I love it when something can completely change my perspective. And I love it when that change in perspective has a good impact on my life.
This happened to me when I watched another marvellous TED talk—this one was on vulnerability.
Sometimes we have a certain idea of what we should be like and when we don’t live up to this idea, we can feel disappointed, guilty, depressed or angry. I used to feel so guilty that I wasn’t what I thought I should be. I was hard on myself; I mentally berated myself all the time. Telling myself I didn’t need to be perfect didn’t work because deep down I still wanted to be perfect.
But after watching this video, something clicked. Now I believed that I didn’t need to aim for this perfect idea of myself. Instead, I’ve come to accept the me with all my flaws because I’ve learnt that having flaws isn’t a bad thing.
I’m okay with being imperfect; I’m okay with me. It was such a relief when I learnt this lesson and my perspective changed. It was like the guilt just lifted off me. There’s still things I don’t like about myself but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the whole person. Having things I don’t like about myself isn’t a reason to think the worst about me. Instead, I can accept I have things that aren’t great in my life and still say that I’m okay.
The goal isn’t to have the perfect personality, appearance, job, skills, etc. The goal is to love and be loved. Think about it this way: we can be perfect and not loved or we can be imperfect but loved. All my life I’ve wanted perfection over love. Now I want love over perfection. That’s the key difference in my thinking. I believe people can be loved even when we’re imperfect. So there’s no need to strive for perfection anymore, unless you want perfection for perfection’s sake.
I wanted perfection because I thought it would make people, including myself, like me better. Now I just want to be myself. How amazing that when we are ourselves, people can love us more. And when we like ourselves, we’re free to love others better because we’re not worried what they’re thinking of us. We can just see them and love them, instead of see ourselves through their eyes.
I hope this helps all the people who think they need to be perfect, simply be me sharing what changed for me. I couldn’t force the change; it just happened. I hope it happens to you too.
Let go of who you think you should be, and just be. Take that burden off your shoulders of who you think you should be. Just be. You don’t have to be anyone else than who you are.