You may think that it´s easier said than done, to love your flaws and imperfections, but this article will give you tangible tips on how to actually do it.
Everyone on this Earth is born with imperfections. Whether it’s obvious or not, each person struggles with the acceptance of their flaws. It can be something as small as crooked teeth and cellulite. Or it can be a personality and character flaw that you wish you didn’t have.
To become the best version of ourselves, we should work on those imperfections. However, there are instances where we need to embrace our humanity as imperfect individuals and practice grace.
If you struggle with low self-esteem and want to start building a healthy sense of self-worth, read Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem.
Table of Contents
How I Learned to Accept My Physical Imperfections
During my pre-teen years, I was young enough to be influenced but old enough to know the difference between expectations and reality. I always wondered why my body was so different from the girls I saw on TV. My shoulders were broad, my feet were wide, I had coarse thick hair and my frame wasn’t exactly as slender as the girls I watched.
Naturally, I pointed to my weight as the culprit. I self-prescribed a low-calorie diet that left me feeling miserable and almost led to binging. Thankfully, this didn’t last long as my common sense finally kicked in.
Early on I had the realization that my body was different. I realized that I would never be the same as the girls I saw on TV. This affected my self-esteem for a while as I was really hard on myself. I desperately wanted to change my body so that I could feel more confident in my skin. Thankfully, I learned how to improve my self-esteem over time and accepted my body for what it was.
Love Your Flaws and Imperfections: Our Imperfections Make Us Who We Are
After accepting the imperfections of my body, I realized that those very “imperfections” were actually a great part of me and helped with my achievements.
My broad shoulders, feet and frame helped with my athleticism and really defined who I was. I was strong and confident on the field and had my body to thank for that. This very same body abled me to achieve the things I did with the very same body.
The sum of all my imperfections is a part of what makes me, me.
Personalities, Character Flaws and Imperfections
Aside from our physical imperfections, we tend to roast ourselves when it comes to our personalities and character flaws. Sometimes we wish to be smarter, wittier, or more charming. And when we don’t achieve this, we tend to think that we have problems and have undesirable character traits.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Everyone is unique. Everyone is different and brings variety to the table. Imagine how chaotic it would be if we were all extroverted, witty, smart and outspoken. There would be a lot of conflicts.
A part of what makes society work is the different personalities and character traits that each person has. Sure, some may seem more desirable and praised than others. However, it doesn’t mean that what you have is a flaw or imperfection. It shouldn’t make you desire to be someone else.
We are all unique in our own ways. Celebrating that is the best thing that you can do for yourself.
Love Your Flaws and Imperfections: My Struggle With Imperfection
As a shy and introverted person, I don’t make good first impressions. There are times when I struggle to keep a good conversation with strangers which then leads to a lot of misconceptions about me.
My shyness is also something I didn’t like about myself. I viewed it as a huge flaw. Any unwanted attention made me freeze in my tracks and it affected my life. It may not seem obvious to some people who know me but I had struggled with this for a very long time.
There were moments when I wished I was someone else. I didn’t like my personality and the limitations I thought it had. My personality strives in a fairly structured way that has routines. Some people can see it as boring or uptight for the most part. However, I needed the structure to function.
In moments like those, I would wish to have a more easy-going personality. To be the opposite person that I am. In my pursuit to change myself, I realized that it was a lot harder to become someone I am not.
It all clicked when it became clear to me that my shyness and other personality traits were not an imperfection but a piece of a puzzle that made me who I am. It’s safe to say that now I am so proud of who I’ve become. I still struggle with being shy but that doesn’t mean I have to hate it.
Love Your Flaws and Imperfections: Where to Draw the Line
Our imperfections mark our humanity and are seen in each person, so we should celebrate them. However, there is a difference between accepting our imperfections and using them as an excuse to stay stagnant.
Stagnation is something the human race should fear. To completely accept our current state of being without desiring progress will keep us “outdated” in the long run. The same goes for us on the individual level.
Although we must learn to love our imperfections, we must also learn to improve ourselves and grow.
Take for example my shyness. I’ve come to accept that I am a shy person. However, I cannot use that as an excuse to hide behind a wall and be a distant person. It is my responsibility to become better as much as I can. To face my fears and to put in the effort as opposed to using my “imperfection” as an excuse.
Another example is individuals who are overweight. They need to learn to love their bodies and love who they are. Yes, this is true. However, it is also their responsibility to improve their health.
It is important to see the line between acceptance and acknowledging that there are ways to become better.
Tips on How to Love Your Flaws and Imperfections
1. Embrace What is Yours
If you were to ask me if I was happy with my body during my tween years, I would let out a hesitant no. I didn’t embrace the features that looked “bad” because I thought that it was what people would notice the most. So I tried other ways to hide my imperfections. Aside from the convenience it provided, I had my hair rebonded because I didn’t like how my natural hair looked. I gave up on my natural hair and decided that it would be a lot easier for me to have it chemically treated.
Over time, as I looked in the mirror, I realized that my rebonded hair wasn’t me either. I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself and that it was time to face it. Now I struggle with my real hair on a daily basis. It gives me problems from time to time but I am learning to love it.
I am learning to accept that it is my body and that I am so blessed to have it. After all, I am the one who has to deal with myself for the rest of my life.
Embracing your imperfections gives you the closure that you need and helps you move on to more important areas of your life. It removes the constant attention you give it and allows you to live freely without having to worry about what other people think.
