5 Big Benefits to Embracing Imperfection
I started dancing as a toddler. I remember a conversation between my mom and another mom asking her how she got me to practice our dance. My dance teacher was encouraging all of us (via our parents) to practice for our dance recital.
My mom sheepishly responded she didn’t have to force me. I willingly danced, every day. I don’t remember my mom ever calling it “practice” either. Now, my mom also has 3 master’s degrees in early childhood development, so she knows a thing or two about motivating a child. But she’s right. I LOVED to dance and I would practice my dances and whatever ones I was crafting in my own head without any prompting or reminding.
I can remember my dance teachers using the cliché practice makes perfect. All the time.
Here’s the thing, that statement is crap. There is no perfect. Perfect is BS.
The pressure to be perfect has never been greater. We’ve got gadgets, apps, and advice on how to live that perfect life. It’s such an illusion. No one can be perfect. It's just not humanly possible.
It’s great to set high standards, goals, to go after challenges, and stretch yourself. But you can’t expect to win or be perfect all the time. The pressure to be perfect in every area of life is so great that it’s no wonder we can’t help but feel overwhelmed.
It’s time to embrace the benefits of imperfection:
1. You’ll be happier
It's exhausting to keep up the facade of perfection. If you’re constantly trying to make it seem like everything is perfect, that means you will never really feel content or happy with what you have because your standards are out of reach.
Embrace the messy, flawed parts of your life and yourself, and you’ll be happier and way less stressed.
2. You won’t fear failure (as much)
When you're not so focused on being perfect, failure becomes an opportunity to learn. Perfectionists take failures personally and are afraid to make mistakes. They see them as a catastrophe defining their sense of self. Learning to accept mistakes allows you to be human and see failure as a learning opportunity.
3. 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 it will make you a much nicer friend, colleague, 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.
4. Your self-esteem will grow
People who accept their flaws and quirks and are less likely to be hard on themselves when they make mistakes. Perfectionists are usually their own harshest critics with fragile and easily crushed self-esteem. Letting go of perfection 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.
5. You will inspire others
Imperfection is the keynote of being human. It's how we learn and progress. 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 the window they broke.
Many of us don't want to make mistakes, and so we strive for perfection. Embracing your imperfections is the key to living a sustainable healthy life. The benefits are many and varied, including that you'll feel happier, fear failure less often, treat others better when they're struggling with their own imperfection (and vice versa), and nurture your self-esteem which will inspire others who need inspiration themselves.
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