Awura's February Reflection - Challenge or Fear?
Awura is the founder of Creative Women Collective, an ex-lawyer specialized in intellectual property and incredibly passionate about sparking courage in creative women. And fries. And Brené Brown. And podcasts.
Photo: Carly Wollaert
In my monthly reflections on www.thecreativewomencollective.com I will push myself to share an unfiltered review of my month. A look into the behind scenes of CWC without all of the (awesome) Inshot effects which we use (and love) in our Instagram Stories. Check out January's reflection here.
the fight of a lifetime
All of my friends know I am obsessed with Brené Brown and all of her books on perfectionism.
Through her books I have been able to figure myself out on a deeper level: my mindset, my behaviour and my circumstances.
I have been fighting with the beast called perfectionism since I was a kid.
Thanks to Brene’s books I have developed a practical mindshift to fight this (daily) battle.
Imperfections are the key to connection. Pro-actively share these with the people around you. As a consequence shame will play a smaller role in the choices you make in life.
This mindset has been my best friend for the last 2 years, and has resulted in the start of CWC and a new appreciation for life and its challenges.
I know how to fight against perfectionism, and win.
Or so I thought.
Yes. Brené’s books developed a new awareness within me. However this awareness will not fight the battle for me.
I still have to do the work.
Thanks to the awareness of my own perfectionism, I am able to navigate myself (and therefore my life) more consciously. And I am able to analyze my mind, habits and circumstances against the framework of vunerability, and ask myself the question: am I avoiding the opportunity to be vunerable in fear of the “negative” perception of myself by others.
If the answer is ‘yes’, I know I have to stop, and figure out the vunerable choice which I am avoiding to make. And then step out, and make that choice.
This is part one. Part two is recognizing the different faces of perfectionism.
a new mountain
I discovered a new face this February. A new mountain for me to conquer: distinguishing challenges from fears, as a way to minimize procrastination (which is one of the consequences of perfectionism).
After a conversation with Josephine Meijer - a coach specialized in vunerability - I realized sometimes things are not actually challenging, but rather scary. This is a slight, but significant difference. As we spoke I started to understand that my desire to create a new, face-to-face way to help thousands of women to grown their business skills (specifically in with regard to dealmaking, negotiating and networking), wasn’t a challenge, but rather a fear.
I shared my so-called challenge to reach hunderds of women face-to-face simultaniously with Josephine. And Josephine tackled my challenge with the simplest solution. A webinar. The simplicity of her answer opened my eyes. Sometimes we define things as “challenges”, when they are not complicated at all. However, defining them as challenges gives us the legimitacy to procrastinate. To dance around it. To not take any steps, because after all “it isn’t an easy thing to do, so it isn’t weird that I am taking so much time”. After I realized the anwer wasn’t complicated at all, I realized I was scared. Scared to step out into this new territory, despite the beasts I have fought off in the past.
Josephine disolved all the seemingly complications I had summarized in my head. After this, I could no longer justify why I was traveling down the rabbit hole of procrastination ( and thus, perfectionism), and I could no longer avoid the confrontation with my fear.
Proscrastination is the fear of confrontation, failure and imperfection.
Despite the mountains you and I may have conquered in the past, there is always new territory to tackle. From experience I know this is exactly what makes life exciting. The promise of endless growth through challenges.
To push myself to develop a new relationship with fear, I started a hashtag on Instagram: #elkedagietsengs, on my personal account (@awuraabena) where (during the week) I do something scary every day. And I hope you will too.