Awhile ago my husband and I went to go see the unique and iconic singer Sia. She was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed the show.
She never took center stage, instead choosing to stand off to the side. Her face was never visible. She stayed hidden behind her iconic wig. On center stage were her amazing dancers and actors and her full, beautiful voice filled the space around us. It was a full production. Yet she never placed herself at the center of it all.
Sia is this amazing talent who has shared that she doesn’t feel comfortable with all that fame can bring. She has also admitted to struggling with depression and bipolar disorder. As those of you who follow this blog know, I believe that many people suffer from unseen mental health struggles. I get that what I do for a living means that I may have an unbalanced view of what the average person experiences and I don’t want to downplay acute mental illness. Serious mental illness needs serious treatment. Outside of that I think that most of us can relate to feeling that we have aspects about our personality that don’t always feel right.
What I have noticed in my practice is that many people are seeking a cure, or state that they want to “get rid of” the part of themselves that doesn’t feel right. My usual feedback is to steer clear of that as a goal. Why? Mostly because it simply doesn’t work to try to rid ourselves of our rough edges but also because what makes us unique is usually found in our struggles and differences.
Often it is through exploring our rough edges that we find what makes us magical.
That is exactly what Sia has done. In the middle of the remarkable performance I leaned over and whispered to my husband, “She took her weaknesses and turned them into incredible strengths. And she has decided to respond to fame on her own terms”
Some criticize her for it. Some love her for it. It really doesn’t matter.
We can all do this. We can create our lives on our own terms. We can all forget the teachers who told us that unless we have the best handwriting, we won’t be successful (Yes, this happened to me) or that we can’t be a writer unless we can speak in public (also, told to me).
We can forget trying to make ourselves perfect in order to shine in the world. In fact we can even embrace the struggles and sticky spots and make them work for us.
What about you? What have you been told you can’t do? Where have you considered yourself imperfect or damaged goods? In what ways have you thought you needed to rid yourself of your imperfections in order to shine? How can you push through this and embrace your whole self? Where can you start?
I will answer: Start where Sia started. Start with your talent. Just do whatever it is that you do well. When the doubt comes up tell it to get in the back of the room. Keep going. Surround yourself with people who believe that there is beauty in imperfection – and further that if you dive in and embrace your imperfection, you may just find gold.
Nicole C Weiss LCSW
- Phone: 619-318-5012
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org