Why do people have such a challenging time accepting their flaws and imperfections?
We ALL have flaws...no one is immune.
There have been articles run for years detailing the "magic" that happens when fashion models' images are retouched and altered for photographs. Sometimes, you can barely recognize the model in the photograph with her authentic and natural look sans makeup and retouching.
We are human beings, not perfect automatons without any flaws or blemishes. That's a fact of life.
If you're someone that's been hard on yourself throughout the years due to your actual (or perceived) flaws, here's a strong suggestion: take a step back and re-evaluate that set of thoughts and feelings. Whip out your journal and review some of your past entries.
Do they show how often you focus on what's WRONG with you instead of what's RIGHT with you? Are you paying more attention to your shortfalls than your victories?
There are some valuable truths regarding the flaws that we perfectly imperfect human beings possess - take a look at the rest of this article:
Truth 1: Your flaws / imperfections / blemishes are part of your personality
Are there flaws that you can and should change? Certainly - but it's as important (if not more important) that you develop a level of acceptance for your imperfections that cannot be changed.
For instance - if you were born with naturally curly hair, you may take those curls for granted. Part of your life has probably been spent trying to figure out how to "tame" or straighten your unruly curls, and it may have resulted in temporary or permanent damage to your hair.
Hopefully, at some point in your near future, you'll learn to live with and love your exuberantly curly hair and develop a care and styling routine that makes the most of it. It's an aspect of you that makes you unique, and you've probably even gotten a measure of extra attention because of it.
Don't let your flaws cause you to hide - we ALL have them, and yours are part of what makes you unique. Celebrate them instead of hiding them!
Truth 2: Your flaws help you learn to live with them and make the most of them
When you learn how to deal with your flaws, you're also learning flexibility; you're learning to appreciate what makes you special and unique, and you'll also develop a level of strength from standing out in a crowd. All of those aspects of your experience become part of your personality - in a good way.
You grow stronger because you have lived with your flaws and still maneuvered through life and scored victories - some of the victories will be because of your flaws, and some will be in spite of them. You've got an advantage - you have proven time and time again that you can handle adversity.
You don't crumble at the first sign of your uniqueness - you don't NEED to be like everyone else! Celebrate your flaws because while you are different from other people, that difference can empower you to let other aspects of your unique and special self shine through.
Truth 3: Perfection can lead to a dull and boring life
What would life be like if everyone were perfect and had no flaws, made no mistakes, or never had anything go wrong for them?
That's a recipe for a dull and uneventful life - and not one that be interesting or fulfilling.
Flaws help to create our stories - they are the foundation for the plot that is our life. The plot twists make us different and individual. The life of a woman who marries her childhood sweetheart and raises a family of 5 children has a story that's no less or more interesting than the woman who waits to get married until she's in her mid-30's and who adopts 3 children from another country - opening her heart and her home to a new definition of family.
Very few people would call either of these women's lives "perfect" - because there's no standard definition for perfection. They will lead varied and interesting lives that are perfect for THEM. We can all do the same.
Truth 4: Overcoming Imperfections is the Road to Perseverance
The road to improvement is paved with flaws. When you can notice them, accept them, and keep on stepping along on your journey, that helps you build greater character. You learn to persevere - to keep on moving forward despite the actual or imagined difficulties.
When you realize you've dealt with your "flaws" and that your life continues, you realize that you can deal with ANYTHING. Those who decide to keep on no matter what are the true heroes.
After a while, you'll probably even forget about the "flaw" because it's no longer on your radar. You've dealt with it, accepted it, or resolved it, and your life has moved on.
Journaling Exercise and Prompts for Self-Exploration
Journaling is a fantastic way to examine and potentially resolve your feelings about your actual and perceived flaws. It may not be easy to perform this exercise, but it's worth it. Begin by following Exercise 1 and follow up with the prompts below. Give yourself time to think about and write about the prompts and be sure to give yourself grace as well.
Exercise 1: Make a list of your actual or percieved flaws - once you've been honest with yourself and listed all your flaws, you can celebrate your honesty, and then determine which you want to overcome or simply accept.
- How many flaws did you list, and which ones challenge you the most?
- Are the flaws you listed temporary (a factor of the times we're living in) or permanent (an aspect of life you were born with or developed intentionally)?
- Do you have the time and space in your life to create a plan to overcome the flaw(s) you're focused on, or are you going to simply accept it / them?
- Is the flaw (or flaws) you're focused on one(s) that you were convinced is / are a challenge? By whom?