If Superman were perfect you’d think he was a prick. The thing that makes him human is Kryptonite, it gives him a weakness, a vulnerability. All superheroes have a weakness because it makes them more likeable and attractive to us as audiences and fans. Yet we all hate to share and admit to our weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
We all talk the talk especially more recently when it’s come to mental health awareness and the #itsoktonotbeok but do we really walk the walk? I mean we talk about acknowledging our weaknesses and admitting when things are hard, yet we all try and paint a picture perfect image. Especially in the era of social media (yes I too am guilty of this) we show our best bits, filling our insta stories and newsfeeds of all the highlights forgetting the meltdown 3 year old little lady P had had 5 minutes prior to the Kodak moment. We carefully edit to ensure we look and are perceived as our best selves, seeing our weaknesses as just that, weaknesses.
Yet actually, being open about your vulnerabilities in a safe and appropriate/healthy way (I mean who wants to air their dirty laundry in public really) is actually very humbling and human. It’s real. Because let’s face it, we all have our issues and idiosyncrasies, we all have our weaknesses and “bad points” it’s what makes us, well us. But it’s also about context.
Seriously, it is. I mean, I’m an over thinker and a worrier (newsflash) and that’s perceived as a bad thing. However, it’s also a good thing, because my overthinking also helps me rationalise and reach a conclusion to my worrying. It’s also helped me in many situations. If it weren’t for my overthinking and worrying, I wouldn’t be the mother I am today, I wouldn’t be as strong and independent as I am. My overthinking and worrying has caused me endless amounts of sleepless nights but it’s also help me figure out big problems that have enabled me to progress in my career and personal life. It’s enabled my independence. I have a bit of a better example though, Simon Sinek talks about how his weakness of disorganisation helped his business thrive, when he lost business cards and contacts then found them weeks later, the clients were more keen to work with him because they thought he’d been too busy to contact them…it’s all about context, in this one his weakness did him a favour.
That’s what’s important isn’t it? The context. What you perceive to be your weakness or downfall maybe seen by others as a strong point, it maybe useful, endearing and loveable or admirable, it’s all about context and perception. But it’s also our weaknesses and vulnerabilities that makes us human, humble and approachable. I mean let’s face it, perfection can be intimidating and make you feel uncomfortable, we all need people that we can relate to, that inspire us and that we can interact with despite their flaws. In fact, don’t we love the people who’s flaws we can love and embrace as part of them? I mean I know my best friends and closest ones lovingly laugh and joke about my nuances whilst simultaneously helping me manage them when I need to, that’s true friendship.
So why are we all so scared to be vulnerable? Well because we constantly see ourselves as having to be perfect, that our weaknesses should be something we are working on fixing, it starts right from school age, “what did you do well and what can you improve?” “Well done, now how can you make it even better?” Now I’m not saying working on yourself and striving to improve isn’t a good thing, far from it, but also for our own sanity we need to accept our difficulties, we need to own them. We need to stop comparing ourselves to the Instagram perfection of who we want to be to the point where we deem ourselves not good enough.
I know it’s not easy and I know I need to heed my own advice but I do think it’s important. When things are tough, when life hands you some shit cards and you’ve to face up to life’s challenges, embrace it and remind yourself that it’s the tough stuff that tests you and your vulnerabilities that makes you human, real and very very loved.
If superman were perfect, you’d think he was a prick!