Imagine you’ve just made a mistake. How do you feel? Ready to celebrate?
If a celebration is the furthest thing from your mind, you’re not alone. Most people hate when they make mistakes. For one thing, it’s embarrassing to get something wrong. For another, it means you haven’t reached the goal you’d set for yourself. There isn’t much to like here.
Or is there?
Think about it. When we make mistakes, we learn how not to do something. Even more exciting is when these so-called ‘mistakes’ lead us into something new or interesting which we might never have found otherwise. After all, bubble wrap was completely a mistake, as the inventor was trying to make a new kind of wallpaper. So were things like Post-It Notes, the microwave oven, potato chips, and superglue.
There are several aspects of imperfection you would do well to embrace. Consider these traits:
Imperfection Gives You the Ability to Succeed
When you constantly strive for perfection and miss, you start thinking you’re never going to accomplish anything. Eventually, you stop trying at all, guaranteeing the very failure you were trying to avoid. With imperfection, you aren’t so worried about potential failure, meaning you’re more likely to keep trying until you reach your goals.
Imperfection Builds the Best Relationships
Perfectionism at its worst tells you the rest of the world is never going to measure up. After all, these people don’t perform as you want them to, so why would you expect anyone who fails to have any value. With this thought in mind, we start seeing others as being worthless. Failures. Now imagine trying to build a relationship with anyone when you expect so little of them. Isn’t this a surefire disaster waiting to happen? Imperfection reminds us we’re all human and therefore treats others with kindness. Now imagine how relationships flourish in this kind of atmosphere.
Imperfection Gives Us Self-Worth
This flawed view of the world becomes even worse when directed at ourselves. We start seeing all the ways we don’t measure up, and as a result, our self-talk takes a turn for the worse. We beat ourselves up endlessly in an ongoing litany of negativity. We remind ourselves we’re falling short at every turn until eventually, we feel so bad about ourselves there seems little reason to go on living. With imperfection, though, we can accept our efforts as being good enough. We can celebrate small victories and solid attempts. We start seeing our efforts as worthwhile and ourselves as having value again. Imperfection changes our self-talk toward positivity.
In short, these three aspects of imperfection combine to make us our best selves. No more do we need to hold ourselves to impossible standards. Our imperfect self already has everything needed to make you into the best version of yourself.