There’s more pressure than ever before to get things right in every part of your life, to be perfect. Gadgets, apps, and advice on how to be your very best all the time surround us. But that’s such an illusion. No one can be perfect; it just isn’t humanly possible.
It’s great to set the bar high, to go after challenges and stretch yourself. But you can’t expect to obtain perfection all the time – or at all! It doesn’t exist. So why not sit back for a minute and consider the benefits of embracing imperfection.
1. 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 and way less stressed.
2. You won’t fear failure so much
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.
3. Embracing imperfection makes you a nicer person
If you’re comfortable with imperfection, you won’t be so quick to criticise and judge others. And that will make you a much nicer friend, colleague, 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.
4. Your self-esteem will grow
People who accept their flaws and quirks and decide to love themselves anyway are less likely to be hard on themselves when they make a mistake. Perfectionists are usually their own harshest critics; their self-esteem can be fragile and easily crushed. 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.
5. You will inspire others
You might say that imperfection is the keynote of being human. It’s how we learn and progress, perhaps even what connects us. Which is okay! Gracefully accepting the ebbs and flows of life could even make you someone people look up to and admire. Your kids will see that you value them more than that vase they broke, or that you still love them even though they got the B rather than the A you were hoping for. It’s more important to spend time with them instead of asking if they’ve done their homework or their family chores.