The Power of Admitting Your Imperfections
Why it makes you more resilient.
Posted September 16, 2020 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch
Uncurbed perfectionism has an iron-fisted grip that can cause us to set unrealistic goals, try too hard, and over-focus on our mistakes. It blinds us from seeing our strengths, working with integrity, and generating our best creative product.
Admit Your Imperfections
It’s counterintuitive, but accepting your imperfections, instead of striving for perfection, can actually improve your performance and enhance almost anything you undertake. Contrary to what you may tell yourself, most people don’t expect you to be perfect. Our flawed perceptions lead us to go overboard—far beyond what friends, loved ones, and business organizations expect. Sometimes what you consider an adequate effort far outweighs the expectations of others. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself what you can do to view your capabilities in more realistic ways and set reachable goals. Your best work isn’t perfection; it’s your best work. That’s good enough, and as good as it gets.
Sidestep Your Ego
EGO stands for “Ease Good Out.” When our ego tries to protect us from failure, humiliation, or wrongdoing, it can reek of conceit and arrogance. Perhaps you hide the news of a job rejection at Amazon but broadcast to everyone the position you nabbed at Yahoo. It’s difficult to admit you’re wrong or didn’t get what you wanted, even though you worked so hard for it. It’s a bitter pill indeed to swallow your pride. Gulp! But letting it go makes you more successful and resilient. When you can open your heart and accept the vulnerability of being authentic, you release a burden. Ultimately, it’s better to lose your pride with a close coworker or loved one than to lose them because of your senseless pride.
Learn From Your Slip-ups
A slip-up is a glorious teacher. When we avoid the pain of human failure, we automatically avoid our growth. You will make mistakes, say things you regret, and hurt others. It’s inevitable. The key is what you do afterward. The hard part is admitting a shortcoming and living with the consequences, but it pays off. Maybe your job has walled you off from friends or caused you to neglect family members. Or perhaps you developed controlling habits that excluded cooperative coworkers eager to perform as a team. Admitting your imperfections allows you to forgive yourself. Even sharing a mistake or failure (with confidence, not self-condemnation) with a close friend, support group or team reflects strength, honesty, and integrity, not weakness.
Unlock Your Full Potential
You don’t have to let pride cover up wrongdoing. When you open your heart and accept your vulnerability, you can be realistic about your goals and unlock your full potential. The paradox is that this approach can make you a better family member or high performer. And others will look up to you. Once you have dealt with an imperfection, it frees you to focus on the solution instead of the problem, look for the upside of a downside situation, pinpoint the opportunity in a difficulty, be chancy in challenging situations instead of letting fear of failure hold you back or step back from roadblocks and brainstorm possible steppingstones. When your ego is out of the way, you can be more creative and find endless possibilities for job and career problems. You won’t ever stop making mistakes, but you can stop denying them or covering them up. Choosing the path of humility and courage, instead of ego and pride, makes you a stronger leader in the workplace and a more loving family member at home. Without facing the truth, how could you find new ways to grow and become the best worker you can be and enjoy a happy and fulfilling career and personal life?