Embracing the Imperfect

Do you ever feel like your best isn't good enough? Are the people around you just waiting for you to fail? Sometimes, you need to work smarter—but more often, it's a crisis of self-esteem. 

The Courage to Be Imperfect

Perfectionism, self-examination and the kissing of frogs

Someone once said that there are two kinds of people in the world - those who are right... And nowhere are we more inclined to want to be right than with regard to ourselves. In fact, more often than not, we want to be perfect. What this striving for perfection often leads to is a kind of social paralysis.

If we are constantly focused on making the right decision, we will sometimes find ourselves in a place ranging from morbid indecision to outright fear. Getting it right, making the good choice and avoiding the faux pas endorse in us a rigidity of character and action that is limiting and, in derailing our momentum, deflects our potential evolution.

The willingness to be wrong or, as more properly suggested here, the courage to be imperfect, allows us the opportunity to discover many things about ourselves. Without exercising this courage, we put ourselves into a straightjacket of sorts, setting our thoughts and actions in a dismally fettered pattern.

This line of thinking was prompted by a conversation that I had with a client yesterday wherein she had come to the conclusion that she was a bit of a perfectionist. What she had puzzled out for herself was that her perfectionism, rather than serving her, was actually hindering her ability to be flexible, open to new possibilities and clear about what she wanted for herself and her life.

At some point, I suggested that the fairy tale about the princess kissing frogs to find the prince was a good metaphor for stepping outside of one's comfort zone and "trying something on for size' without an overly self-conscious regard for the potential consequences of the choice. She mentioned that a few days earlier she had seen the trailer for a movie in which the princess kissed a frog and turned into a frog herself. Brilliant.

If we are unwilling to kiss a few frogs - to explore the possibilities that are presented to us in anticipation of finding something unexpected - then we, ourselves, may turn into frogs. That is, become stuck in our place and condemned to something that is not us. We can, without the willingness to be open to making mistakes, limit ourselves right into a state of personal inauthenticity.

So, kiss a few frogs...you might surprise yourself.

© 2009 Michael J. Formica, All Rights Reserved

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Embracing the Imperfect