Enjoying Imperfection: Why Being Imperfect Makes Perfect Sense
The title doesn’t make any sense. Who wants to be imperfect? Well, who wants to spend their entire life being unhappy? The answer would be no one. But, that is what you are likely to do if you are always in search of perfection. Here, imperfection is not the opposite of perfection like good is the opposite of bad. Imperfection here, is rather a “freedom from perfection”. That is what we all ultimately want – to be free from the chains of unrelenting perfection. Instead, learn to fly on the wings that you have been given, not the ones that you believe everyone wants you to have. It’s time to let go and just “be”.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Self-help books always talk about letting go but they never quite get to the instruction part. We all want to rise above the morass that is grasping day after day for an unattainable perfection in every area of our lives. Obviously some people have reached that point or they wouldn’t be writing books about it, right? Why can’t the rest of us join, too? All we need is a bit of enlightenment. So, here goes.
In this report you will learn what imperfection and perfection mean. Find out how to embrace your inner “imperfection” and be quite comfortable with it. Cultivate the skills you need to make the most of yourself throughout your life as well as giving others the permission to do so as well.
Who are you?
How many of us have asked that question in the mirror? Throughout your life you may ask that question many times. What kinds of answers do you get? Could it be that you have not grasped the importance of who you truly are so you keep asking? Most people think that they keep asking because they are not perfect yet. Here’s a news flash: No one is perfect. As long as you are in this human skin, mistakes will always be made.
We are created on the “trial and error” principle. We find things out by learning. The learning process involves trying, failing, trying again and finding a solution so we can move on. New neural pathways are created by experiences, good and bad, positive and negative. Accepting, that point, will begin the journey to true self-acceptance.
Many people look to others to tell them who they are. This is a mistake. Other people can summarize their experiences with you, but that is not all to your story. Yes, every human being has a unique story. Even if you share some experiences with others, your perspective on them is never exactly like someone else’s.
In this life, we are burdened down with preconceived notions. Our parents may have believed them so we simply adopt them for ourselves. What was the American Dream that everyone came to the shores of America to obtain? It might have been the white picket fence, a spouse and 2.5 kids (that last kid has a hard way to go). In reality, that dream doesn’t fit every life.
The “dream” is supposed to be subjective. It’s whatever you feel fits your best self, not a pre-formed mold that pops out perfectly happy people.
People have undoubtedly died without realizing that they were playing a role. Who they were meant to be was lost in who they were supposed to be or who they needed to be to “fit in”. It’s sad and also unfair. We owe it to ourselves to love and be loved for who we are. When you can love and accept then you can truly “belong”.
LIVING A WHOLE-HEARTED LIFE
Whole-hearted means with your “whole heart”. How many of us have ever done anything with our whole being involved? We’re not talking about pushing through when you were tired. From the beginning, you pursued a passion for something with all that you truly were at the time. You hoped, you believed and you trusted.
That is really what we all want – to be satisfied with ourselves. It is not about material things, although the world would have you think so. If that were the case why do people who seem to have “arrived” succumb to drugs, alcohol, suicide or some other downward spiraling situation? They didn’t have to worry about money, so what made them so unhappy? Many think the answer is material because this is what they lack. They blame others for being weak over it but the reason is deeper than that. They didn’t feel validated or valued.
When you look outside of yourself for validation, you may find it. More likely, you will find a rollercoaster where sometimes you are in favor with others and sometimes you are at their mercy. That’s no way to live your entire life.
If you desire to live a full and whole-hearted life, it’s about your imperfections and embracing them. Get started by studying on and cultivating “courage,” “compassion,” and “connection” in your life.
When people think of courage, they talk about soldiers, first responders and those who work in dangerous professions. These people do have courage and bravery. They exhibit “heroism”. It is the state of putting your life on the line for someone else. For many, it is the mandate of their job to be heroic. It takes a special person to volunteer for this type of courageous service.
The courage spoken of here is the ordinary kind that most people don’t take the time to sow into their lives anymore. It is the courage to stand up for someone else, to show your vulnerability where it might be ridiculed or to sympathize with someone else. This exemplifies the everyday courage that can impact the lives of every human being you come in contact with. That’s power, isn’t it?
