Accept Your Imperfections and Live Freely
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
What’s wrong with being yourself? Well, it’s easy as long as you conform to what everyone else wants from you. But wait, this is not actually being yourself but, rather, a hollow version of someone else’s vision of you. Break free and learn to accept yourself as you are.
“Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and be who you are.” -Brene Brown
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 of the story but it leads to a valid point. When we accept who we are, some believe that we are settling for less than we should, that we have given up. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
If you continue to set goals that you do not reach, you are forced to look at yourself and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. As long as you stay busy, productive or not, you can pretend that you are someone you are not. You may be attempting to live up to others’ expectations. It is thoroughly exhausting and leads to more personal dissatisfaction because you feel like a failure.
A new life begins when you stop pursing external validation and begin looking within for self-validation. Discover how you are wired. Put yourself in new situations to see how you react. These are all great ways to learn about yourself. If you have the chance, travel. You will really learn about yourself when you see how others live and you have to adapt to new situations where the social rules are different. You may enjoy this article:
“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” -Louise L. Hay
Spending time in self-reflection can help you answer questions about who you are and how you are wired. Try journaling. Ask yourself a question in your journal and then write your answer. Keep going until you feel that you’ve asked and answered as many questions as you can for the time being. If you have never been to a counselor, you may find it an enlightening experience because he/she will ask you questions you have probably never asked yourself and follow the thread with you. It can be extremely helpful and enlightening to have someone who is specifically trained to ask eye opening questions and whose goal is your happiness. You may also find this article helpful: Journaling to Grow and Thrive
4 tips for accepting yourself as you are
“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” -Maya Angelou
1. You can’t become someone else. They are already living that life. Choose the road that leads to who you were meant to be. How do you figure out the right path? Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, says, “To find your own way is to follow your bliss. This involves analysis, watching yourself and seeing where the real deep bliss is-not the quick little excitement but the real deep life-filling bliss.”
Being human is not easy – We are creatures who make mistakes on our path to self-discovery and we will continue to do so. Mistakes help us evaluate ourselves. When you speak to yourself with compassion you will also have compassion for others. You may find this article helpful: 7 Ways to Tame Your Inner Critic
2.Turn weakness into strength – What others may view as flaws can actually be what makes you unique. Almost any weakness can be turned into strength when you accept. You may find this article helpful: 5 Ways to Embrace Imperfection
3.Choose a course – You may need to make a detour at some point or another and it takes courage especially that first step. You may find these articles helpful: 7 Obstacles to Your Goals and How to Navigate Them and Achieve Greater Success with a Daily Motivating Regimen
4.Laugh at yourself – The quickest way to diffuse embarrassment is to laugh at your mistakes. You are not the first to make that faux pas and you won’t be the last. Accept it. Embrace it. Move on. You may find this article helpful: 6 Life Hacks for Optimal Emotional Health
Imperfections make you human. Accept yours and shine.