Do you have the courage to be authentic today? Not only ready to be true to yourself in your thoughts and actions, but willing to present the wonderfully flawed and imperfect you in your interaction with others? Are you able to have lunch with some friends or your boss and admit that you don’t have it all together? Can you tell the people that matter how much you love and appreciate them?
Like most people, you may have been presenting a fictional version of yourself for a while now to protect yourself from judgement of others and to have the authentic you show up may require that you prepare yourself mentally. If your goal is to live more authentically, it will require that you become vulnerable, and willing to accept the emotional risk that comes from being open and judged.
Being authentic means that you must be willing to drop the façade of perfection so that you can be real, raw and wild, and imperfectly divine. It means showing up with ruffled hair, and allowing friends to know about the messy houses, empty bank accounts, empty hearts, and the unspeakable truths that speckle the paths of our lives.
The Universe has been calling me to be more authentic for a while now. Where I previously viewed my spontaneity, and randomness of thought as character flaws, I am learning to recognize the creativity that it unleashes and I am becoming more comfortable being different from all my perfect friends.
By definition, perfectionism is a personality feature that requires one to be or appear perfect, for their own selves or to be perceived by others. It can be identified by the need to set unrealistic expectations, strict 0self-evaluation, denial regarding one’s flaws in personality or appearance, and an overpowering desire to leave no scope for errors or failure.
I know that being imperfect is human. Like most people, I have struggled for years with expressing my true self openly for fear of rejection and often changed my behavior in order to fit in or act in a way that others think I should. I love being a little flaky, and distracted and a little too exuberant and I am no longer afraid to show it.
I realise now that the days when I admit I am flawed go much better than the days I strive to be perfect. Keeping up with perfectionism invited so much stress and anxiety into my life and embracing my flawed authentic self is so liberating.
When you find yourself wondering how you appear, whether you meet approval, or what you should do next, focus inward. Reflect on your values.
Practice taking a pause to breathe and check in with yourself regularly throughout the day. This will strengthen your mindfulness and help you notice when you are being inauthentic.
With awareness, you will find opportunities to express yourself more fully and take actions that feel more in line with the real you.
Four easy steps towards embracing imperfections
Accept that we are human and humans are messy. I am most authentic when I am forced to humbly admit I don’t know everything and I sometimes make mistakes. This makes me much more likely to accept the imperfections in others and love them anyway. We also need to look at our choices to understand what we’re made of, and in that way either improve or understand how our weaknesses can be our strengths.
1. Find the positive side in your flaws
Focus inward, and reflect on your values. You may have to shift your perspective regarding how you perceive yourself and need to stop viewing yourself as insufficient or lacking in certain areas, and start seeing yourself as a whole being, albeit flawed. Try telling yourself, “I let go of my need to be in control” and “I let go of my need to be correct, first and perfect all the time.”
2. Realize that your imperfections make you human
Imperfections give you character and make you authentic.
Most of us try to erase our peculiarities and hide quirks rather than accept them as a vital part of our personalities which is what makes us unique from others.
3. Surround yourself with positive voices
It’s important to have positive minded people in our lives who truly accept us with our flaws and shortcomings. You can join groups with like-minded individuals, or make it a habit to listen to inspiring podcasts, follow bloggers or websites which keep you bustling forward with accountability, without having to resort to the trappings of perfectionism.
4. Use your imperfections to help others
Reveling in your vulnerabilities and continuing to put your best work forward by embracing imperfections can inspire several others who feel impaired by their imperfections. Reaching out to others who may be struggling with accepting their flaws and sharing your experience with them will also help reinforce your learnings towards embracing imperfections.
Journal prompt for the day: things people don’t know about me…
Intention for today’s meditation: I am one of a kind and I add value to the world