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Accept Your Own Flawed Brilliance

By Claudette Rowley

There is a definition of self-acceptance that I've embraced lately: Flawed brilliance. Think about it. We are each brilliant AND flawed in our own unique ways. Developing a greater understanding of the depth and breadth of your brilliance, while accepting your flaws with grace, will lead not only to a fuller understanding of yourself, but also to a deeper acceptance.

For example, what do you consistently repress within yourself? This is a great place to look for brilliance and flaws. No clue? Try scanning your life for places in which you feel routinely stuck, frustrated or have a consistently negative response to certain situations. Consistent negative responses often work like lids hiding the contents of your pot of brilliance - something yet uncovered about you that makes you great. Lift the lid and see what's inside. In other words, ask yourself, "What's beneath this reaction?"

So many of us use common beliefs and actions to cover up accurate, positive views of ourselves. Consider the following behaviors. Do you:

  • Let other people assign value to you? Don't. You're the only person who can decide what you're worth.

  • Try to control others' perceptions of you, even though you know this is an impossible task? People will perceive you however they're going to perceive you. Attempting to control their perceptions only leads to heartache and misery. Try not to worry about other people's perceptions. Instead, act in a way that's congruent with who you are and your sense of integrity -- and that will shine through brightly.

  • Mostly notice what you do wrong? Stop! Start noticing what you do right. I challenge you to keep a running list of everything you well for the next week. The length of this list may surprise you.

Recognizing the ways we block our brilliance - while identifying opportunities to build self acceptance - is critical. Here are three gateways to acceptance.

  1. Trust yourself and trust what you want. Self-trust is a challenge. Practice trusting yourself, your instincts and your desires.

  2. Name it - then own it. In other words, own your accomplishments and your flaws equally. Typically, we hide behind one or the other. This strategy does not work because it leaves us focusing only on our flaws or touting our accomplishments while refusing to take an honest look at ourselves. We all have tremendous accomplishments and we all have tremendous flaws. Make peace with this fact and you'll change your life dramatically.

  3. Stop over-owning and under-owning. Often in order to feel like we have more control in a situation (the perception of more control lessens our feeling that life is an uncertain proposition at best), we'll take too much ownership in a situation or not enough. We become over-responsible or seek to avoid responsibility altogether.
Through greater self-acceptance, it's easier to transform any situation simply by shifting our thoughts and, in turn, our emotional responses. When we accept ourselves more fully, we judge ourselves less, we value ourselves more and this state allows us to observe our internal and external worlds more objectively. As the observer, you create a buffer of space that gives you the opportunity to be more detached from a situation, its circumstances and outcome. Through the act of detaching, you are able to transform your perception of a situation - which shifts your thoughts and your emotional response.

Whenever I say the words "flawed brilliance," the image of diamonds comes to mind. Some of the most expensive and most sought-after diamonds in the world contain minor flaws. Yet they're still brilliant, valued and sought after. If you honored your brilliance and your flaws - both without judgment - how would you transform your life in this moment? I encourage you to ask yourself this question daily. The outcome will probably surprise you in the very best possible way.

Copyright © 2008 Claudette Rowley
Claudette Rowley, coach and author, helps professionals identify and pursue their true purpose and calling in life. Learn more at Claudette Rowley.com.

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