Courage to be who you are allows others to do the same. What gets in the way of courage? Often it is shame or embarrassment or guilt. You want to raise your hand and ask for clarification in class but don’t because everyone else seems to “get it”. There are those preconceived notions again. You think “everyone knows what’s going on except me.” When you show courage and fight for yourself and raising your hand, others will follow suit. By the end of class, everyone is on the same page.
This is a tough one. How many of us jump on the bandwagon of blaming another because everyone else is doing it? No one wants to be singled out as different. If society had its way, we’d all look, act and think the same. It’s like “Big Brother” is here. With the absence of compassion, we lose a part of our humanity.
What is compassion anyway? It is acknowledging the light and dark places in our lives (mostly the dark places, we don’t mind if people stare into the light.) Then we are free to be there for someone else when they need a listening ear. Instead of holding a mistake over someone else, we can let them into our vulnerable places by sharing an experience that could help them. It gives way to understanding. We are taken into the breach with someone else without judgment, only to share their experience for their sake.
Compassion also works when coupled with boundaries. Holding people accountable for their actions shows a desire to help them to achieve their best. It helps you to separate what they do or don’t do from who they are. The opposite is often the case when we “shame and blame”.
Have you ever ridiculed someone for something they did? It could be a friend, a spouse or even your child. In sports, shaming is supposed to toughen up players by making them take criticism to whip them into shape. You might as well put their hands and head in the stocks and throw rotten tomatoes at them. The results would be the same. Ridicule demoralizes the person at the deepest levels. It attacks who they are – their identity.
Instead of helping it hurts them. You don’t look too good either. Your conduct is brought into question for haranguing someone in this way. When you set boundaries, people know you are serious. Kids that can’t watch television if they don’t clean their rooms are more likely to do so.
Their motivation is something they want or praise or reward. Boundaries also show confidence in another person. You don’t want to dish out consequences so you do all you can to assist them in completing the task.
Social media is no excuse for true connection. It is communicating with others but not really getting to “know” them. That takes effort, courage and compassion. From miles away, you can say you would help another but what would you do when actually faced with a situation? Want to develop great relationships with coworkers, family, spouses and friends? Practice getting and staying connected.
When we take the time to invest in another life, our own lives are enhanced. What does it take to invest? It could be asking someone about their family. Show interest and actively listen when another speaks. See yourself in their situation. Suspend judgment as you listen.
Connection also means offering help. Did you know that there is a stigma placed on getting help? Just look at the number of mentally ill people on the streets. Families are reluctant to admit they have mental issues for fear of how others will treat them. In the same way, people who offer help can feel in some way superior to those that ask for it. This prevents them from getting the help they need when the time comes.
To live freely, we have to be able to embrace all areas of who we are. When you can accept it, then asking for help seems logical and necessary to live wholeheartedly and with purpose. And, you give all of yourself to help others without thinking any less of them for needing a hand.
TIPS FOR LIVING YOUR BEST IMPERFECT LIFE
Now that you know what you need to begin living a more fulfilling life (courage, compassion and connection), here are some tips to put those traits into practice. The only way to get them is to experience them.
Let go – This is not the same as giving up. What you need to let go of is the expectations of others for your life. Set goals for your life and challenge yourself. But, do so with goals that satisfy how you see yourself living. Don’t use someone else’s measuring stick to chart your path.
Love everyone, beginning with yourself – This is the biggest tip. Shaming and blaming, jumping on the bandwagon, trying to fit in and other actions stem from not wanting attention paid to our flaws and shortcomings. Some people will compromise their values and beliefs to fit in and not be ridiculed by others.
What is the cost to your life? Is it worth trading in for the opinions of other human beings just like you? Invest in yourself by taking the time to accept who you are in love. Then and only then can you find places and people to whom you “belong” as an authentic “you” and not a cardboard cutout.
Forget perfection – It is a pipe dream. Each person has their own vision of what’s important to their life. Your vision is the one to hold onto. Find ways to live your life around it. Share it with others. Be vulnerable with it. Find out how to be the best person that you can become in the time you have on this planet.
