Embracing Imperfection — A Key to Conquering Anxiety!
There’s more pressure than ever before to get things right in every part of your life, to be perfect. Gadgets, apps, and advice on how to be your very best all the time surround us. But that’s such an illusion. No one can be perfect; it just isn’t humanly possible.
It’s great to set the bar high, to go after challenges and stretch yourself. But you can’t expect to win at everything all the time. Sit back for a minute and consider the benefits of embracing imperfection.
- You’ll be happier
Perfectionists carry a LOT of emotional baggage from trying to look as though their entire world is 110% wonderful all the time. They’re at a higher risk of depression and anxiety, and hardly ever content with what they have.
Embrace the messy, flawed parts of your life and yourself, and you’ll be happier and way less stressed.
- You won’t fear failure so much
Accepting imperfection means failure shrinks back down to being just another aspect of life. Perfectionists tend to take failure personally. It becomes a catastrophe and something that defines their sense of self. But accepting that to make mistakes is human means you see failure as an opportunity to learn, make the necessary changes, and move on.
- Embracing imperfection makes you a nicer person
If you’re comfortable with imperfection, you won’t be so quick to criticize and judge others. And that will make you a much nicer friend, colleagues, and family member. You’ll be less likely to blow your fuse at trivial things, you’ll cut people more slack, and relationships will be calmer and more rewarding.
- Your self-esteem will grow
People who accept their flaws and quirks and are less likely to be hard on themselves when they make a mistake. Perfectionists are usually their own harshest critics; their self-esteem is fragile and easily crushed. Acknowledgment of your humanity means you’re less likely to feel guilty or ashamed when you make a mistake or don’t reach your goals as soon as you might have liked.
- You will inspire others
Imperfection is the keynote of being a human. It’s how we learn and progress and connects us. That’s okay and gracefully accepting the ebbs and flows of life will make you someone people look up to and admire. Your kids will see that you value them more than that vase they broke. It’s more important to spend time with them instead of asking if they’ve done their chores.
Embrace All Imperfection to Enjoy Life More
If you have any contact with social media, you will have noticed how everyone is striving to be perfect. Suddenly you can’t post a selfie without at least one filter or go out for dinner without showing your curated plate of food. Even your dog has to look perfect.
What if you just decided to take a step away from all the competition, all that clamoring for likes and hearts? What if you chose merely to enjoy your life without sharing it with the world? Here’s how you can reclaim your life and be happier.
- Stop judging
You can decide right now to stop analyzing other people, looking for what’s wrong with their face or their body or their life choices. Refocus your attitude, so you stop seeing a difference as a flaw but as merely something that makes that person unique.
Just let go of the urge to criticize others, and you’ll notice a flow-on effect on how you see yourself.
- Accept your imperfection
Wanting to be the best version of you isn’t the same as being a perfectionist. A perfectionist is never happy with who they are, how they look, or how they’re doing. Being your best means you work hard, you try, and you don’t give up. But it doesn’t mean you blame yourself when things aren’t perfect, and you don’t take failure personally.
- Relax and enjoy the process
Perfectionists tend to trip over every little detail and allow imperfections to spoil their lives. When you embrace imperfection as a natural part of life, it frees you up to enjoy the ride.
Obstacles become challenges that make life more enjoyable. You can slow down and notice all the good things there are in your life.
- Adopt imperfection as a way of life
Once you make peace with imperfection, you can be a lot more objective about life. Your perspectives changes, and what once seemed overwhelmingly important suddenly doesn’t matter so much. All experiences become just another aspect of a life lived richly, that build the person you are continually becoming.
Imperfection stops being something to avoid at all costs. Think about it like this: perfection implies stasis, something you achieve and have to tend. It’s fragile and vulnerable. It puts an end to growth. And then what? You don’t want to stop learning and growing and developing, do you? Embracing imperfection means there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow and become a better person.
Embracing Yours and Others’ Imperfections with More Ease
In this hyper-competitive modern world, it’s all too easy to fall into bad habits of judging yourself and others too harshly. Before you know it, you permanently set your inner monologue to negativity. You feel dissatisfied and grumpy with everyone and everything. And that’s no way to live your best life!
Here are some top strategies to help you learn to accept imperfection in yourself and other people and leave that negative mindset behind.
- Be conscious of your thoughts
If a negative viewpoint has become your default setting, you probably don’t even realize when you’re doing it. Take a minute to tune into your self-talk for a moment. Pay attention to the words you’re using and course-correct for more positive language.
- Switch up to positive
Consciously change your inner monologue to focus on positives. Instead of focusing on differences and seeing them as flaws, choose to see what is good in the other person. If your go-to is to criticize their weight or hair, or the way they speak, reset your view of them by finding something to admire.
- Re-tune to a color view of the world
It’s easy to fall into the habit of seeing things as right or wrong. Sure, someone else’s choice may not be your choice, maybe you don’t like broccoli or would want to work for a multinational or vacation in Antarctica. But it doesn’t mean those other choices are wrong; they’re just different.
Seeing things in black and white is so limiting. Open up a little and re-tune your world view, so you see all the colors as equally valid.
- Stay in the present
Some people keep a world history of wrongs and imperfections stretching way back. They act almost like perfection police, waiting to add to their list of transgressions. Or they worry about future mistakes and how to avoid them. Don’t be that person! You can choose to stay focused on the here and now and enjoy what’s happening in your life.
- Turn it around
If you find yourself slipping back into your past habits of judging other people, turn it around and ask yourself – how would it feel if someone was judging you? Remember that old saying about people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones? That’s good to remember when you feel tempted to dismiss someone’s appearance or actions. Cut people some slack and they are more likely to go easy on you.
You can choose to step out of the competition race at any time. Try it and improve your life! Embrace Imperfection!
Lisa Bonner is THE #1 business mental health coach and creator of the #GetBlissiplined, #BeBlissiplined movement. Lisa has more than 20 years actively teaching executive women and business owners how to worry less, sleep better, and focus on the things they can control. With Lisa’s cognitive behavior therapies, her clients are able to break through their anxiety triggers – for good. Through her casual, no-nonsense approach to mental health coaching, Lisa teaches them how to live & work a life of perpetual positive success. Lisa’s blissipline is found in cheesecake, cookies, her rescue dog, and everyday acts of kindness.