Many of us spend most of our lives in an endless quest for perfection: to be flawless in our jobs, in our mindsets and in our actions. Today, I see that endeavor as hollow, an illusion holding me down, telling me I’m not good enough. So now, I embrace my imperfections and I encourage you to join me.
Why is striving for perfection harmful?
For me, the quest to consistently be my very best gave me an excuse not to fully love myself. I focused more on my short-comings, instead of paying attention to what I was doing well. I berated myself for mistakes I made, instead of realizing that I learned from them. Focusing on this unattainable ideal justified my lower self-esteem. One day, I would be all that I thought I should be. Then I could love and accept myself in all my flawless glory!
Here are the benefits of discarding a perfection-driven life. It:
- Helps you to appreciate each moment for what it is instead of critiquing your performance;
- Allows you to more easily give yourself grace when you make mistakes;
- Rids yourself of the stress that you’re not enough or you need to do more; and
- Encourages you to focus on filling your life with acceptance, love, compassion and joy.
A lot of us don’t want to admit our flaws. But without imperfection, we’d be on the same level as God. To think we could force ourselves into a state to be on an equal footing with The Most Loving is ludicrous. Our mistakes and errors in judgment give us opportunities to grow. By honoring our flaws, we give ourselves grace and open the door to more fully loving ourselves.
Through grace, we can be content with where we are at life.
We knowingly discard the unrealistic expectations that we and others may put upon us. We reduce our stress, more easily honor ourselves, and open the door to healing ourselves both emotionally and physically. Nothing is more freeing than realizing we are where we are supposed to be right now.
When we embrace who we are and live true to ourselves, we become role models to others who struggle with their self-esteem. People resonate with those who carry a peace about who they are. It will cause them to look within themselves and work on their self-love.
How do we overcome this compulsion?
- Be aware when we judge ourselves as falling short.
- Remind ourselves that perfection is a myth.
- When we make mistakes, let’s ask ourselves what we learned from them.
- Allow ourselves to feel The Most Divine’s love for us.
- Accept that blessed love and internalize it within us.
- Realize that right now, we are where we’re supposed to be in life.
Honor ourselves, our accomplishments and, yes, our mistakes.
It’s unproductive to beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make. Instead of being critical of ourselves, let’s focus on learning from those errors, understanding why they happened and then moving forward. This way our mistakes hold meaning and purpose.
When we catch ourselves feeling we are not enough, let’s take time to honor all we have accomplished. For instance, those of us who suffer from chronic disease can celebrate our bodies for working extra hard to allow us some aspect of normalcy. Or, how we’ve made progress on trusting others despite suffering horrible betrayal. Or, how we’ve learned to better manage finances after facing crippling debt. Celebrate what’s great about each of us and what we’ve done well.
Let’s adjust our expectations.
Instead of pushing ourselves to be flawless, let’s focus on:
- We are making an effort to be better;
- We learn from our mistakes and perceived short-comings;
- We cannot be all to everyone; and
- We’ve all been through a hell of a lot in life and we should celebrate that we are still here.
Celebrate, love and honor yourself. We deserve it. Every one of us are worthy of The Great I Am’s unconditional love.