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A perfect protest

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 by Marianne Elliott

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I'm too damn real to be perfect!

One of my all time favorite authors, Brene Brown, just released her latest book The Gifts of Imperfection. The subtitle of the book is ‘Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are’. Which pretty much says it all. For many of us, perfectionism is getting in the way of really enjoying who we are.

Perfectionism can paralyse us as teachers, as friends, as writers.
As a yoga teacher, for example, it’s very easy to get caught up in ideas of what other people need me to be (i.e. calm, centred, grounded, loving, intuitive – all the time).

The truth, of course, is that what makes me a good yoga teacher is the very fact that I struggle with all the same fears, doubts and mid-afternoon sugar crashes that everyone else struggles with. What matters is that I’m committed to my yoga practice in the midst of all those struggles and wobbles.

“Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.

Putting down the perfection shield is scary. Finding the courage, compassion and connection to move from What will people think? to I am enough! is not easy. But however afraid we are of change, the question that we must ultimately answer is this:

What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?” – Brene Brown

With her book, Brene has started a movement that is perfect for me… it’s called the Perfect Protest and it’s a chance to remind ourselves and the world of the gifts of our imperfection.

As Brene says, don’t worry about having an original sign or the perfect picture. Just write the sign you need to write. Because (as my friend Jen Gray once said) perfectionism blows.

I'm having too much fun to be perfect!

So join in. Choose your own Perfect Protest and share your link HERE. And if you are feeling this one, then maybe get yourself a copy of Brene’s book, and get a copy for a friend while you are at it.


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16 Responses to "A perfect protest"

  1. Hi Marianne–

    I’m with you 100% regarding the futility in attaining perfection.

    Sorry to confess that I recently came to the realization that I’m just not meant for yoga. Nothing to do with the practice, the local studio, nor the instructors…#totallymyissue.

    Thank you for an enjoyable read, and a wonderful link to Brene’s site 🙂


  2. Helen says:

    Love this so much!
    “Perfect” is unrelatable, uninteresting and unlovable. And you’re the opposite. 🙂

  3. Pip says:

    This has made my day! Thank you for putting me onto Brene and this amazing movement!

  4. Lindsey says:

    i’m reading brene’s book right now too. and i, like you, think she’s talking about some of the most important stuff there is.
    great pictures!

  5. Hi Marianne,

    As a former perfectionist, I am all for getting rid of the concept! Too much drama and too much work for no good reason. Their is beauty in being vulnerable and being real. It makes life so much easier.

  6. Carol says:

    Oh I’ll definitely have to check that book out! I’m too much of a Virgo for my own good some times, a perfectionist and control freak with it.

  7. […] Edit: Check out some of my favourite Perfect Protests, they’re FAB! Leonie Wise, Jen Gray (perfectionism blows, indeed), Andrea Scher, and of course Marianne Elliott. […]

  8. Brené says:

    Love this. Love you! You’re too busy changing the world to be perfect!

  9. Jody says:

    Sounds like a good read and great fun! Oh, that we could all just remember that I AM enough.

    Have recently been trying to let go of my own perfectionism and how the use of the word is an immediate flag to pause and take note.

  10. Jen Chandler says:

    This book sounds wonderful! Thanks for directing us to Brene. I’m off to check out the link now.


  11. Alexandra says:

    Oh I didnt know it’s out now! I’ve been looking forward to it…Powells awaits. Btw, I gave a shoutout on my facebook page today about your yoga program- hope it helps! I’m still working the August program, btw- now I’m actually doing it in the sequence you intended. My resistance has dwindled while my flexibility has expanded, internally and externally.(-;

  12. carrie says:

    “Perfectionism can paralyse us as teachers, as friends, as writers.” Love that quote in your post!

    I blog hopped over from the ordinary courage.

  13. Emmanuelle says:

    Oh yeah! I am too a perfectionist and control freak, and I’m slowly learning to let go and accept that I’m “perfect” in my own unperfect ways 🙂

  14. […] Then my new Circe’s Circle sister told me about Marianne’s blog. […]

  15. deb says:

    love love it!

    and I’m going to have to peek at your writing.

  16. […] to Marianne Elliot for telling me about the Perfect Protest, and to Juno Lamb for the photo and the shoes, and to […]

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