We all know we’re a little crazy, right?


We all know that no one’s perfect and that we all make mistakes and that we all suffer. We know all these things, and yet we still want to present ourselves if we have it all together, all the time.

And this is not good for our health or anything else, for that matter.


The weight of holding up our masks of eternal awesome-ness is too much. Not only is it exhausting and stressful, it also isolates us from other people. So, we’re basically making ourselves miserable and sick by wanting to be seen as put together and eternally awesome.

In short, our pretending serves no one and actually gets in the way of us being the people we know we can be.

It’s time to stop this pretending.

Problem is this is easier said than done.

True Story

Just yesterday I was in a yoga class, with everyone’s eyes closed (including mine) and yet still feeling competitive in my yoga. I caught myself in the act of over-achieving and comparison in a moment where literally no one would see me or care about my inverted-whatever pose.

So, I was being hard on myself for being competitive and aggressive in yoga, and then started being hard on myself for being so hard on myself. All of this was exhausting, as I had my eyes closed, already doing hard things in a room of people with their eyes closed doing hard things and fighting their own battles in their minds and on their mats.

And it got me thinking.

What would happen if I simply named the ways I am not awesome and embraced them as OK as they are?


So that’s what I did. And am still doing.


I ultimately enjoyed this practice quite a bit, actually. It was helpful for me to simply calm down and practice being my awkward self. So, I thought I’d share in hopes that it might help others, as well.

The List of Ways that I’m Just OK, Actually Not Good, or Even Bad…and Still OK

What would happen if we acknowledged all the things that we’re not so great at, don’t know, or are just plain bad at?

We may identify some things we may be able to change, but there are probably way more things we won’t be able to change much. Would that be OK? For many things, they are just that way, like my crazy toes. And what if these things are just OK? Nothing to be celebrated maybe, but nothing to be ashamed about.

For example:

I snore and have teeth that love to grow cavities (yes, I floss daily, I don’t need the suggestion, but thank you). These are things I don’t have a ton of control over, and yet are true and have also been a source of shame for me.


The thing I have the most control over is my shame.


What if these things can simply be true and I can still be OK. Other people may never have even snorted while laughing in their lives and have flawless teeth. Good for them! That’s not me, and that’s actually OK.


The truth is these non-snorting people will have other things that are awkward and hidden. And they are still OK. That’s just being human.


So, what happens if we make these lists, acknowledge them, and shower them with compassion?

What happens when we embrace our awkward bits?

Can we practice letting ourselves be as we are?

Can we start putting the masks down?

And in the process, begin to reclaim our energy and connections, which were being distorted by all the pretending?


Before we make our lists, it’s best to clarify what the compassionate response is to ourselves. We don’t want to make lists of all our awkward ways and feel devastated by the end. That is not the point. The point is to begin to see all the ways we make ourselves wrong may for just being the way we are, when our best response is a little compassion, support, humility, or a sense of humor. Like my toes. They are just kinda funny.

Dr. Kristen Neff is an expert in self-compassion, how it’s done, and all it’s many benefits. (Such a great resource!)

The steps are, according to Dr. Neff’s research:

  • Self-Kindness
  • Common Humanity
  • Mindfulness



“Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. “

Dr Kristin Neff

What is the most kind way to look at this? How can we approach our own suffering with kindness?


Common Humanity

 “Frustration at not having things exactly as we want is often accompanied by an irrational but pervasive sense of isolation – as if “I” were the only person suffering or making mistakes.  All humans suffer, however. The very definition of being “human” means that one is mortal, vulnerable and imperfect.  Therefore, self-compassion involves recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience – something that we all go through rather than being something that happens to “me” alone.”

Dr Kristin Neff

The fact that you are imperfect connects you to every single person alive. Imagine a world where you are literally perfect for a moment. You wouldn’t have one peer on the planet. It is our inadequacies that open us to others. So, when we acknowledge our imperfection with kindness, we can next acknowledge that all people struggle and we are connected in this way. It’s not just you. It’s all of us.

Mindfulness – Letting go of reactivity

 “Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time.  At the same time, mindfulness requires that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negative reactivity.”

Dr Kristin Neff

This last step can be a doozy.

However, we can practice not making things wrong, though. We can have weird toes and accept that they are simply weird. Nothing horrible is happening in the world because my toes are weird…and I snore. These are just things, and I can become aware of how I’m feeling about it without getting swept away by the feelings. So, we can watch our feelings, and be gentle and kind with ourselves for feeling them.

Amazingly powerful steps for self-compassion. All of Dr. Neff’s work is so valuable and worthy of exploration.

The List!

Ready for the list?

Remember, be gentle in your honesty, and loving in your embrace of your own realities. Let yourself be as you are and free yourself from the weight of perfection and control. You are pretty rad, often because of the differences you bring to the world.


The List of Ways that I’m Just OK, Actually Not Good, or Even Bad…and Still OK

Here are some things I don’t know:


Here are somethings I’m not good at:


Here are some ways I have a tendency of hurting other people:


Here are some ways I tend to hurt myself:


Here are some ways that I am totally awkward and embarrassing:


Here are some things that I’ve been told that I need to change:


Here are some things that I struggle with wanting to change that are not likely to change:


Here are some of the ways I pretend to be cooler/better/smarter than I am:


Happy list making! Remember, your perfection does not make you lovable. Showing up in the world as you are does. Some of these things may be the most adorable, memorable things about you. Let us see them!