It’s Okay Not to be Perfect | The BridgeMaker

It’s Okay Not to be Perfect

By on Oct 31, 2012


The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. – Anna Quindlen

It has taken me more than 50 years to write this. While I’ve faced many demons in my life (and I’m sure there will be some new ones that will surprise me later), the need to be perfect has tormented me the most.

Low self-esteem layered with a thin veneer of confidence has left me feeling anxious. Questioning if I was doing this right or doing that like others has kept me from enjoying the simple joys of life more times than I care to admit.

But no more. It’s time to leave this piece of baggage behind.

If you share the same baggage, this article is for you, too. It’s okay to turn against those perfect demons. It’s okay to enjoy the simple joys of life more often. It’s okay not to be perfect.

Awareness

I don’t have to be perfect.

The need to be perfect is the one thing that I hate most about myself. It’s the ugly underside of me that I don’t want the world to see anymore. It’s the part of me I don’t want to see anymore.

I’m tired of disappointing myself. I’m tired of thinking I always fall short. Most of all, I’m tired of beating myself up for every mistake made, extra pound gained or inappropriate thought that has flashed in my mind.

Sometimes I fall.

Sometimes life’s shit gets to me – there’s no other way to put it.

Sometimes I just stumble.

I don’t stumble on purpose.

I stumble because I’m human.

I stumble because I’m not perfect.

Redemption

Perfectionism has been the cancer of my soul for too long. It’s time for some healing; for some redemption.

There’s medicine in these words. You’re invited to take a dose, too. There’s plenty for all of us – all we have to do is believe that it’s okay not to be perfect:

  • I don’t have to be perfect to be lovable.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to be a good parent.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to be a friend.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to feel worthy.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to make a difference.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to love my wife.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to be loved by my wife.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to get people to like me.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to be successful.
  • I don’t have to be perfect at everything.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to think my body is beautiful, strong and healty.
  • I don’t have to be perfect to understand my gifts are needed.
  • I don’t have to be perfect because I was made exactly as planned.

I just have to be me.

And when I’m just being Alex, I begin hearing the truth a little clearer.

It’s okay not to be perfect.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Comparing oneself to another never ends well, as there is always someone we perceive as being more beautiful, articulate, shapely, funny, gracious, etc.

    Perfection is not only bad for our own self-esteem, but its poisonous seeds can take root in our sons and daughters as well.

    I am reminded of when I worked for a portrait photographer and almost every single wife hated the photos of themselves. They would try to purchase family portraits that didn’t include themselves! I would remind them time and again to love who they were, and that those images were of the woman their husband and family loved and treasured.

    • Kim,

      The “poisonous seeds” metaphor really hits home for me. As a parent, the one thing I’ve tried to do is break the cycle – I prayer that I have done that.

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom,

      Alex