Perfection. It’s what so many of us strive for, especially creatives like me. We can envision a perfect project, a perfect home, a perfect family, a perfect life. And if we can dream it, then we can do it right? Wrong. Nobody and nothing is perfect. And trying to be perfect is a perfect way to be unhappy.
I have never considered myself a perfectionist, though many people call me one. But I agree my standards are high (really high). Thankfully I have always had a point in every project and in every day where things, my work and life, are good enough and I am satisfied. But I do admit that I my high standards and my giant goals have taken a toll on me. I bet you can relate.
But you know what I am excited about? I am thrilled that being imperfect is “IN” right now. We might say “Imperfect is the new Perfect”. Mindsets like “Start before you’re ready.”, “Stop the glorification of busy!”, and “Embrace the real you!” are becoming ever popular. Designers and design blogs are talking about how we really live and how projects really go instead of the perfection we see in design magazines. And in a our world of the selfie, many people are saying no more photoshopping, just be yourself.
One of my favorite books ever is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. It is life changing, so please go buy it right now. Brene is so wise, and she’s right–embracing your imperfections is a gift. If you read my blog on practicing authenticity last week you may be thinking that topic and this one go hand in hand and I agree.
Being authentic is being imperfect. It’s letting people see your flaws. It’s not waiting to show up in life until you have all your ducks in a row. I think people are more inspired by seeing your mistakes, your flaws, your imperfections and seeing how you deal with them. They are inspired by how you keep showing up in the world and sharing your gifts through your challenges and failures. Imperfection is amazing. And it’s time we all embrace being our perfectly imperfect selves. It’s really the most refreshing thing I can think of.
This year for me is about being kinder to myself and finding more joy. It’s about being happy with things the way they are. And if I am trying to be perfect all the time, joy evades me. If I expect my husband to be perfect or my child to be, then I am in for a lot of heartache. And if I expect my work to be perfect, or my days to go perfectly, I will be constantly disappointed because there is no such thing.
Being happy is all about how you frame things. When I was younger (as in 10 years ago, not when I was 10, ha!), I could get upset so easily. Mistakes were so frustrating. Ok, so maybe I WAS a perfectionist. But life has a way of keeping us in check, of keeping us humble. It has a way of reminding us we are not in charge. And that nothing will ever be perfect. And if we are waiting for perfection before we are happy, before we find joy, we will be waiting forever. I got tired of waiting.
So I’ve learned to laugh at imperfect days and situations. And I’m learning to love myself just the way I am. If I can’t fit in my skinny jeans, I’m still amazing. Skinny jeans are over-rated. But what’s not overrated is enjoying life in spite of your imperfections and giving yourself a break and showing yourself and others kindness and understanding. Fourteen days from now I will be in Aruba for my 15th wedding anniversary. I will not be as skinny in my bathing suit as I might wish, but you better believe those views will still be as gorgeous, the sunsets as beautiful, the down time will still be replenishing, and now that I have learned to “embrace the glorious mess that I am”, the time with my husband will be more special than ever.
It’s time to embrace imperfection, my loves. You are perfectly imperfect just the way you are. You are exactly where and how you are supposed to be at this moment. So like Liz Gilbert says…”Embrace the glorious mess that you are”, and I promise you that life will bring so much joy!