“I like the fact that in ancient Chinese art the great painters always included a deliberate flaw in their work: human creation is never perfect” – Madeleine L’Engle
Now, you have already accepted yourself. You’ve let go of the idea of perfection as a destination you have to live your life for. The next step is to pay attention to your flaws.
Everybody has flaws. There’s no shame in acknowledging them. The funny thing is, the more you deny them, the stronger they get. The more you believe that they don’t exist, the bigger of an impact they have on your life.
You have to turn around now and look at your Flaws straight in the eye.
Now let’s do this exercise ->
- What are the things that hold you back?
- What are the things that you are embarrassed about?
- What are the things that make you feel small, awkward, incomplete, or defective?
At this point, it’s all subjective. List them out. Write the first thing that comes to your mind. Next, ask yourself this question. Are they flaws because other people told you they were flaws? This takes quite a bit of work.
But do it anyways!
As much as we love our parents, they’re also the number one source of this kind of information. Of course, they don’t mean to burden their children. They definitely don’t mean to give them emotionally damaging or toxic ideas. However, this goes with the territory.
After all, we hurt the most the ones we love the most. Maybe they say things out of anger or frustration. Maybe you misunderstood them. Whatever the case may be, oftentimes, family is the number one source of ideas regarding our flaws.
I want you to go through your memory and ask yourself, “Are these flaws of mine there because people told me they were flaws?”
Do they really hold you back?
The next question that you need to ask yourself is whether these flaws really hold you back.
Do they really trip you up on your way to success?
Do they really make you look bad, perform bad, and think badly of yourself?
Often times, we blow things out of proportion. As I mentioned earlier in this training, we look at certain things in our life differently. We read into meanings that may not really be supported by evidence.
They might not be objectively true. Now is a good time to look at the things that you think are personal flaws and ask yourself, “Are these really negative?”
For example, if your cousins teased you that you had big eyes, do they really hold you back? Are big eyes all that rare?
Similarly, if somebody said to you in the past that your forgetfulness makes you look dumb. Ask yourself based on the tests that you’ve done, grades you successfully passed, as well as the degree you may or may not have, is this idea true?
Focus on the results. Don’t focus on how negative it feels. Focus instead on what actually happened. At this point, you would realize that a lot of your flaws are flaws because other people told you that they were. A lot of your flaws are not really flaws because they don’t hold you back.
Focus instead on what actually happened. The next question you need to ask yourself involves their true impact.
Do you understand their impact on you?
If there is an impact, are you exaggerating it?
For example, if you stutter, you may think that this makes you look ridiculous, but you may be very cute. You may have a great sense of humor. You may have a weird take on things that attract people.
Similarly, when you keep your mouth shut, a lot of people automatically think you’re very smart. Funny how that works, right?
Ask yourself, “What is the real impact of these flaws and am I blowing things out of proportion. Am I assuming the worst out of them?”
Again, filter out the things that are not really flaws from your list.
It may turn out that even if something can objectively be a flaw, it doesn’t really have that much of an impact. Your list should get very thin right now. There should only be a few items left on your list.
However, we’re still not done. Ask yourself, “How do these remaining flaws prevent me from reaching my fullest potential?” The answer should be obvious.
If you want to truly reach your fullest potential, you have no excuse. You really don’t.
For example, if your flaw is that you tend to be forgetful, well, there are always workarounds. You can carry around sticky notes. You can have daily reminders on your mobile phone. You can even wrap pieces of string around your finger to remind you of what you need to remember.
There’s always a workaround. Just because you can’t get through the front door doesn’t mean that the side door is off-limits. Just because you can’t get in today doesn’t necessarily mean tomorrow is a non-starter. Well, you get the picture.
Finally, ask yourself, “Even if I do have these flaws, what is the price that I’m paying for letting them hold me back from achieving my dreams?”
Focus on what you stand to lose because that’s the only thing you will leave this life with.
So, ask yourself, “Given what I stand to lose, is it worth it to crush these flaws?” Either you overcome them, or you redefine them.
I remember meeting this wonderful woman. She had amazing eyes, but she also had a horse-laugh.
For the longest time, she was very shy, she told me.
She was so afraid that the guys she liked would turn the other direction and leave.
However, when she learned how to crack jokes and use it as the center-piece of her jokes, she instantly became the most attractive woman in any room she walked in.
What kind of flaw are you apologizing and making excuses for? Use the techniques above. You might have something that is far from a flaw. It may well turn out to be a gem that makes you shine.
Your flaws make you who you are, so embrace them!
Part -1 Joy of Being Imperfect If you don’t accept yourself who will?
Part -2 Joy of Being Imperfect – Work on Self Respect which leads to Self-Love?”
Part-3 Joy of Being Imperfect – Letting go of Harmful Perfection
Part-5 Joy of Being Imperfect – Quit Apologizing for your Flaws
Part-6 Joy of Being Imperfect – Making your Flaws an Asset
Part-7 Finale Joy of Being Imperfect – Learning to Move on