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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Warren

Living Perfectly Imperfect

Did you ever think that maybe, imperfect is actually, ‘perfect’? Flaws and imperfections are what make every person unique, special, and who they are. Think about the beauty of nature. The Grand Canyon, the Amazon Rainforest, and even small streams and clear water, all exist in different forms and shapes. Rather than all existing in the same, perfect, one-sized box, these different forms and shapes are what make them all beautiful (1). Embrace the fact that life isn’t perfect, and that nobody will ever be ‘perfect.’

Perfectionism

How to Embrace your Perfectly Imperfect Life

The first step in embracing being perfectly imperfect, is to recognize that you are enough. Being your authentic self will make you more powerful. There is no need to be any more of something to be the person you are meant to be. Understanding that you are enough means knowing that you do not have to be or get everything in life. Your enough being different from somebody else’s enough, does not make you any less worthy (2). Additionally, as you live in the enough that you are, you continue becoming the enough that you are through change and growth. You were enough yesterday, you are enough now, and you will be enough tomorrow – and you do not have to prove this to anyone.


Another step to take towards embracing a perfectly imperfect life is to let go of worrying about the opinions of others, and listen to your own intuition. When you value other people’s opinions more than your own, you start living your life on their terms, rather than yours. When you mold yourself to fit what others think you ‘should’ be, or what others view as ‘perfect’, you lose who you truly are. Ultimately, this is your life. The only person’s opinion that really matters is your own (3).


Let go of the need to control everything in your life! Choose to bring in laughter, joy, and fun. Perfectionism tends to take away a lot of the joy in life. Living with a perfectionistic perspective hurts relationships, encourages shame, and takes away from being in the present moment. Choose to do the spontaneous thing. Value laughing more with your friends over checking to make sure your instagram post looks perfect. The memories you create in the present moment are what matter.


Challenge your black and white thinking. Perfectionism is all about absolutes. Thinking in the “gray” area will help you achieve a more balanced life and perspective. One way to challenge this thinking includes re-labeling your thoughts. Combat the thought of something being all “good” or all “bad”, with no in-between. Once you have a wider range of thoughts, remind yourself of all possible explanations that exist between absolute failure and absolute success. Reward yourself for progress, not perfection (4).


Lastly, practice mindfulness, as being mindful can actually be the opposite of being perfect (change to: can help us learn to sit with imperfection . When you are aware of what you are doing, instead of going through life on autopilot, you start to find more happiness and appreciation in your daily life. Living on autopilot gives us the same routine, every single day. Living mindfully gives us new ideas and broadens our daily activities. Mindfulness also leads to acceptance, and moving past perfect requires finding a way to accept (5). There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including: meditation, yoga, mindful walks, art, etc. You can incorporate mindfulness even into showering, doing the dishes, and just noticing and being. As long as you are fully there and present in the moment, you are practicing mindfulness.


Loving your Imperfect Life!

Life is not perfect. It never has been, and it never will be. But this isn’t bad news. Instead, this means you can stop chasing everything about yourself to be perfect. You can find freedom to live within your imperfections. You can start being truly happy, as you don’t need to be perfect to allow happiness. You can start learning how to grow through your imperfections. The past does not have to define you, rather you can take your past experiences and learn from them. You can realize that imperfection actually brings out beauty. Knowing that life is imperfect allows you to find even more beauty in it, and beauty in yourself. Living perfectly imperfectly allows you to fully live your life, experiencing all the ups and downs that life has to offer. You are beautifully, and incredibly, perfectly imperfect just as you are.


By: Ali Green, Social Media Intern

The Grove Counseling & Consulting, LLC


References

1. Perfectly Imperfect: 12 Reasons Why Imperfect Is Perfect. 18 Feb. 2022, www.theplainsimplelife.com/imperfect-is-perfect/.

2. Antimaximalist. “You Are Enough - 10 Things That Don’t Define Your Worth.” Antimaximalist, 16 Feb. 2021, antimaximalist.com/you-are-enough/.

3. “Stop Letting Other People’s Opinions Control You.” HuffPost, 1 Apr. 2016, www.huffpost.com/entry/stop-letting-other-peoples-opinions-control-you_b_9587330.

4. “All-Or-Nothing Thinking: 3 Ways to Stop Throwing in the Towel.” Www.betterup.com, www.betterup.com/blog/all-or-nothing-thinking.

5. Bertin, Mark. “Living With, and Loving, Your Imperfect Life.” Mindful, 22 July 2016, www.mindful.org/living-loving-imperfect-life/. Accessed 6 Aug. 2023.

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