There’s more pressure than ever before to get things right in every part of your life. The pressure to be perfect is all around us and even more, our kids see it in every part of their life too. With always available gadgets, apps, and advice on how to be your very best all the time, we feel greater pressure now and sadly we can feed that pressure (unknowingly) to our children. Here is the good news, no one can be perfect; it just isn’t humanly possible. What we need to learn instead is how to embrace our imperfection, and teach our kids to do the same.
It’s great to set a bar for yourself, to go after challenges and stretch yourself and to continue to grow, but you can’t expect to win at everything all the time. In starting my kids programs the first thing we talk about is to watch their own lane. Stop looking back and trying to see where everyone else is at. Life, much like running, is a when you continue to keep y9our eyes forward, trips and slips can be avoided.
So, let's dive into how we can learn to embrace the benefits of imperfection.
You’ll be happier
Perfectionists carry a LOT of emotional baggage from trying to look as though their entire world is 110% wonderful all the time. They’re at a higher risk of depression and anxiety, and hardly ever content with what they have.
Embrace the messy, flawed parts of your life and yourself, and you’ll be happier, way less stressed and you will be teaching those around you (including young minds) that it is ok to fall, the lesson is in getting back up again.
You won’t fear failure so much
Weird, right? But, it's true, accepting imperfection means failure shrinks back down to being just another aspect of life. Perfectionists tend to take failure personally. It becomes a catastrophe and something that defines their sense of self. But accepting that to make mistakes is human means you see failure as an opportunity to learn, make the necessary changes, and move on.
Embracing imperfection makes you a nicer person
If you’re comfortable with imperfection, you won’t be so quick to criticize and judge others. When we criticize and judge, usually we are not judging others, we are noticing the things we view as failures in our own lives. Being able to drop imperfection as failure will in fact make you a much nicer friend, colleagues, and family member. You’ll be less likely to blow your fuse at trivial things, you’ll cut people more slack, and relationships will be calmer and more rewarding.
Your self-esteem will grow
This is my favorite, and the one piece that really made me change the way I viewed perfectionism. People who accept their flaws and quirks and are less likely to be hard on themselves, or hard on their families and loved ones when they make a mistake. Perfectionists are usually their harshest critics; their self-esteem is fragile and easily crushed, because their self worth is tied to the ideas and thoughts of being perfect. Acknowledgment of your humanity means you’re less likely to feel guilty or ashamed when you make a mistake or don’t reach your goals as soon as you might have liked.
You will inspire others
Imperfection is the keynote of being a human. It's how we learn, progress and connect to the world and people around us. Gracefully accepting the ebbs and flows of life will make you someone people look up to and admire. Your kids will see that you value them more than that vase they broke or the race they didn't win.
How can you embrace the imperfections in your life? How can you influence those around you to see the beauty in their imperfections as well?