Learning How to be Imperfect

I am a notorious perfectionist. I was praised by my family, teachers, and other adults for always doing well and picking things up quickly. I was “gifted”.

But life goes on and things change. I wasn’t perfect at things on the first try anymore, people continued to have high expectations, and I didn’t know how to be bad at anything.

It takes strength to admit that you aren’t good at something. And it takes even more strength to continue trying when you already know this.

I have a tendency to swing between zero and a hundred. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to give everything I have. But if I see myself failing, I will sabotage any good that could come out of it because I can’t produce an imperfect product when I’ve tried so hard to make it match the vision I had in mind. So instead I make it disappear. I refuse to let anyone see my failed projects. I bail on my goals because I’m not nailing them from the beginning, mostly because those goals are ridiculous.

I remember my teachers saying that turning in an imperfect product is still better than nothing at all.

I didn’t believe it. I didn’t understand how anyone could be okay with less-than-perfect results. So I beat myself up over every mistake and tried desperately to hide them.

I’m starting to learn that giving 50% is still better than 0%. Hell, even 25% or 10% is better than nothing.

Even if you can only give 1%, you are doing more than you thought.

I’m learning to scale back my expectations. I’m learning to let myself be imperfect and let others see that too.

So no, I didn’t make my bed the way I like it. But I fixed the sheets and laid the blankets flat.

I’m still terrible at video games. But I can still have fun with them.

That new recipe I tried didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted it. But I have some notes on how to improve next time.

That song I’m trying to record is really kicking my ass and I can’t quite get my voice to sound the way I want it to. But it’s getting there.

I am not perfect. Far from it, I am deeply flawed but I’m still trying.

Yeah, I’m still trying.

Until next time x

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