY change your mind-body stance. Taking a five-minute break to jump around immediately alters your perspective and heightens your energy, putting you in a more positive, productive state. And, if you're hard pressed for five minutes or you don't enjoy jumping, even just a two-minute power pose is proven to significantly reduce stress and increase your willingness to face your fears -- on a biochemical level. So, whether you feel like grooving to the Happy Song or posing like Wonder Woman or Superman, here's the point: this activity will positively affect your mind-body chemistry in just a few minutes. Now that's impressive ROI.
#3 GIVE! One of the simplest and quickest ways to move past uncertainty and overwhelm is to give. I'm not talking about money (although power to you if you can give financially to a cause you believe in). I'm talking about giving your PRESENCE: a friendly smile, a door held open just a bit longer for the next person to pass through, a heartfelt conversation with a co-worker, a letter of gratitude to your parent(s), a hot text to your partner/spouse, a relaxing chat with an old friend, a genuine compliment to a shop clerk... The possibilities are endless!
In her best-selling book 10 Mindful Minutes, Goldie Hawn (yes, the Academy-Award winning actress) outlines the benefits of kindness:
- it activates personal initiative,
- deepens happiness, and
- engenders optimism.
Run an experiment this week, and amp up your giving. Be creative with your strategies, and open to new situations that allow you to be present and give. See what it does for you!
And, hey, you can start giving right now! Join the conversation below and help others with your personal strategies to transforming insecurity into purposeful intent.
Your advice can help us all on our journey to accepting our perfect imperfection.