Transform yourself – Everyone evolves over time. The person you were yesterday is not the person you will be ten years from now and that is how it should be. What it shouldn’t be is you chasing an unrealistic expectation based on society or friends who would rather you reflect them instead of who you are. If you desire changes in your attitude, your body, your career or your family life, do so from a position of acceptance and love of the current state of things and not to impress someone else.
Trust yourself – Who knows you better than you? Take a step in a direction. If it doesn’t work, then change course. Have faith in the process that is your life. Take the time to get to know your likes, dislikes, dreams, hopes, pet peeves and the rest. All of your other relationships stem from the one you have with you. It is hard to truly give to another person if you don’t first have these things within yourself.
We have a fascination with perfection. Instead of finding nirvana, most people find disappointment, anxiety, judgment and a face in the mirror that is not truly their own. Who you are is more important to life (yours and that of others) than trying to fit a certain shape or mold. The world is waiting for you and your unique gifts, talents and presence. It would be deprived of a shining light if you sell yourself short by conforming to the wishes of the world instead of the God-given potential that is waiting inside of you to burst forth.
Living imperfectly is not a flaw but a privilege. When you take the courage to be free and present yourself as you are, unconsciously, you give others the permission to be themselves as well. And that’s a win-win for everyone.
5 Ways To Find Freedom In Imperfection
Imperfection is not the opposite of perfection, as if it is a state not to be desired. Instead, imperfection is the state of acceptance of self through love. Without seeing who you truly are, you won’t know what to change and what to keep. Perfectionism just throws everything out the window. Here are five ways to truly be free by letting yourself live as you are.
“I am Me”
“Accept me as I am” is a battle cry. It doesn’t mean that you won’t change detrimental habits because you are embracing who you are. It also doesn’t mean that you are promoting laziness or lack of ambition. What it does mean is that you have taken a look inside of yourself and seen who the person inside truly is. There are things that you like about yourself and also things that you don’t, but it all works together to become the person that you are today.
True change in your life is an act of love. You can lose weight when you love who you are right now at your current weight. It means that your life, self-esteem and happiness are not tied to a number. Anything done out of self-hate doesn’t usually last because you are always criticizing your efforts. Nothing is ever good enough because you start off not liking anything about yourself from the beginning. You’d leave your own body if you could.
There is nothing healthy about that. Imperfection says that the only way through is with love on board. Accepting and embracing you by celebrating why you are unique. It is getting reacquainted with yourself through a few steps that show the value that was there all along.
5 Ways to Imperfect Freedom
Take some serious time for introspection – Don’t be afraid to look at yourself honestly. Write down what is positive and what is negative in your eyes. Find ways to change the wording of those negatives so they are now positives that you can embrace. If you think that your ankles are big, find shoes to wear that minimize their appearance as such.
Discover what you like to do and don’t like to do – Don’t be afraid to say “no” to events or activities that don’t foster your interests just because it’s a “cool” or “acceptable” thing to do.
Try something new – Try bold colors for clothing or change your hairstyle. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with new looks to accentuate your positives and give yourself a confidence boost.
Laugh more – Laughter promotes feel-good endorphin release. Take time out to have fun and take a rest. It is restorative and also promotes health.
Explore your creative side –Are you a “right-brained” person? Find out if you have any creative tendencies. Stimulate that side of your brain to bring out attributes you didn’t know you had.
Allow yourself to be human, flawed and free by embracing your imperfect life.
6 Ways To Keep The Critic Inside You At Bay
Have you heard the adage, “Everyone is a critic?” It’s true. And, the biggest critic of all is staring right back at you through the mirror. No one has to come down hard on you because you are already putting yourself into a vicious head lock as it is. Keep reading to find out six ways that you can send that cynical noisemaker packing.
They say that you can talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer back. If you don’t answer back, however, the potentially negative thoughts will continue unchallenged. This is more detrimental than being thought of as crazy. We often follow the patterns created in our minds by our thoughts. Allowing negative self-talk to dominate your mind can lead to low self-esteem, bad habits, depression and other unhealthy results.
