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Flawsome

The Journey to Being Whole Is Learning to Be Holey

By Georgia Murch
10-minute read
Audio available
Flawsome by Georgia Murch

Flawsome (2020) is a guide to becoming the best version of yourself by accepting your not-so-perfect parts. Many of us look for ways to hide our flaws, but the key to really growing into ourselves is embracing these flaws, understanding where they stem from, and learning from them.

  • Employees suffering from imposter syndrome
  • Parents exhausted by the pursuit of perfection
  • Anyone who wants to become better versions of themselves

Georgia Murch is a feedback culture expert with over 20 years of experience. She’s helped organizations across the globe design effective feedback cultures, and speaks regularly on topics such as high-performance teams, culture and leadership, and communication and feedback. She is also the best-selling author of Fixing Feedback and Feedback Flow.

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Flawsome

The Journey to Being Whole Is Learning to Be Holey

By Georgia Murch
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
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Flawsome by Georgia Murch
Synopsis

Flawsome (2020) is a guide to becoming the best version of yourself by accepting your not-so-perfect parts. Many of us look for ways to hide our flaws, but the key to really growing into ourselves is embracing these flaws, understanding where they stem from, and learning from them.

Key idea 1 of 6

Your unique flaws draw people to you.

Can you imagine an object becoming more valuable after it breaks? That might sound strange, but it’s exactly what happens to pottery in the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi. Loosely translated as gold repair, Kintsukuroi is the centuries-old practice of mending broken pottery with gold. It turns otherwise worthless pieces of clay into something uniquely beautiful and worth more than the original object.

No two pieces of Kintsukuroi pottery have the same gold-filled cracks; each has allure and value because of its unique flaws. Human beings, when you think about it, aren’t that different.

The key message here is: Your unique flaws draw people to you.

Most people’s first instinct is to hide their flaws. But why? People may admire those who seem perfect, but they’re not necessarily drawn to them. They are, however, drawn to people who make mistakes and show their human side. 

Back in the 1960s, social psychologist Elliot Aronson coined a term for this human tendency to feel warmly toward people who embarrass themselves. He called it the Pratfall Effect. The idea is that mistakes, such as dropping something or tripping, demonstrate a person’s vulnerability. That increases our feelings of sympathy toward them and makes them more likable in our eyes.

But if flaws increase likability, why do we have such an aversion to our own?

The answer has a lot to do with our sensitivity to both verbal and non-verbal feedback. We’re so attuned to negative feedback that we actually anticipate it; if a stranger glances at us in public, we assume it’s because we’re doing something wrong, like talking too loudly. But the stranger could simply be scanning the room!

Here’s how to stop being afraid of negative feedback: instead of trying to hide your flaws, accept them completely. Once you do, feedback simply becomes information that you can choose to learn from or ignore completely. 

Plus, you should celebrate your flaws. Just like Kintsukuroi pottery, your flaws make you awesome. By owning them, you become flawsome. This means viewing your thoughts, actions, and even failures from a place of understanding, not judgment. With this outlook, you make peace with the parts of yourself that are less than perfect, rather than believing that something is wrong with you. In the following blinks, you’ll learn exactly how this is done.

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