Are you looking for reasons it’s ok to be imperfect? Here is my personal note on the same. Standing at the cusp of my 35th birthday, I opened my family photo album. Needless to tell you it opened a pandora’s box full of memories.
Memories about childhood, memories about celebration, a few heartbreaking ones too. However, when I stumbled upon my school group photo, it dawned on me that I lived a much happier and fulfilled life back then.
It doesn’t mean, I am not happily growing up. The point I am trying to make is that as children we were so imperfect. We were a total mess, untidy with wavering thoughts, yet we were happy.
Reasons It’s Ok To Be Imperfect
Our lives are mostly presumed to be dependent on other people. Our life revolves around our parents, our teachers, and our loved ones to take care of us. Everything from getting our lunch box ready to even clipping our nails was done by our caretakers. We needed someone to help with our homework to make us sleep with mini grandma fairy tale story sessions.
It stuck to me that as children we were far from being perfect. My little brother was a mess. Completely disorganized. Still, it hasn’t improved much though. But he was always happy, playful, and childlike.
I wonder sometimes when we were all young. It was OK to be imperfect. Nothing could spoil our bliss. We were the kings and queens of our own world. It took me some amount of deep dive to figure out why we lose the ability to enjoy our imperfections. It is rather the need of our generation to keep reminding themselves that it’s okay to be imperfect.
Let me share a few reasons which pressurize us to thrive for perfection and then I will share few reasons it’s ok to be imperfect and be happy in your life like I try to strike that balance 🙂
|1.) Social conditioning|
|2.) Losing touch with our inherent innocence|
|3.) Peer pressure|
|4.) Our increasing need for validation|
|5.) Wrong notions of a perfect life|
1.) Social conditioning
Life is fleeting. A lot of time passes by before you sit with your cup of coffee in reflection mode. A few days back, I was having a conversation with my little munchkin about missing her school. I realized how we become a part of the system that feeds off perfection. Have you offered your child his or her favorite toy or a box of chocolates so he or she comes first in class or wins that art competition?
Let all of us reflect for a moment. Is it an encouragement to your child or a bribe for perfection? Don’t get me wrong, our children deserve all our love and gifts. However, we need to deeply refine our intentions. We need to train them for a living a wholesome life. Your encouragement to bring out their best results should be based on the superficial vagueness of giving and take.
Such wrong conditioning makes your child and the grown-up version of vulnerable. Yes, vulnerable to setbacks, vulnerable to heartbreaks, and vulnerable to failures.
While aiming for the best every time is not a bad thing. It can lead to casualties and toxic entitled behaviors. Also, note that your ideas of perfection are subjective and personal. While I would always encourage you to strive for a grand goal but not make perfection a consequence of reaching that goal. Just do what is right and make you happy, fall in love with the process and magic will eventually follow.
2.) Losing touch with our inherent innocence
Let me ask this when you were a child. Were you perfect? No, but there were times when your involvement with life was much more than adults. It could be anything. Enjoying the first rain, making the best of your art and craft session. A full and wholesome smile to loving and playful conversations. There was magic in your dreamy eyes. Above everything else, your personality radiated innocence.
The innocence that saw the world full of possibilities. A world is full of abundance. We were more present at the moment. It was ok to be imperfect. In fact, others used to find our imperfections cute. It brought a smile to everyone’s face.
As we grow up we lose touch with our inner child. We give up our playfulness in a bid to conform to society without realizing that sometimes we give up the very essence of our unique personality.
Daughters who are the darlings in their maternal homes are suddenly groomed to confirm the template of a perfect daughter in law when they marry. I am not saying that grooming for adjusting to a new home is wrong. I am just saying that we must never allow ourselves to lose our inner child in order to conform to the image of a perfect son or an ideal daughter in law. In all your relationships, do not forget the relationship you have with the most important person- You.
3.) Peer pressure
Women today want to bring out their full potential. Whether they are a daughter, a daughter in law, a single mother, or a single woman, they want to ace every role. They are fiercely ambitious and competitive.
In juggling between multiple roles and responsibilities, You have to manage a lot of different expectations. Expectations from parents, expectations from your in-laws, expectations from your child, expectations from your social circle, expectations from your colleagues. You have your own set of expectations from yourself too. In the loop of managing expectations, we end up striving for perfection in every role we play.
We give in to peer pressure too. Often we are told that look how blah blah’s life is more perfect. How the girl you see in your society is an ideal daughter, fulfills so many responsibilities, and wins the house at kitty parties too.
Although you are doing your bit with utmost diligence and sincerity, you forget the value you create and give in to the noise. Confirming other people’s ideas of perfection is never going to be enough.
Remember at all times, there is no checklist for being the ideal woman. Remind yourself that it’s perfectly ok to be imperfect at times.
4.) Our increasing need for validation
You live in the times where everyone craves validation. Although our channels to connect with one another has increased beyond imagination. Thanks to social media. So has our need for social approval.
People are subconsciously seeking social validation more than ever. While I agree that our need to belong is a primal one. It becomes a problem when we base our self worth on the number of likes and followers on social media. We all are guilty of presenting our perfect looking life on our gram. It has become almost uncool to let your imperfections off the hook.