6 Ways to Get over on Yourself
Don’t let the pressure get to you. Be proactive. Attack those thoughts as soon as they start to speak. Get creative.
Box up your negativity – This can be literal or figurative. In the grand scheme of our life, each problem holds a small place overall. Seeing it as small minimizes its power over you. Try this. Create a small box or purchase one. Whenever you are plagued by a negative thought about yourself for the way you handled a problem or because you made a mistake, write it down on a piece of paper. Put it away in that small box. See your issue diminishing in size. Those thoughts do not define who you are.
Replace negativity with positive self-talk – When a negative thought is removed something needs to fill its place in your mind. Exchange a negative (“I am worthless because I am not married.”) for a positive thought (“I am a unique and worthwhile person that any man would be lucky to have for a wife.”). If the negative thoughts can keep you down, then surely the positive ones can lift you up.
Talk to a trusted friend – Explain the situation that made you feel so bad. Allow your friend to console you, counsel you and challenge that negative thought pattern that is condemning you.
Get realistic – Was the situation as bad as you imagined it was? Maybe you are embellishing the story because of the negatives swirling in your mind? Take a realistic look at you and put things into perspective.
Accept your imperfections – Don’t “agree to disagree” with certain attributes but embrace them as old friends. They are a part of you – the good, the bad, the ugly and the peculiar. Love who you are and then move on to making changes in your life.
Count your positives – It’s similar to counting your blessings. What is good about you? What have you done that is positive? Before you know it, you don’t feel bad anymore.
Don’t let that voice in your head overshadow your actual voice. Speak the truth and change your circumstances.
Are You “That” Friend? Learn To Accept Imperfection In Others
Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on from time to time. When things go wrong, who will listen to you? Often it’s not who will listen but who is worthy of the privilege to witness your vulnerability. No one is perfect, but not everyone can handle seeing imperfection in others. Could you possibly be the type of friend who has a problem with that?
Are you willing to listen?
There are all types of people in the world and you may know many of them. When it comes to sharing your imperfection with others, it is wise to show discernment. Sharing with the wrong person can be detrimental for you as well as them. It is hard to be vulnerable. Choosing unwisely can make you shy about sharing again. It can also lead to a broken relationship.
The truth is that everyone is not ready to handle all situations. A person who has not yet embraced their imperfect side won’t rise to the occasion to celebrate yours. We have all been that friend who has been less than tolerant. Recognize when you are acting in this way. Let your friend know that maybe you aren’t the one to confide in at this time. Then, grow beyond where you are and learn to be more tolerant.
6 Types of Friends that could be you
Don’t fret. You can change.
Gasping friend – They feel that you aren’t sorry enough for your faux pas. It is their duty to act mortified on your behalf. If this is you, then all sympathy for your friend, the sharer, has gone out the window because of your shock.
Sympathetic friend – In reality you are feeling sorry for the sharer. You pat them on the back and shake your head. In reality you are saying that you are glad that you aren’t in that position. It is quite a patronizing position that the vulnerable sharer doesn’t need right now.
Worshipping friend – This is the friend who thought that you could do no wrong. The sun and the moon rise and fall on you. When you profess vulnerability by sharing a mistake, they can feel nothing but let down. The sharer feels bad that they burdened you.
Uncomfortable friend – This friend doesn’t like to admit that they could be vulnerable too. In an effort not to face their own faults, they don’t know how to deal with listening to yours. They need someone to blame. If this is you, the blame will likely be placed on the sharer or someone else so that you feel better.
Rosy friend – You wear those rosy glasses and pretend that the situation was not as bad as the sharer is making it out to be. If this is you, the goal is to make the sharer feel better no matter what.
Competitive friend – You don’t want to listen to your friend. If this is you, their tale of woe is an opportunity for you to show that you can share a better story of vulnerability than they can. You won’t be outdone.
Being imperfect requires friends who are willing to go the extra mile with you. Is that you?
Bask In Your Imperfections And Live Freely
What’s wrong with being yourself? Nothing is wrong with it as long as you conform to what everyone else wants from you. This is not being yourself but a hollow version of someone else’s vision of you. Break free and learn to accept yourself as you are.
