This week I’m talking about something that is super personal for me. Because it is something that I struggle with constantly. No matter how healthy you are, no matter how hard you try to eat a balanced diet, no matter how many hours you spend in the gym, you will probably still fail at this one thing.
You will never be perfect.
When I was a kid, I was always the last one picked for sports teams. As an adult, I pushed past my unathletic nature to participate in pilates, biking, running, ice skating, roller blading, aerial hammock and more. As a kid, I carried extra weight. Now I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight for years. As a kid, I never let me voice be heard. Now I have a blog that is read in countries all over the world.
But when I think of myself, when I look in the mirror, sometimes I forget all of this. Sometimes the only thing that I can see when I look at myself is not where I came from, but that I’m still not perfect. And I can start to feel really down about myself when I think of the areas in my life that are still lacking.
So, I’m existing as an imperfect person in an apparently perfect world. And this can lead to mental mayhem. But the best approach to imperfection is acceptance. And how do I manage that?
Presenting: 5 Essential Steps to Survive as an Imperfect Person
Step 1: Admit that you will never be perfect. Your diet won’t make you perfect. A new job won’t make you perfect. 10 hours a week with a personal trainer won’t make you perfect. You’re destined to fail at perfection. But the good news is that you no longer need to try. Think of the free time and energy you’ll have now that you’re no longer chasing perfection.
Step 2: Your achievements are worth more than a perfect person’s. A perfect person wakes up in the morning and is already perfect. I mean, where’s the challenge and growth in that? But since you’re imperfect, your achievements really mean something. When I was a kid, I was always made fun of for being a bad runner. Lately, I’ve been going on 3-mile runs a few times a week. But if I’d been born a perfect runner, that would mean nothing. A perfect runner would probably have to run all day to score any type of achievement. Lucky me that I get to feel totally proud of myself after running only 3 miles.
Step 3: Remember that your imperfection is someone else’ aspiration – Us imperfect people can often take for granted the wins we’ve had in our lives. If something came easy to us, then it probably wasn’t valuable anyway, right? The thing about being a flawed person is that you often decide that other people’s strengths have more value than your own. But realize this. The strengths that are innate to you don’t come easily to someone else. And what you have might be someone else’ definition of perfection. Watch the world through their eyes for a moment.
Step 4: Acknowledge that your vision of the world is really a perception – We think of what we see, hear and perceive as a reality. But it is really a reflection of our own being. In my early years, I studied acting with the late, great acting teacher George Morrison. And he taught exercises using a language called percept language. These exercises allowed you to identify everything you see, hear and perceive as a reflection of your own mind. Realize that when you look in the mirror, you aren’t seeing reality, but a perception that has to do with your own past experiences. Someone else will look at you and see something very different based on their own life experiences. So if you don’t like what you see when you look at yourself, it may have less to do with your body and more to do with your mind.
Step 5: Know the areas where you are doing your best. – If you are doing everything you can, then you’ve hit your own personal level of perfection. It might not look the way you anticipated. But things are often different than we imagine. Nowthis isn’t an excuse to stop growing or give up. So ask yourself honestly if you’re doing everything you can do for a goal. Look yourself in the eye to keep yourself honest. And if the answer is yes, then you’re trying your hardest and you’ve done all you can do. What you see is your own version of perfection.
So go strut yourself into the world with your imperfect self. Because you know what it means when you’re not perfect? It means you’re unique. And honestly, what is more perfect than that?