Embracing Imperfection in a Society Focused on Perfection

Airbrushed Instagram posts, poached eggs that ooze majestically, and silky blonde hair. In a society keen to embrace individuality, we’re certainly placing too much of our focus on perfection and it’s becoming damaging.

Perfection is unattainable in every sense. It’s important to strive for perfection but to accept that it’s simply impossible. Perfection isn’t what it’s about.

It’s about waking up in the morning with dribble dried up on your chin. It’s about making a fool of yourself in front of your boss that you’re meeting for the first time, and then laughing at how idiotic you were. It’s that double-chinned photo your friend captured of you mid-laughter. It’s about making mistake after mistake and finally achieving that goal. And then some. So how do we learn to embrace imperfection?

Often, we are harsh to ourselves when what we’re really seeking is some acceptance. We search for someone to say “you’re doing great, keep going”. What we fail to notice is the person we need that acceptance from most is ourselves.

Jay Shetty’s podcast with Jada Pinkett-Smith is just what we’ve all been needing. Two idols of mine yet they are both open about mistakes and “messing up”. A message that stood out for me was, “we rely on others to confirm us rather than ourselves”. It’s certainly put a lot into perspective for me and I encourage you to have a listen here.

Even when we do something for ourselves is often done with the motive of a pat on the back from an acquaintance. Or how good it makes our social media feeds look and sound. And as soon as that acquaintance tells us we didn’t do a good enough job, or we didn’t hit however many likes on that post, we crumble. Because we never received that inner acceptance that would allow us to fight back when those inner thoughts tell us “I told you so”. We never gave ourselves that reassurance that deep down, we tried our absolute best at that time.

And in terms of a working environment, there are times when we need to receive constructive criticism. There are times where we will make mistakes and we will hurt people. That’s part of accepting imperfection and warranting apologies. But it’s not telling yourself that you’re a waste of space. It’s not wallowing in self-pity and telling yourself you’ll never be good enough.

Once we stop looking at everyone around us through rose tinted glasses, we’ll soon realise that they are just as imperfect as we are. We all make decisions, some right and some wrong. We all have imperfections. The trouble is, sometimes we use a persons vulnerability to tear them down, rather than build them up. Once we begin to admit our wrongdoings and embrace our flaws, the better we can tear down the unnecessary idea of perfectionism.

There are enough pressures on us to do that, be that, say that, so take this one pressure off yourself. Accept being imperfect. Accept being imperfect despite thinking that you are meant to be perfect. Accept being imperfect and you never know who you may inspire.

If you have any feedback or enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Ciao for now x

Posted by

Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

One thought on “Embracing Imperfection in a Society Focused on Perfection

  1. I totally agree and this generation needs to be less judgmental and more empathetic so that they can be vulnerable with other people and make meaningful connections. Great post 🙂


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