how to be perfect

5 reasons why imperfect is the new perfect

When you embrace your imperfections, you become comfortable in your skin and stop setting unrealistically high standards of yourself.

In the Oscar-winning film Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams plays the role of a therapist Dr Sean Maguire. He never really got over his wife, who had passed away due to an illness. He cherished every memory of her, but what he missed the most was her little idiosyncrasies, the ones only he knew about. Knowing each other’s flaws kept the spark alive in their relationship, or at least this is what he told Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a troubled young genius, during one of their therapy sessions. He said, “People call these things imperfections, but they’re not, that’s the good stuff.”

While it has been almost two and a half decades since this film hit the screens, these words have still retained their charm with viewers. After all, As Williams’ character, Maguire suggests in the film, imperfections aren’t necessarily bad. They are, as he says, “good stuff.” Think about it. When you stop chasing unhealthy perfectionism, you gain the strength to embrace the parts of yourself that you or others deem less than perfect, you learn to be comfortable in your skin and stop setting unrealistically high standards for yourself.

According to Sharon Martin, a licensed counsellor and psychotherapist, “Embracing your imperfections and mistakes will help you build relationships, feel connected to others, love and accept yourself and grow into the person you want to be.” If you are someone who is wondering whether or not you should accept your imperfections, here are some of the reasons that explain why is it good for you.

Reduces your insecurity

Insecurity or a lack of belief in oneself stems from a feeling that you are not good enough. You tend to focus more on your flaws, which keeps you from reaching your true potential and achieving success in life. If you are not careful, this unhealthy tendency can lower your self-esteem. By learning to accept your imperfections or flaws, you can find peace within yourself and spend more time focussing on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. This also develops your self-belief, which will make you more certain and confident about yourself. For example, when you are not trying to hide your faults, you won’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. This way, you will grow as a person and be able to overcome your insecurities.

Things feel more attainable

When you are in pursuit of unhealthy perfection, you may set unrealistic or unattainable standards or goals. This can hurt your self-confidence and increase your frustration as you fail short of your goals quite often. Each time you are unable to attain the benchmark you set for yourself, you will feel worse about yourself. Over time, it can lead to burnout as you are constantly disappointed and blaming yourself for not being good enough. But when you embrace your imperfections, you will get a better idea of your capabilities, which will help you set realistic targets. Jay Shetty, a former monk and author of the book Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day once said, “Expectations are not based on reality. They are observations, expected realities, or beliefs of what you think will happen. Expectations of others stop us from acting as our highest selves and reaching our full potential.”

You make room for growth

When you chase ideals of unhealthy perfectionism, your fear of making errors may confine you to your comfort zone. This attitude may hold you back from pursuing the things you are passionate about as there are chances that you will make mistakes or fail. This leaves no space for risks or new challenges, which are essential for your growth. On the other hand, when you accept your flaws, you are not afraid to go after what you really want. Yes, you might fall short or even fail a few times in your quest, but these moments will teach valuable lessons, which will allow you to grow, improve and move confidently in the direction of achieving your goals.

You connect well with others

When you accept yourself for who you truly are, you acknowledge all parts of yourself—both good and bad. By openly embracing your faults, you are letting others know that you are not afraid of being vulnerable. This quality may help you foster enriching connections with others, as they will feel comfortable with the fact that you will not judge or make fun of their imperfections. You also become more confident while interacting with others as you have accepted your own imperfections.

You learn to love yourself

An important part of self-love is learning to accept your flaws and imperfections. Instead of berating yourself constantly, you can develop a sense of compassion towards yourself. This process may not happen overnight, but you can always start with small steps. Assess the aspects of your life, your habits, behaviours or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable about yourself. For example, do you feel that you are not good enough because you couldn’t achieve all the targets that you set out to accomplish on a given day? During such a situation, remind yourself that you always have another chance to attain your targets. Moreover, you should examine whether or not you set realistic targets for yourself. When you remove feelings of self-doubt, you make steady progress on the path to achieving success.


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