There’s an adage that people use known as the “serenity prayer.” It can be religious, but it doesn’t have to be. It asks for the courage to change what can be altered, the serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to tell the difference.
In many cases, this is golden principle, or set of principles, can help you live a healthier life. It allows you to prioritze what may be important and what isn’t.
Yet in a world filled with endless talk of self-care (which can be a very good thing), sometimes it can feel as though unless you’re partaking in constant self-optimization, you’re not as good as you could have been.
In many cases, the fear of missing out or not being good enough can be the primary motivator, rather than the genuine desire to change and grow. The truth is that it’s hard to force yourself to think one way and not another, and so sometimes our perspective can be less fruitful than we’d like.
However, in this post, we’ll argue that accepting imperfections can help make you a better person on your journey.
When You’re Imperfect, Real Progress Is Possible
Too often we can use the examples of others to define how we live our lives. Of course, in some cases this is great, being inspired or learning what life mistakes to avoid are essential to consider. That said, if you hyperfocus on this, before long the life story of another might feel more important than your own. With that in mind, you may feel as though emulation or replicating a path is more important than deciding your own way.
It’s important to remember that yes, you are imperfect, and yes, that’s more than acceptable. When you accept your imperfections, you can begin to feel more direct and specific about how you move forward in life. You’ll begin comparing yourself today to the person you were yesterday, not who someone else has been. Over time that can be tremendously valuable, and potentially help you curate a better, healthier future.
When You’re Imperfect, You Forgive Others More Easily
It’s incredibly easy to judge other people. We do it all the time. In many cases, our judgments are far from what the reality is. For example, it may be that when attending a local business meeting and listen to the speaker, you notice that their presentation skills aren’t too polished and perhaps this irks you a little. However, you might not know that this speaker could be dealing with anxiety and this could be their first hosted talk in a while. It took courage and tenacity for them to host the talk, and since everything went well, they felt proud of themselves.
Of course, the “you don’t know anyone’s real story” adage is so commonly repeated that we won’t lecture you with that further, despite how true it is. There is an element of this worth considering, however. It’s that when you realize you, yourself aren’t perfect, you begin to accept the imperfection in others too.
It might be that your boss curses a lot but is entirely dependable. Perhaps your child is a little nervous around others but very studious. Outside of helping those we’re responsible for, sometimes accepting people for how they are and really listening to them not only gives you the space to connect but lets you begin accepting your own flaws too. At the very least, it will help you avoid feeling worried for having flaws and faults.
When You Accept Imperfection, You Ask For Help
One truth of life is that you won’t be good at everything. In fact, there will be many things you’re terrible at. This is usually balanced by having a few natural talents, and the possibility to always become skilled through hard work and consistent effort.
When you accept you have imperfections, you realize that you can always ask for help to work through them. You realize that failing or having a tough time, doesn’t mean you’re a worse person or irredeemable – it just means you’re having a tough time.
This way, you can avoid the toxic sense of pride that prevents you from ever reaching out for help. It may be that visiting a depression rehab center could help you completely change the orientation of your life for the better. Perhaps you’re having a very tough time after giving birth to your first child – is it weakness to ask others for help? Absolutely not. In fact, knowing that you could do with a little support is a sign of strength, it shows you won’t let pride prevent you from being wise.
When You Have Imperfections, You Have Goals To Work Towards
How boring it would be if everyone was perfect all of the time. If no one put a step in the wrong place, if no one had personal qualities they would like to work on, or goals like getting in shape, life would be textureless and often humorless too.
This isn’t to say having some flaws is a virtue, only it’s completely human and allows the texture of life to be felt more directly. After all, if you hope to learn how to apply a trade, you have to learn it from the basic principles onward. This defines you as someone who was a novice, slowly becoming someone with a skillset. In a way, you could see this as resolving an imperfection.
This doesn’t mean that every single one of your imperfections have to be perfected. But aiming to be better in a sustainable manner can help us feel like we’re making progress in life, even if that’s just trying to be kinder and a little less quick to temper. When you have imperfections, you have goals to work towards.
When You Have Imperfections, You Accept That You’re Human
It’s very easy to see the talk of hustle culture, wellness culture, and even relationship advice columns and think that imperfection is something that must be stamped out at all costs. But the truth is that accepting you’re human (though this may seem blindingly obvious) is essential.
Let’s say you’re taking a new job. Accepting your imperfections may mean accepting them in a certain context. For example, you may have children to look after, and so perhaps in the professional world, you’re not a “model employee” who can or wants to work eighty hours a week. Perhaps a good work/life balance is absolutely the key to feeling happy and sustained in your chosen career path.
When you have those imperfections, you’re much more likely to accept your human side instead of apologizing for it. Moreover, you realize that being imperfect in some contexts (like not being the dream of what an entrepreneur can extract from you), is actually ideal and not really an imperfection at all. We all have to make compromises in life of course, and this is certainly one of them.
With this advice, you’re sure to see how imperfections can make you a better person. What matters is knowing where and when imperfections should be worked on, when they can be accepted, and having the wisdom to know the difference between both.
It’s also essential to understand that while you may be imperfect in some ways, in others you may be just fine. For example, doing the best you can in parental life is more than good enough for most children and parents, because aiming to be “the perfect parent” only prevents you from actually engaging with the task in front of you, living it day by day, and not being afraid to make mistakes.
We wish you all the best in your journey through imperfection, and don’t worry, everyone is going through this no matter how idealistic their life seems!
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