Do you wish you were perfect? Why would you want to be perfect? To be perfect is to be free of all flaws or defects. What a snore! Perfection doesn’t lead to anything. Perfection is a dead end. It is imperfection that spurs you on to a journey towards growth, progress, and self-optimization.
Imperfections get a bad rap. They’re usually what people blame for their unhappiness or failures, but, in truth, they’re valuable sign posts. They act as clues to help you understand an unclear or complicated issue, and usually appear when you are at a crossroads to give direction towards blazing your own trail through life, not just following the crowd. When you’re at a place in your life where you feel flawed or defective, it’s time to ask yourself, are you imperfect, or simply on the wrong path?
Imperfections fall into 2 categories, those that are defined from without and those that are defined from within.
- Imperfections Defined From Without
Anthropologists will tell you that imperfections are relative. What is a desirable trait in one group or culture is repulsive in another. Imperfections are situational, too. You never feel so imperfect as when you are trying to make a relationship work or fit in with a crowd that is not open to your differences, and who focus on what you are not, not what you are. It’s the trying to fit a round peg into a square hole scenario. With that in mind, what’s so wrong with you that you think it’s a flaw or defect in you, as opposed to just a mismatch of your nature to your environment? What’s the yardstick you’re using? Are there other areas in life where your imperfection would not be seen as an imperfection, but as an advantage?
Consider the adrenaline addict who others see as a reckless thrill seeker. Not the right stuff for an accountant or store manager, but what about doing search and rescue operations for the Coast Guard, rappelling down buildings with a police SWAT team, or skiing off cliffsides into Rocky Mountain snow as a professional extreme athlete? Consider the romantic doting boyfriend always doing thoughtful things who one girl sees as clingy and weak and another sees as supportive and devoted, or the co-worker always ready to pitch in and lend a hand who is seen as a team player by some and an intrusive know-it-all trying to make everyone else look bad by others.
The question you should ask yourself is whether or not the perceived imperfection is in you, or in how the true nature of who you are is, or isn’t, being utilized in your career, your relationships, or your life. If the qualities you have are not a fit for where you are, read the “imperfection” sign posts and consider following them to a path where you may be a more perfect fit.
- Imperfections Defined From Within
Psychologists will tell you that seeing yourself as imperfect, either physically, emotionally or intellectually, is a symptom of a bigger issue that goes deep beyond the surface. How is it that you measure your imperfections as imperfections and not merely as inexperience or having unconventional talents? Taking the time to evaluate why, at the moment, you label something about yourself as an imperfection is a process of unfolding your inner workings, from seeing yourself as a simple being to something more complex. Tracking the root cause of your imperfections can help you locate where your true nature is becoming disconnected from the choices you make in your life.
Humans have an uncanny knack for undermining their success when faced with doing something they really don’t want to do or being with someone that, deep-down, they really don’t want to be with. Are you someone who jumps from job to job, lets down a friend, misses that important deadline at work, or compulsively lies? Maybe you need to be your own boss, confront your friend who’s never been there when you needed a hand, hate your job and want to get fired because you’re too sacred to quit, or are terrified of facing the truth. Just can’t lose those extra pounds, keep the house clean, or think you’re beautiful? Maybe you associate food with emotional comfort, hate where you live because it represents a life you don’t want to lead, think “beautiful” people are always loved and treated better, so if you’re not, it must be because you’re not pretty or handsome enough.
Before you begin judging your imperfections and blaming them for your unhappiness or failures, you should ask yourself a few questions: Is your perspective realistic, or are you judging yourself by terms imposed upon you from outside influences? Are you looking outside yourself for a destination, and then trying to force-fit yourself into it, only to end up berating yourself, because you don’t have the qualities that are best suited for that path? Can you appreciate that no matter how appealing other people’s lives may seem, copying what they have and do won’t work for you? Are you ready to work with all that is unique within you and build from there? What can your imperfections tell you about yourself, where you are, and where you should be going? By answering these questions, you may learn that happiness and success is not so much about changing who you are, but optimizing who you are by making the best, most effective use of what makes you who you are.
You’re not cursed by imperfections, you’re corrected by them!