“Our addiction to perfection will kill the artist,” – Rachael C. Smith
This past year I discussed how the only thing I quit was one of my jobs.
Looking back—that’s not true–I also quit something else: I quit trying to be perfect.
Does that mean I stopped trying to be the best me I could be?
It simply means that I’ve found a new respect for imperfection and that I’ve found a new way to embrace the fact that we will not always be the greatest at what we try.
Because the truth is that so often we fill ourselves with doubts and fears and worries about trying new things — but not because we simply believe we won’t be able to physically or mentally do something, but because we are concerned that we won’t be able to do something perfectly.
And when we don’t succeed at doing something perfectly, we can often feel guilty or embarrassed and tear ourselves apart. But the truth is that many times we should feel proud just to have tried something in the first place, because LIFE isn’t about being perfect.
It’s about a willingness to be IMPERFECT.
It’s about a willingness to mess up and to learn from our mess-ups.
It’s about a willingness to expose our vulnerabilities—and also a willingness to embrace them.
Life Is about taking on challenges and testing our strengths and testing our limits. It’s about breaking out of our shell and finding out what works for us. It’s about refusing the word no and giving unlimited possibilities to where YES might take us. It’s about throwing perfection out the window—and embracing the fact that just once, or twice, or even many times we might not be the best and most talented in the room—but at least we are there and at least we are trying.
I didn’t set out on the hobby year to be perfect, though many times I found myself doubting and worrying and scared that I wouldn’t be “perfect” at something new. AND many times, I believed that if I wasn’t perfect at something, I’d be disappointing. But when I wasn’t perfect—the truth is I wasn’t disappointing—In fact, I was human. My friends, my teachers, and my instructors all accepted my flaws and welcomed them because they wanted to teach me. And because they welcomed the imperfection—I began to welcome it as well.
Once I put the thought behind me that “I had to be perfect”—I really began to give it my all–I really found how much I was truly capable of:
-Getting up on a unicycle with the help of friends.
-Hanging upside down even briefly at an aerial yoga class.
-Swinging and flipping off of a trapeze
And 90 other activities and skills that I never even thought I’d have a chance to try.
So the next time that the worries and doubts and fears fill your mind, and the next time you think you can’t do something because you won’t “look perfect” or because you think you might not BE perfect when you try, I dare you to put those worries and those fears and those doubts behind you—because not only are they holding you back from trying something new, they are holding you back from understanding how wonderful it is NOT to be perfect. I dare you to embrace the imperfection, because what you’ll find out in the end is that you’ll be perfectly okay with being imperfect.