I had a recent self-discovery moment that I’m not exactly proud of, but it was kind of life changing and eye opening. It felt really important to uncover this about myself. As you know, whenever I learn something meaningful, I share it.
So here we are. I recently was telling a story to a friend about how I was really disappointed in the actions of someone whom I’m very close to. I told my friend that I couldn’t believe that this person chose to do these actions. I felt like it made me question how well I knew the person, and there even was a tint of judgment of this person, who I love and care deeply about. After listening to me go on and on about my feelings, my friend then said to me, “You do realize that we are all human beings; we aren’t perfect; and sometimes some of us make mistakes, right?”
It’s not that I had never heard that concept before, of course I had, but in this moment it was as if a light bulb went on. I had created rules and regulations for the people around me about how I think they should act and behave, based on my own ideas of perfectionism. I’m a perfectionist, not in the general sense, but in that I have this deep-seated belief that we all have to act “perfectly,” myself included.
Then I began to take inventory in my mind of all the little annoyances and disappointments that I had been harboring for other people because they weren’t “perfect,” or at least my standard definition of perfect, whatever that means.
I’m not proud of it, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten irritated or annoyed by a friend for acting in a certain way, or judged someone for displaying behaviors that I don’t necessarily approve of, and I’m speaking truthfully here hoping that you can relate. When we start to recognize that we hold the world (and ourselves) to unfair standards of perfectionism, we can start to break free of a life of rules and prisons that keep us stuck and unhappy.
The truth of the matter is we are all unique human beings, with different quirks and personality traits. We are all going through a unique set of circumstances, and we are all just trying to find a way to maneuver life in the smoothest way possible. We weren’t born experts at living, but our minds like to create these rules that make us believe that everyone should know better, including ourselves. How exhausting is it, to subconsciously keep score of your own faults, trying to figure out where we stand in the game of life. It’s crazy making.
My point of it all is that it’s time to embrace imperfection, and drop the notion that being perfect is the goal. What is perfect anyways?
We can start this process by recognizing where we are calling people out as “wrong” for being themselves, or even making missteps along the way.
We can work toward this by letting ourselves off the hook for not living up to the insane expectations we set for ourselves.
Remember that if we are doing what we can every day, it’s enough.
We can shift our feelings by releasing the judgments.
We can make amends by forgiving ourselves and others for any wrongdoings.
We can set a new example by owning who we are in this moment, and creating space for others to do the same.
I hope my new revelation is helpful for you in some way! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at email@example.com