Perfectionism and the Single Mom

Dr. Brene Brown, an expert on shame spoke on Houston PBS  

about the Gift of Imperfection.

Perfectionism Results from Shame

As she talked I realized single mothers are often struggling with perfectionism and for many of the reasons she gave. According to Brown, “Perfection is not healthy striving. It is the belief that if we look perfect, live perfect and do it perfectly we can avoid feelings of shame, blame, and judgement.” Living this way keeps us from being noticed. We can avoid being criticized and being real.

Authenticity Brings Freedom

The opposite of perfectionism is authenticity. To be authentic you must be vulnerable. When you embrace vulnerability you can live whole heartedly. You can be overjoyed, rejuvenated and empowered. You can be a SMORE, Single Mom :: Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered!

Being authentic, however, is a practice. It takes courage to be imperfect.  It takes courage to be vulnerable-courage to be totally honest and real. And the courage to set boundaries brings freedom.

You Are Worthy

First you have to be willing to accept, as Brown says, that “worthiness doesn’t have pre-requisites.”  You are worthy, period. There are no “ifs” or “whens.”

You Belong

Part of our very nature is the desire to belong. Single moms, like everyone, yearn to belong. After a divorce, death, or becoming a mom without a husband it can be difficult to find a place of belonging. Everywhere you go the world is set up for couples. Our culture, including our churches, doesn’t often provide a place for single mothers. According to Dr. Brown, people who naturally carry a sense of belonging-believe they are worthy of it.

Each of you is worthy!

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