The Courage To Be Imperfect

“The fact is, every single one of us is a work-in-progress.

We may be at different stages in life. We may have different strengths and weaknesses, but there isn’t a single person on the planet who hasn’t felt vulnerable or made mistakes. Nor is there a single person who couldn’t be better at something in some area of their life.

While hiding your flaws or pretending to be something or someone you’re not can fool many people – and many try to live their lives this way – true power comes from being your authentic self – flaws and all – and not being ashamed or afraid of being imperfect.”  (excerpt from The Courage To Be Imperfect)

There is nothing more refreshing than a person who is willing to say they aren’t perfect because they give everyone else permission to not feel like they are a failure if they aren’t perfect. When someone tells me they aren’t perfect, or acknowledges they’ve made mistakes, it only makes me love them more. The more real someone is the more I adore them for all that they are.

I suppose that is part of why I end up sharing so openly that I have A.D.D. and take meds for it, and I share how growing up I wish I had been wise enough not to learn so many things the hard way, and I share how much I regret not always appreciating my parents the way I should have for all the sacrifices they had to make as my parents (and let’s face it…nothing throws that mistake back in your face better than becoming a parent yourself someday…), I share all kinds of mistakes that I’ve made that have taught me valuable life lessons, and I share that there are a million and one things I wish I was still better at doing, like being more on time to everything #iveimprovedalittle,  and being a better listener without interrupting #thestruggleisreal #notgivingup, or being a more patient person #istillreallysuckatthisone, or how I put on two different shoes this week and went to a board meeting #awkwardandembarrassing.  I share these things because all these things and more are what make me me…100% imperfect me.

But what really matters is being willing to recognize the imperfections and really work hard to improve them, because that’s really all we can do. We can acknowledge our weaknesses and try to make them a little bit better every single day, never giving up, but not being ashamed or afraid of admitting them either.

It doesn’t take any courage at all to pretend to be perfect – but it takes ALL KINDS of courage to admit that we are imperfect. Yet, none of us are perfect and the chances are literally 100% that we aren’t going to become totally perfect between now and the time we die. So we just have to focus on improving the trajectory toward perfection a little bit more each day. And we have to do better at accepting ourselves in the meantime. We have to remind ourselves that we aren’t the only one who is struggling, we aren’t the only one who gets scared, we aren’t the only one who worries more than they should, and we aren’t the only one who beats themselves up for not being more perfect yet.  We are not alone in our struggles and even more important, we are not alone in being an imperfect person.

~Amy Rees Anderson

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