5 Ways to Embrace Imperfection
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
Imperfection is not the opposite of perfection. For one, both are subjective to the observer. Without seeing and reflecting on who you truly are, you won’t know what to change and what to keep. Here are five ways to truly be free by letting yourself live as you are.
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” -Christopher K. Germer
“I am Me”
“Accept me as I am” is a battle cry. It doesn’t mean that you won’t change detrimental habits because you are embracing who you are. It also doesn’t mean that you are promoting laziness or lack of ambition. What it does mean is that you have taken a look inside yourself and evaluated who you really are. You probably find that there are things that you like about yourself and also things that you don’t, but it has all worked together to help you become who you are today.
True change in your life is an act of love. You can lose weight when you love who you are right now at your current weight. It means that your life, self-esteem, and happiness are not tied to a number. Anything done out of self-hate doesn’t usually last because you are always criticizing your efforts. Nothing is ever good enough because you start off not liking anything about yourself from the beginning. There is nothing healthy about that.
A healthy attitude towards imperfection says that the only way through is with love on board. Accept and embrace yourself by celebrating the qualities that make you unique. Try getting reacquainted with yourself through a few steps that will remind you of value that was there all along.
5 Ways to Embrace Imperfection
1. Take some serious time for introspection – Don’t be afraid to look at yourself honestly. Write down what is positive and what is negative in your eyes. Once you have your list, find ways to change the wording of those negatives so you can gain clarity on what you DO want. For example, “I am always late” can change to “I am always 15 minutes early.” “I don’t love my ankles” can change to “I wear outfits that are flattering and make me feel confident.” Great! Now create a plan to get there.
What is the key to success? You have to want to change otherwise it won’t work.
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” -Joseph Campbell
2. Discover what you like to do and don’t like to do – This is helpful in your personal and professional life. Look for jobs where you will be using your skills, interests, and talents. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to events or activities that aren’t a good fit for you.
“Never be afraid to try something new because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.”-Unknown
3. Try something new – Try choosing bold colors instead of neutrals for your clothing or change your hairstyle. Take a different route to work. Go to a different grocery store. Try a new restaurant. Explore a different part of town. Get a Groupon and try an activity you’ve never tried. You never know what you might learn.
4. Laugh more – Laughter promotes feel-good endorphin release. Take time out to not only have fun but also to rest. Both are equally restorative and promote good health. Make a habit of surrounding yourself with positive people.
5. Explore your creative side –Are you a “right-brained” person? We all have creative tendencies. Find out how to stimulate that side of your brain to bring out skills you didn’t even know you had. This will have a ripple effect that will spill into other parts of your life. You may find yourself looking and solving problems differently. Engaging in creative activities can provide great stress release because it is using a different part of your brain.
Allow yourself to be human, flawed and free by embracing your imperfect life. You will find new pathways that will add to the richness of your life.