Courage Beyond the Cracks


Being goal-driven is great. It keeps us going when others might give up. It drives us to accomplish big things and reach lofty goals. If able to do more, have more and be more, we somehow feel in control. If this is the case, why do we end up feeling so out of control?

The problem with perfectionism is that we’re never satisfied. A desire to achieve more, do more and be more is never-ending. It turns into a vicious cycle. It leads to burn out and anything but a happy, fulfilling life.

For years I knew what I was supposed to do. I was passionate about it. I talked about it as if it was a reality. I played the video of one day over and over in my mind. Even so, passion and knowledge didn’t translate into action.

Every time I went to take even the smallest of steps, a nagging thought popped into my mind. Not now, you’re not ready. One day you’ll get your chance to shine.

You see, circumstances needed to be perfect just to start. Life had to be in order. All had to be in place with family, work, health and finances. I needed to be perfect to share my message. In my mind, it was best to wait until all was just right.

Yes, my intentions were good. I wanted to help others. I genuinely wanted to make a difference in the world. A passion to find purpose was strong. Even so, I needed to help myself first.

I finally found the courage to step out. I was going to share my story. I was ready to walk towards my mountain. Goals felt insurmountable. Even so, I made a firm decision to move beyond a mindset of one day.

My journey was anything but straight. I battled feelings of insecurity and doubt along the way. Still, I was determined to find my way.

Although I had taken a step, I was still hiding under a lampshade. There were times when I wanted to take a leap of faith. Every time I tried, perfection reared its ugly head. I wasn’t quite ready to let my light shine.

My journey started with a cup of coffee, a pen and paper. Writing turned into a daily routine. Inspiration came from the simplest of things. Courage built up along the way.

Perfectionism served me very well in this case. Despite obstacles, I was bound and determined to get my message across. I had gone way too far to turn back.

I truly wanted to inspire others, but I lacked inspiration myself. Amazingly, writing gave me eyes to see and ears to hear. Things once missed were visible. Messages once ignored were audible.

Cracks were revealed throughout the process. I was molded and shaped along the way. If I wanted to share a message of truth, I needed to have true substance. Flaws were visible, yet character developed as I was stretched.

Sure, I still struggled with perfectionistic thinking. Even so, I learned to embrace cracks.

I’m passionate about sharing my story. I want to help goal-driven individuals, like myself, push beyond a mindset of perfectionism to reach their full potential.

Yes, I’ve come to realize that perfection is just an illusion. Forced to look at myself in the mirror, in weaknesses I’ve found my greatest strengths. Every time I look, I notice flaws. Despite visible cracks, my reflection is clear. And this is the clearest reflection of all.

Circumstances don’t define you. They shape you. You’re molded to make a difference. Let your light shine bright, even through the cracks.
— Julie Barbera

Julie Barbera, author of the forthcoming book, Cracked Mirror, Clear Reflection

“Treasures Are Right Before Our Eyes, yet Many Miss Gems Searching for Pearls at the Bottom of the Sea.”


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