Accept Yourself Completely
“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” ― Brené Brown
To embrace your imperfections, let go of identifying yourself as inadequate and embody the wholeness of your being.
Consider the accompanying narrative how our imperfections can be channelled correctly:
A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One pot had a crack in it while the other was perfect and consistently delivered a whole portion of water.
One day, at the end of the long walk from the stream to his house, the cracked pot arrived half full. This continued daily for two years, with the bearer bringing home one and a half pots of water.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the cracked pot was embarrassed by its imperfection since it fulfilled only a fraction of what it was designed for.
After two years of what it regarded as disappointment, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the river. “I’m ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak all the way back to your house.”
The bearer replied, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I’ve always known about your flaw. I sowed flower seeds on your side of the path and every day on our walk back to the house, you watered them.
“For two years I’ve picked these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being the way you are, I wouldn’t have this beauty to decorate the house.”
What you regard as limitations is good fortune clothed as adversity, yet when applied correctly can transform your life.
Accept yourself completely, knowing you possess a combination of qualities. Instead of bringing attention to your weaknesses, view them as gifts to transform into the wholeness of your being.
It’s pointless striving to become someone you’re not. To maintain a facade over time is exhausting and strips you of your authentic self.
We are not attracted to others because of their virtues; their wholeness of character is what resonates with us most.
Consider being in a room of attractive people and notice the tendency to fixate on your own faults. It’s human nature to measure ourselves against others, though we need not subjugate our self-worth.
“In fact, it is the favourable comparisons that we draw against others not in our group that help to define who we are. This is how we formulate our identity — by focusing on what we are not. The trouble is that by focusing on others, we miss our own imperfections,” states author Bruce Hood in The Self Illusion: Why There is No ‘You’ Inside Your Head.
Perfection Is An Unattainable Ambition
“Our love is perfect. And even though we may not be, our love creates a bridge that spans over our imperfections and joins us where it matters.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You
In order to accept your imperfections, cease trying to satisfy others. The more you aim to please, the less people will identify with you, because people-pleasing is a powerless state.
There are several leading actors and successful entrepreneurs with notable imperfections which they used to their advantage.
Consider Arnold Schwarzenegger’s heavy accent which did not discourage him from becoming Hollywood’s most prominent star. Similarly, Richard Branson’s dyslexia was not an impediment when he was established his thriving billion-dollar Virgin empire.
Whilst I acknowledge the following wisdom is often circulated, it is undervalued owing to its simplicity. The power of gratitude can help to realise the wholeness of your character. A blemish on an apple does not make it inedible, but gives it further appeal.
Equally, vulnerability allows you to embrace your imperfections because you communicate the same intention to others. It shows your humanness, given that perfection is an unattainable ambition if you wish to lead an authentic life.
Without doubt, what you look for, you are certain to encounter. You should be mindful of your shortcomings, yet still bring your greatest work to life.
As a further example, the actor Sylvester Stallone was once advised his slurred speech would pose an obstacle to becoming an onscreen actor. Nevertheless, he channelled that objection to create a streak of successful films playing the lead character Rocky Balboa, the impoverished boxer hailing from the slums of Philadelphia.
I appreciate the message from psychotherapist and author David Richo who writes: “Error and errancy are not tragedies. They are ingredients of and directions to discovery. They show us paths that humble us, startle us, and point us to new horizons. They do not have to lead to regret or shame. We say yes to our imperfection and accept our mistakes.”
Welcome your imperfections and stop seeing them as an impairment. Delight in them, while impacting the lives of others.
At some stage, you may have subscribed to a distorted image that portrays people as perfect. Perhaps the media plays a role, yet this image is far removed from reality.
Let go of striving for perfection and accept your true identity. You are a complex being and your physical appearance is one facet of your existence. If you fixate on your imperfections whilst downplaying other aspects, you overlook the wholeness of who you are.
You Are Born To Be Real Not Perfect
“It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.” — Soren Kierkegaard
Consider viewing a masterpiece painting close up. Your attention is drawn to the bold brushstrokes that appear distracting to the eye. Yet, when you step back and view the painting from afar, you realise the beauty and complexity of the brushstrokes that outline the entire picture.
See yourself as a masterpiece beyond your shortcomings, replete with bold brushstrokes that completes the whole person.
Transformational psychotherapist Linda Graham states in Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being: “Include an appreciation of your own wholeness and your goodness, all your strengths, all your weaknesses, including the ones your inner critic is currently harping on.”
“Include your friend’s love and acceptance of you, exactly as you are, with all of your human imperfections, and their understanding of all the events that created your way of being and your particular flavor of the universally human inner critic.”
Your imperfections summon you to exercise self-compassion with your inner critic.
Don’t abandon yourself when the inner critic judges your imperfections. See it as an opportunity to love and accept the disapproving part of you, instead of waging war. With concentrated attention, you can reframe your inner dialogue to be more affirming.
Honour your feelings and use it to examine what inflames your emotions. In this way, you transform your inner dialogue to reaffirm your wholeness instead of focusing on your separateness.
You are born to be real not perfect.
There is no personal growth in a Utopian world and the last time I checked, we are a great way off Heaven, Nirvana or Paradise. We must quietly evolve into the highest version of ourselves.
Perfection is not the answer if you aspire to attain inner peace. It will lead you further astray because you strive to change aspects of yourself you’re unhappy with.
Gratitude, however, opens the doorway to acceptance and a heart-centred focus.
In closing, your imperfections are based on an illusory perception that highlights one facet of your being.
Welcome your flaws and realise the wholeness of who you.
Afterall, it was Martin Luther King Jr. who declared: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”