The Joy of Imperfection

by Amanda Linehan on May 18, 2009

in Best Of

Flowers by a wall on Gotland, Sweden.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Per Ola Wiberg (Powi)

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.  Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” – Alice Walker

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali

Perfection is overrated.  Trying to be perfect is the best way to insure that you will never truly like yourself, because perfection can never be reached.

Perfection always leaves you wondering if you could have gone further.  There is always a place farther from where you are right now that you might be able to get to if you could step away from the known.

In order to be perfect you have know exactly what you are doing, and you have to do it in a way that you know will be successful.  But there is value in doing things where success cannot be guaranteed.

In a sense, perfection is an addiction to the known.  However, by always keeping your feet planted firmly in certainty you lose the excitement of possibility, trading what could be for what you know can be.

Human beings aren’t really meant for this kind of perfection.

In some ways being a “perfect” human is reveling in imperfection.  As humans, we are learners, we are adapters, we are creative and flexible, this is what allows us to survive and thrive in our environments.

And frankly, accepting those imperfections and not being afraid to show them at times makes you more endearing to others.  To see someone who knows they might fail still push themselves forward towards the possibility of what could be is to watch a human being at their finest.

To be imperfect is to learn, to grow, to develop, to fail, to succeed, to try something new, to try something that’s never been done before, to create, to love, to become yourself.  Would you give that all up for certain success?

There is something about letting go of perfection that allows you to begin living.

It’s to acknowledge and to share that you have weaknesses and you know it, but also that you have strengths and you will use those to go as far as you can.  It’s not to worry too much about the things that hold you back – they will always be there.  It’s to focus on the attributes that will take you where you want to go and then to allow them to take you there.

The joy of imperfection is knowing that who you are is enough.  And, in fact, it’s perfect.

How do you let go of perfection?  Tell us your ideas in the comments!

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