How I’m Learning To Embrace My Imperfection
We’re taught from a young age that we have to be perfect.
That everything has to be perfect. That our minds, our bodies, and everything about us has to be perfect.
That we need to do the things other people expect of us, because they somehow know us better than ourselves.
Growing up, I never thought I was good enough and that I was always lacking in one way or another. Either it was my body or my mind or my emotions or something else.
And so instead of taking action, I decided to just not do anything. Because I thought, “Well, what’s the point? Nothing I do is ever going to be good enough anyway.”
When I was in my teens and early 20s, I was severely depressed.
Lacking life and enthusiasm, and full of anger and anxiety when I did have emotions. Needless to say, I was not a fun person to be around.
I always thought that I had to go to college and that getting a degree was a non-negotiable. There was a time when I actually thought that other people were going to think less of me and judge me immediately after learning that I didn’t go to a 4 year university.
… it wasn’t that long ago until I started fully embracing that I didn’t go to a 4 year university, as in being able to tell people without my voice getting all shaky and weird.
To be completely transparent with you, I choose not to go because my anxiety was so bad at the time and I barely made it through community college - I ended up taking a semester off because I was overloading myself with classes and a part time job to make up for “not being further ahead”.
Most of my life was lived in shame, like I had done something wrong.
It made me feel like a bad person with a lot of imperfections. Imperfections that would hold me back.
But it wasn’t the imperfection holding me back. It was me.
It was me deciding to listen to society and the people who said, “Your life should look like this. And if it doesn’t, then there’s something wrong with you."
For many years, I believed them.
I believed their lies that I had to be perfect in order for someone else to love me.
What I learned over and over again was that I had to learn to love myself first.
Life can be pretty exhausting when you spend 99.9% of your time hating yourself.
This year, I started to really embrace who I was - and if other people saw me as imperfect, then so be it.
Because I believe we are all imperfect, and there’s not a bad thing. We’ve only decided it was a bad thing, because other people told us it was.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life.
I’ve done a lot of things I wish I would’ve done differently or things I wish I would’ve had done at all.
But I’ve also learned a lot as a result. My mistakes have helped me grow as a human being and now I know more than I did before.
I’ve also learned that no matter how embarrassing or lame our past may seem or feel, it’s important for us to share our stories.
For ourselves - so we can let go of the shame, fear of what others will say, and so we can move on with our lives.
For others - to build genuine human connection, to help someone else with their own journey, and inspire them to embrace their own imperfections too.
If we could accept being imperfect with flaws and all as a collective, we would be way more happier and at peace with ourselves.
The truth is that I still have no idea what I’m doing with my life at 24. I’m going to make a lot of mistakes this year. I’m probably going to say the wrong things. There’s probably a few typos in this post (hopefully not too many).
I’m not perfect, nor am I trying to be. But I am trying my best and showing up - and for me, that’s enough.
I’m enough and so are you.
“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we're all in this together.” ― Brené Brown
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