Don’t Worry About Imperfection

hiding behind leaves

“Imperfection is not our personal problem. It is a natural part of existence.” – Tara Brach, teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening

Everyone has imperfections. While this fact doesn’t do much to comfort us, especially when we’re in the middle of blaming ourselves for our faults and failings, consider that there must be something about the universality of imperfection that gives us hope. It’s also true that without seeming failure, none of the world’s greatest inventions or works of art would ever have been created or discovered. Out of imperfection, missteps and failure often comes great and worthwhile innovation, beauty, and a boon to mankind.

Still, it’s tough to think about this when you’re looking at a perceived blemish, flaw or inability to live up to a notion of yourself that you want others to see. We are, after all, our own worst critics. While this fault we think we have may appear small to others, it looms very large to us. Sometimes it’s all we can think of – we can’t do this because we failed at that. We will never be a success because we lack such and such or we came from a disadvantaged background or we don’t have two dimes to rub together.

Where would we be without our doubts to hold us back? Could it be that we are our own worst enemy in addition to being our own worst critic?  What’s so bad about acknowledging that which we find so distasteful or lacking in ourselves and moving on from there? If it takes looking at a fault squarely in the eye in order to get past it, where’s the harm in that? After all, you have to start somewhere and telling yourself that, OK, I don’t have this skill or I failed at that job, but I’m taking steps to address that by enrolling in a class, asking for help, starting over with renewed vigor is sometimes all it takes to turn things around.

Imperfection, then, is less a problem that we thought. If everyone has their own imperfections, we’re in good company. It isn’t that we have an imperfection that holds us back, but our willingness to give imperfections the power to do so. If we recognize that imperfection is part of human existence that power dissipates. We can get past it and move ahead with goals that are important to us and ones that we’re willing to work hard to achieve.

In the end, it’s normal to be a bit dismayed by what we see – even what others call out as – our imperfections. But they aren’t the barrier that we’ve made them out to be. Look on them as part of who we are, but they aren’t going to hold us back unless we choose to allow them to have that power. Besides, nobody’s perfect. That should take the sting off.

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