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  • Writer's pictureRicki Braswell

Beyond Perfection

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

angry jack o lantern

"We live in a IG-perfect world and it is critical that we show that we have facets, some lovely, some less so, but in total they create one beautiful human."

This was a line from an email that I sent my friend and coaching partner, Josybel Martinez, after I read her weekly email, First Coffee, Then Things. I've been thinking about how, as a society, we view perfection or imperfection and how we feel when we compare our lives to other people's. Just scroll through IG and look at all the pictures of happy people - eating, vacationing, laughing, sharing their beautiful babies, homes, pets. Nobody posts a picture of their home and a huge dust bunny is lurking on the edge of the couch.

I'm a sucker for a pretty picture which is why I love watching home improvement shows like Fixer Upper and Home Town. I'm touched by how Chip and Joanna Gaines and Ben and Erin Napier use their gifts to bring joy to other people. It makes me happy. It makes me smile. But, as I watch the show and I see how they (seemingly) easily create beautiful spaces from total crap houses, I often feel restless about my own home. I sit on our couch and glance over to the wall which separates our living room from our kitchen and I imagine taking a sledge hammer to it and eliminating it so that I can, "open up the space" (one of Joanna Gaines' favorite phrases). I can feel Michael's eyes on my face and I just know he is preparing himself to wake up one morning to the sound of our second floor crashing down because I got a wild hair and removed that wall. He's right to be nervous.

These shows are a great example of glossing over the sweaty bits and focusing only on the pretty ones. Those home improvement shows take 2 - 4 months worth of construction and give it to me in 46 dazzling minutes. Of course I've seen Chip sweat and Ben frown over a cracked foundation, but wha-lah, in just 4 minutes and a commercial break all is resolved! From my couch I'm convinced that I can demo what is likely the main support wall in my home. Luckily for Michael I'm on the last season so the episodes will run out before I get up the gumption to buy tools. You don't even want to know how I convinced myself that I could make bread from scratch last year after watching every season of the Great British Baking Show.

So why am I focused on all these lovely examples of perfection? Because, all those images of effortless perfection sometimes cause us to loose sight of the beauty that lies in the imperfect. You can have wonderful gifts in one area and be completely lacking in another. You can live in a house that has a wall dividing your living room and kitchen and still completely love the home that you've created for the imperfect family that you adore.

So, I'm going to share some imperfections that help make up the facets that are me:

  • I completely sucked at teaching my kids how to drive. I freaked out and freaked them out too. Repeatedly.

  • People often view me as non-emotional because it isn't easy to hurt my feelings. But I cry openly while watching a sad scene in a movie or reading a book.

  • I have no idea how a fax machine works and thinking about it makes my head hurt.

  • I am incredibly appreciative of people's differences and like to surround myself with diverse ideas and opinions, however, I will become insta-hot angry when faced with what I view as "willful ignorance".

  • I have no patience with learning to use new technology. None. At. All. I would still be using my Blackberry if it was up to me and that phone was straight-up crap.

  • I'm grateful that I was born with stick straight hair because I don't know how to "do it". Believe me, I've tried.

  • I aspire to be a good listener. Listening is an art that I've practiced for my whole adult life and am still truly terrible a lot of the time.

I'm not ignoring these less than ideal facets, but I'm not hiding them either. I'm just going to categorize these facets as what they are, things that make me human and relatable and humble. Join me, this is going to be a liberating, and real, ride. Please, please, please, share a few of your facets -- either here in the comments section or on FB or IG and tag me (@TransitionBeyond).

What I'm Learning

I use certain tools during my coaching with teams as well as when I facilitate workshops. I find that learning more about yourself helps you to be more open-minded to other people. I like communication style assessments, and Strengths-Finders. And in the email I read (referenced above) Josybel shared this link for the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator.

The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI v2.5) is one of the world's most popular Enneagram-based test. It is 144 questions and only costs $12. They say that it takes about 40 minutes (I'm feeling anxious because I took about 20 minutes which makes me feel like I may have skipped something important). When you are finished you will have a PDF of the findings.

What I like about these assessments is that they primarily focus on the attributes of your style, but they also provide some observations about where you might want to focus if you want to grow. I'm all about the growth, you know. If you've done a lot of these then you may not learn anything new, but it also doesn't hurt to be reminded of the facets that make you who you are. I love these tools because they remind me of what I’m less than great at and how I might manage that.

Progress doesn't mean perfection. Success coaching is effective because it allows you to have a time and place to explore the possibilities. I work with my clients to create strategies which support and build upon their strengths. Curious to find out more? Schedule a virtual coffee and let's chat. It's free of charge and also risk-free! We will set aside 45 minutes to explore your goals and you can get a taste of how coaching can support you in going beyond daily life.

If you are enjoying Beyond A Pep Talk and know others who would as well, please share! Also, I'd love to hear what you want to learn more about so that I can create content just for you. Email me at with your thoughts, comments or just to share a chuckle.

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