Acceptance is not Surrender
Have you read “Moby Dick”? Captain Ahab was so unhappy with himself that he pursued the white whale to kill it in hopes of killing everything that he hated about himself. That might be too deep of an interpretation but it leads to a valid point. When we accept who we are, it is believed that we are settling for less than we should. We have given up. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
When you stop running and pursuing unattainable goals, you are forced to look at yourself. As long as you are in motion you can pretend that you are someone you are not. All of your energy is spent making people in your life believe a lie. It is thoroughly exhausting and leads to more dissatisfaction with you because you feel like a failure.
New life begins when you stop pursing and begin looking within for what you seek. Discover why you have been created. What does it mean to be “you”? Only time spent in reflection can answer that question.
4 Tips for accepting yourself as you are
You can’t become someone else. They are already living that life. Choose the road that leads to who you were meant to be.
Being human is not easy – We are creatures who have made mistakes in the past on the way to discovery and will continue to do so. Mistakes keep us honest in our opinion of ourselves. No one can do it all or is expected to. When you go easy on yourself you can also have compassion for others.
Turn weakness into strength – What others may view as flaws can actually be what makes you so unique. Instead of trying to pretend you are put together when you are anything but, embrace your spontaneity and creative side. Any weakness can be turned into strength when you accept it as a part of you through love.
Choose a course – You may need to make a detour at some point or another but it takes courage to even take the first step of a life journey. You won’t go anywhere if you continue to hide who you are because others may not accept your flaws. The truth is that your celebration of your flaws makes them feel insecure.
Laugh at yourself – The quickest way to diffuse embarrassment is to laugh at your mistake. It takes too much energy to be mad or ashamed. You are not the first to make that faux pas and you won’t be the last. Accept it.
Imperfections make you human and happy. Accept yours and then shine.
The Downside Of Perfection – The Opposite Of Loving Yourself
At the end of the work day, most people are exhausted and want to rest. Rest is good and restorative. When you are on a quest for perfection, there is no such thing as rest. One is constantly in pursuit of an ideal, a quality, a body image that satisfies them via the satisfaction of others. It’s like being on a hamster wheel. This is the downside of perfection.
What is Perfection?
Perfection could possibly be described as the attainment of a state where you are lacking nothing. It sounds quite ethereal and spiritual. In that sense, it would be something that you would continue to strive for but never attain fully. With spiritual goals, the journey is what brings satisfaction. With perfection, the journey is just another frustration that means “you aren’t worthy yet.” Who wants to live like that?
Several people do, whether they know it or not. For many reasons they are not happy (subjective) or satisfied with their lives. The focus is on everything outside: finances, career, relationships, children, fame and the like. It can lead to the pursuit of more goals but without an increase in satisfaction. Why? These people focus on outside stuff to validate their existence – who they are. As long as outside things can be changed, shift, or in the case of people, offer an opinion, you are standing on sinking sand in regards to perfection.
5 Reasons why Perfection is not a Worthwhile Goal
Isn’t it time you let yourself off the hook? Realistically, you can be the best you can be but perfect is subjective as well and often unattainable in most situations. Even if it is attainable in some areas of life, it is not “maintainable”.
1. Perfection driven by fear – It could be fear of being unloved or fear of rejection if you don’t maintain a certain look or attitude. At some point ask yourself, is it worth it? Does this drive for perfection elevate or diminish you as a person?
2. Perfection is frustrating – Pressure piles up like heat in a pressure cooker. You are going to blow if you don’t get some relief. Always pursuing but never achieving or maintaining can lead to strife, depression and a wasted life.
3. Unresolved issues can fuel your drive – Instead of dealing with the fact that your parents divorced and you feel it was your fault, you strive to be perfect so that doesn’t happen to you. One doesn’t absolve the other.
4. Perfection is conditional – Love should not be. For those who feel perfection is important, you are only of use to them when you can exemplify that ideal. Otherwise, they don’t want you.
5. Love doesn’t factor into it – If you love yourself is not relevant. But, it is love that leads to acceptance and real change if you want it. Otherwise you are running from the true issue.
Pursuit of perfectionism brings pain, dissatisfaction and self-loathing. Get rid of it today.