Oh yeah, you read that correctly. I love imperfection.
And while it hasn’t always been true for me in the past, it’s an amazingly freeing and empowering development in my life.
I used to feel like I had to hide my imperfections or work until I got things “just right.” But no more.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for improvement and doing my best. I always have been.
I just no longer hold it against myself that I’m not perfect.
I’ve given up the fallacy that if I keep trying I can make it to that ever-elusive goal of perfect. Yep. That’s not gonna happen. And I’m just fine with that.
Imperfection is reality.
Imperfection is great!
Imperfection is where it’s at. And where’s “that” you ask?
Well, it’s right here – it’s the way the world is right now.
It’s the reality we all live in. In all its imperfect glory.
Look around. Look inside.
And celebrate the fact that you no longer have to believe in perfection as a standard.
Set Yourself Free!
So, what could you do – today – to begin breaking free of your perfectionistic tendencies? How can you start to live a little more and stress a little less about making everything ‘just so’?
I’ve got some ideas for you. Ready? Here we go:
- Do It Differently: Do something (anything) that you normally wouldn’t do. Or do something a little differently than you normally do. It can be anything you want – no matter how small. For example, use the large spoon instead of the small one the next time you eat cereal or soup. If you normally take a certain route to the store, try going a different way. Make just one different turn and explore getting to the store by a different street. Or maybe you’ll wear those shoes you keep saving for ‘someday’ and not worry if they’re too dressy or too casual or too loud or too anything. Just wear them and enjoy it. The point is to get out of your comfort zone and explore doing things differently and therefore, a little less safely.
- Mess It Up: Have you been putting off a task or project because it seems daunting (and you don’t want to mess up)? I thought so. So here’s what I want you to do. Jump right in and do that task … as poorly as you can. Yes, that’s what I said. Make a mess of it. For example, use poor grammar and spelling if it’s a writing task. Arrive at an appointment 10 minutes late (gasp!) If what’s been stopping you has been fear of failure or not doing it well enough, then go right ahead and fail at it. Get it out of the way. You’ve got nowhere to go but up.
- Let It Go: What can you let go of, even if it’s only for a day? Can you let the laundry go? Can you delegate something and then let it go (as in, not telling them how to do it)? You can do this. Choose something small. And then choose to let it go. Let someone else take care of it or let it be okay as-is. Maybe the house doesn’t need to be spotlessly clean before anyone can visit? Leave your bed unmade and the dishes in the sink (oh my!) Perhaps the kids or your partner really could be responsible for doing their own laundry (at least for one day).
Even if you experiment with letting go on a temporary basis, it can make giant inroads into your tendencies toward perfectionism. Taking any of the action steps suggested above will help you see that there is more than one way to do something. And that combats perfectionism.
Take a stand against perfectionism.
Take a stand for imperfection.
Choose to do something differently. Choose to mess up and live to tell the tale. Choose to let something go. Let imperfection into your life. I’ll tell you a little secret: it’s already present.
Instead of pushing and pulling to make something (or someone) what they’re not, just let it be.
Choose to embrace imperfection in all of its glorious authenticity instead of agonizing over what could be or should be.
Celebrate your imperfection.
You are unique. You are quirky. You’re as cool as they come. And you are brilliant.
And those delightful characteristics have nothing to do with being perfect.
Enjoy the freedom that comes with giving up perfection and loving imperfection instead.
It’s quite lovely.
Revel in that. And know that you are absolutely “perfect” just by being you.