2. Remember That Everyone Has Imperfections
It’s easy to get lost in reality when we are constantly bombarded with images of seemingly perfect people. Not only that but also seeing other people’s accomplishments can make us question why we are the way we are. That is why it is so important to remember that everyone has their imperfections.
Everyone struggles with imperfection because they are human.
I remember a time when I discovered something about a popular guy I knew. He was good-looking, academically gifted, musically talented, athletic and checked all the outward appearance boxes. However, one of his flaws was his arrogance. He knew how great he was and wasn’t afraid to let people know.
Amidst his seemingly perfect image was an imperfection that would show itself from time to time. Despite all the wonderful things he was, there was still a flaw. Despite how perfect he seemed, there was some imperfection inside him.
That’s because he is a human. Underneath the most desired people are imperfections I am sure they struggle to keep hidden. It’s so unrealistic to think that we are the only ones struggling with our flaws. No matter how great someone may seem, there will always be a flaw hidden inside.
3. Love Your Flaws and Imperfections: Create a Realistic Standard for Yourself
As a fitness enthusiast, I watch a lot of YouTube videos of female fitness influencers. I like to follow along with their workouts and adapt some of them into my routine.
These female fitness influencers are not ashamed to show their bodies because they are proud of how far they have come. With that being said, their outfits were perfectly picked out to accentuate their bodies.
You can just imagine how good they look.
These fitness influencers are without a doubt a great inspiration for people who want to lose weight and get fit. The problem, however, is that it may create unrealistic standards for people since their goal may be to look like that person.
Our tendency to compare can make us create unrealistic expectations of ourselves which in turn makes us think that we are imperfect when we don’t achieve it.
We tend to focus on our imperfections because the standard that we have set is impossible or very difficult to achieve. By creating a realistic standard for yourself, you will have a healthier perception of who you are.
4. Find the Right Environment to Thrive In
Our environment plays a key role in our mood, behavior and health. That is why it is important to find the right environment for you to love yourself.
If you are someone who is struggling with body dysmorphia and decide to enter beauty pageants and swimsuit competitions, it would be a lot harder to heal from it. If you are someone who struggles academically and is constantly surrounded by people who discourage you, it’s time to find new friends.
A part of learning to accept your imperfections is by creating a safe environment for yourself where you are loved and accepted. This environment should be an uplifting space that encourages you to be better but does not pin you down for your imperfections.
Love Your Flaws and Imperfections: My Safe Space
Growing up, I had supportive parents who created a great environment for me to develop myself. My siblings and I are three very different people who require different approaches. We have different talents and skills that were evident at early ages.
I can hardly recall a time when my mom ever pointed out something that needed to be changed or corrected. Of course, bad behavior is corrected but not a word came out of her mouth of wanting to change us. This might seem like an obvious thing that mothers do. After all, they love us.
However, there are still mothers out there who would verbally tell their kids that they wished they had better skin or that they could be taller, curvier, smarter or more talented. This practice feeds insecurities and teaches us to hate our so-called “imperfections.”
The type of environment we keep ourselves in can have a huge impact on the way we perceive ourselves and our attitude towards our “imperfections.”
If you still live with your parents and your home isn´t a safe space to be yourself, develop relationship with people outside your immediate family
5. Some Imperfections Are Subjective
Have you ever met someone who you thought was stunning only to hear a friend say that they thought that person was pretty plain?
That scenario goes along with the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Our world is diverse and contains billions of minds that have different preferences and beliefs. An individual’s idea of perfection will not be the same as others. What is perceived as neat and clean can still look sloppy to someone else.
Take this same principle and apply it to perfection and imperfection. Constantly chasing someone’s idea of perfection will never satisfy you because you run on your own metrics. Apply this in reverse. That means that what someone thinks is imperfection isn’t the same for someone else.
Is imperfection an undesirable feature? Remember, what is undesirable to one person can be desirable to another. It all depends on perspective.
6. Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder
My siblings and I enjoy shopping at second-hand stores because you can find some rare, vintage or interesting clothes. Many people, like us, join in on the hunt to find some “lost treasure.”
It’s interesting because these are the very clothes that people didn’t want or see value in anymore. Garage sales function the same way. One man’s trash is another person’s treasure. Beauty and perfection lie in the eyes of their beholder and can depend on many factors.
7. The Grass Is Greener on the Other Side
We can see in many examples this old but very true saying. Ladies with beautiful straight hair still wish they had curlier hair and vice versa. Individuals who have trouble gaining weight envy those people who are a bit bigger and can gain weight.
Indeed, the grass is always greener on the other side. It’s easy to want something you don’t have. It’s easy to think that you have the lower end of the bargain. If we are not content with what we have, we will always wish to have more.
8. Love Your Flaws and Imperfections: You Are Perfectly Imperfect
We live in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people. Our imperfections make us real and authentic with each other. It shows how much we have in common and that we all face struggles every day.
I love meeting people who are honest about their struggles and can openly acknowledge how much they have grown. It nurtures our connection because it shows vulnerability and acknowledges that we are not alone. We are perfectly imperfect people learning to live together and make the most out of our lives.
The best we can do is learn to be better people and love those who struggle to do the same. Because at the end of the day, we have ourselves to deal with.
You are perfectly imperfect, and that’s okay.
So if you´ve been wondering how you can love your flaws and imperfections, I hope that you will walk away with this … that this journey takes time. And that every baby step towards accepting and loving you matters.
This is a guest post by Joshleen Marmol, a Nutrition Specialist and the founder of The Upward Fall.