They’ll lead you to where you need to go.
Each and every one of us is a work in progress. It’s important to remember that because we’re not going to achieve our goals perfectly. In fact, it’s highly unlikely we’ll do anything absolutely perfect. (Sorry my perfectionists!)
Life is more messy than perfect, and we more often than not achieve our big hairy goals in a circuitous manner. We’ll aim for one spot and wind up in the completely opposite direction, sideways and dumbstruck as to how we ended up there. At least that’s been my experience.
That’s when frustration shows up in full force and the inner critic begins its tirade of I told you so’s. “I told you, I said you couldn’t do this, or that or the other thing! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
Which is precisely the right time to remember that doing things perfectly (or exactly as we imagined) isn’t realistic. We’re human and flawed by nature.
And it’s high time we embrace our flaws instead of picking on them. We need to stop allowing ourselves to use our shortcomings or imperfections as reasons why we’re not doing what needs to be done.
Imperfections are our guiding lights.
I’m terrible at time management and Martha Steward wouldn’t even know where to begin with my organization skills. (I literally have post-it notes scattered all over my office — pure madness.)
When we know where we fall short, we gain insight. Don’t disregard your flaws, don’t dismiss them and think they make you unworthy. Your imperfections aren’t character flaws — they’re not neon signs pointing to what’s wrong with you. They’re pointing to where you need more tender loving care.
In Japan, there’s this beautiful thing they do when a piece of pottery or ceramic cracks or breaks. Instead of looking at it as a worthless piece of junk since it can no longer serve its purpose, they instead pay careful attention to its weak spots, give it the care it needs, and in the end create an even more stunning piece that’s more special, rare, and unique. It becomes unlike any other piece.
Its beauty becomes intensified.
This method is called Kintsugi which uses a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum to fix the imperfections, cracks, or breaks.
This is a beautiful and healthy way to look at your own imperfections. Don’t let them make you feel that you’re not good enough, let them strengthen you.
Change your strategies and focus on your shortcomings to help you get where you want to be.
Beauty and intrigue live within the imperfections so I’m refusing to allow my shortcomings to hold me back any longer.
Time after time I’ve gotten discouraged two minutes into my journey because things weren’t happening fast enough, or I wasn’t getting everything done on my to-do list, so I must be a failure. At the end of the day, I had more open projects and less completed ones.
That’s when I would always give up. I’d quit. I figured I couldn’t do it, didn’t have what it took, so the easy way out was to quit. I quit a lot.
No one is perfect. There are going to be miscalculations, and steps that place you back at the beginning. Failures happen and it’s all part of the process. It’s all part of being imperfect.
The most recent time I felt like I wasn’t good enough, that I was too small for my big dreams, and when I could clearly see that I couldn’t get everything done on my to-do list and I wanted to quit — I didn’t.
Instead, I followed my own advice and I took what I saw as broken, as imperfect, as flawed, and I focused on that.
I now have a calendar, a little one that shows the week ahead — nothing more. And on that calendar, I place three things (only three!) that I want to accomplish for the day. If I get those three things done, I feel like I accomplished something, and anything more, that’s gravy!
I no longer put 10 things on there, in random order, and hope they all get done at some point during the week.
Now I realize this is obvious to many of you well-organized perfection-seekers, but to me, this is a complete turn-around of events and it takes away my inner B’s ammo. Taking the time and care to manage my time, that’s my gold lacquer!
Lower expectations to realistic levels.
The part of it that hits us the hardest is when our expectations — what we expect of ourselves — towers over our reality.
We decide to start working out 5 days a week (when we haven’t worked out in ages) and decide to add on a month of low-carb eating, plus add in a 7-day juice cleanse to really kickstart the weight loss. (Because… this time we mean it!)
Or we fill our to-do list up with 20 items we’d like to have complete by the end of the week when we only have time for 10 of those things.
We’re not always going to be able to live up to our own expectations. And we’re not always going to get from A to B — from where we are now to where we want to be — in a straight line.
And that’s ok. That’s all a part of being imperfect. There are lessons that need to be learned along the way and our imperfections help guide us to where we need to place more attention and love.
We can learn, get better at things, improve our methods and our processes. We can mend a crack with glitter and gold and see it as our way of making ourselves feel beautiful because of our flaws.
We’re incomplete, we’re not done, we’re not finished products.
Being perfect means there’s nothing left to do, to finish, or to grow into. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be perfect, I want to keep growing, gaining wisdom and beauty as I go.
Being Unapologetically You is to embrace your imperfections and own them for they could be the most beautiful parts of who we are.
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AM Costanzo is a wellness coach, a motivational junkie, loves a-ha moments, and loves to help people feel strong, powerful, and downright fabulous in body and mind!