Your self worth stems from your innate relationship with yourself and the nature around you. Don’t fall into the trap of showing off your perfect life to win virtual friends. Real connections and long term relations happen when you connect from. a place of authenticity. When you embrace your and other people’s imperfections.
Another important source of validation comes from our loved ones, our in-laws, and our best friends. It is natural to seek validation from the people we love, respect, and look up to. Women need to connect deeply on an emotional level to create everlasting relations. Whether it be your relationship with your spouse or your equation with your mother in law, you are in for trouble if you want to play it perfectly in order to win the validation of your tribe.
5.) Wrong notions of a perfect life
The grass looks greener on the other side. How many times have you heard this? I have seen a few mothers in-laws have a conversation comparing their lives with others over tea. They often end up complaining about how Sharma ji’s ( the other neighbor’s) house is much bigger? How his children are more successful. How his daughter in law is perfect than their own. Gratitude is a scarce luxury to expect in such banal conversations.
It is a human tendency to complain. We are never happy with what we have. We get used to the people around us very quickly. The sad part is that sometimes we lose the art of nurturing our relationships too.
In today’s society we tend, we often use other people’,s life as a reference to what makes a perfect life. Our concepts of a perfect life are wrong at many levels. We get drowned in society’s ideas of a perfect life. We end up being unhappy about our own life. It’s high time we realize that it’s okay to be imperfect.
12 Compelling reasons why it’s okay to be imperfect
The problem is that our mind is seeking perfection in every situation and every time. We want the best every time. We want the best treatment, the best vacation, the best daughter in law, the best children, the best jobs, and the best retirement plans. These reasons take us away from our real nature and we somehow forget that it’s okay to be imperfect.
Our ideas of what constitutes ‘Best’ need a deep introspection. Now let me give you a few compelling reasons so that you remind yourself always that it’s ok to be imperfect. In fact, the boss chick inside you must embrace your imperfections. That’s what makes you unique in this world.
|1.) A mindset shift|
|2.) Your imperfections make you human|
|3.) Chasing perfection is a doorway to madness and disappointment|
|4.) You can never be fully prepared to start|
|5.) Life is full of contrast|
|6.) Embracing imperfection is the smartest growth hack|
|7.) Imperfection brings a greater degree of personal awareness and clarity|
|8.) Accepting your imperfection can make for an amazing social life|
|9.) Realize that your mere existence is a testimony of your success|
|10.) Be grounded in some form of spirituality|
|11.) Filter out toxic social media|
|12.) Excellence does not mean perfection|
1.) A mindset shift
Do you want to know one of the basic reasons it’s ok to be imperfect? Our influenced mindest. We need to stop thinking about success in terms of perfection, only then we strive for growth.
2.) Your imperfections make you human
To err is to human and to forgive is mankind, a very old saying which we all have heard but don’t want to accept. Mistakes are proof that we are trying.
3.) Chasing perfection is a doorway to madness and disappointment
It is like a never-ending journey and the more you chase the more it runs away from you, the more it stresses you.
4.) You can never be fully prepared to start
I think COVID-19 is the best example, which has made us believe that no matter how well equipped we are we can never be fully prepared for life, it’s again a continuous process.
5.) Life is full of contrast
Reasons it’s ok to be imperfect and embrace ourselves could vary from person to person and their level of living their life to the optimum. Nothing is permanent, rather life is full of contrast, building resilience helps here as a coping mechanism against the rat race of being perfect.
6.) Embracing imperfection is the smartest growth hack
We all are running a blind rat race to attain perfection, but what happens when we become our best version of a perfectionist? We cease to grow, we stop. The day we begin embracing imperfections, we become invincible.
7.) Imperfection brings a greater degree of personal awareness and clarity
It is very important to be self-aware. The more we sit with ourselves and introspect, the more we see scopes for improvement and it will help you to develop yourself clearly.
8.) Accepting your imperfection can make for an amazing social life
When you drop the struggle to fit in, you literally are in control of your life, and there, there…you start blooming.
9.) Realize that your mere existence is a testimony of your success
For some people mere getting up daily and showing up at work is a big achievement, so never ever compare yourselves with others and never judge your own efforts when you see others succeeding.
10.) Be grounded in some form of spirituality
Cultivating your spirituality may help uncover what’s most meaningful in your life. By clarifying what’s most important, you can focus less on the unimportant things and eliminate stress.
11.) Filter out toxic social media
Social media has become an important part of our life and also causes a lot of stress and anxiety. Filtering out toxic content and minimizing content overload could be very helpful.
12.) Excellence does not mean perfection
Best-selling author and clinical psychologist Dr. Harriet Braiker famously said “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing”.
Reasons it’s ok to be imperfect? You have got plenty of them now. Stop chasing perfection and soon you will feel lighter. Stop running behind being a perfectionist, rather work hard and success will be all yours. Work on your will-power and build resilience, it will take you to places.
Lots of love and gratitude
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.