“Imperfections are not inadequacies, they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” -Brene Brown
Oftentimes, our own perceived shortcomings become a reason that we don’t do the things in life that we’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps it’s believing that you aren’t good enough at ballet if you want to be a ballerina, an inadequate drawer if you want to be an artist, or even a bad parent if you’ve always dreamt of being a great mother. While these flaws are perfectly human and natural, they are also wholeheartedly a choice. Your flaws are your perspective influenced by circumstances, events, and others. But at the end of the day, your choice to believe something about yourself is exactly that—a choice. A self-sabotaging belief that you’ve subconsciously or consciously chosen to give power to.
You may be wondering: How did this belief about my imperfections begin? The answer is that it is often a direct correlation of your past—an incident, event, or shortcoming from your life that pronounced your inadequacy and created an emotional charge within you that has stuck by you to this day. This is a vital realization, because understanding where your insecurity came from is the first and most crucial step towards neutralizing it. That is, becoming aware of how this belief came to be, then giving yourself permission to understand that it has been a choice to see yourself this way the entire time. In this light, you are reducing its power over you and reducing its grip on who you think you are by fully understanding that you are a reflection of your thoughts, beliefs, and actions, not who someone else tells you to be.
The perils of constantly chasing perfection can drive one crazy and can force a person to identify with things that may or not be true. Be mindful of these flaws, but be very careful before you accept them as the truth. Instead, choose to see the positive side of these flaws. Have they made you stronger? Made you more vulnerable? Revealed a side of yourself that can be used as a strength? You may be surprised how on the other side of our flaws, you may actually find and uncover a powerful strength within yourself that is teaching you how to become a better version of who you’ve been.
Instead of focusing on what you inherently lack, focus instead on the qualities you possess that others perhaps admire. Maybe it’s your boldness, your willingness to see difficult things through, or your ability to see the good in others. Flaws are only insecurities if we choose to define our self-worth by them. Change your self-concept. Change the traits you value in others by whole-heartedly changing the way you value yourself. The world reflects back to you what you internally believe—it’s a confirmation bias that forces us to see what it is we internally know about ourselves. What we focus on grows stronger, and if you focus on the good, you will see more good.
Self-acceptance is perhaps the most notable pursuit one can engage in. It’s the ability to accept and rectify yourself as a constant work-in-progress while engaging in daily growth and transformation to become a better version of who you were yesterday. This is an individual pursuit, not a collective one. In the engagement of self-acceptance, we do not judge ourselves based on the ideations of others but instead accept them as one individual’s beliefs that are independent of our own. Our perceived ‘flaws’ are really just a lack of self-love and self-confidence, which inevitably must come from within.
So to you, the reader, the one who may be struggling with doing the things they are meant to because of their perceived lack: You are inherently whole and complete as you are, no matter what anyone says. Yes, a masterful work in the process, but one that will never lack in the way that you think you do. Your ‘flaws’ are a part of you. They are what makes you human. And if you can change your perspective and see them in a new light, then perhaps you may realize that they are, in fact, your biggest strength.
Do not allow your perceived shortcomings to stop you from living fully. Do not allow your beliefs inflicted by others to become your whole story moving forward, but instead just a lesson from previous chapters of your life that helped you mold into the person you are today. Take responsibility for your life and for your thoughts, which are parallels of one another, whether we believe it or not. You are not your shortcomings. You are not your insecurities. You are worth far more than just those perceptions.