It’s all too easy to fall into bad habits of judging yourself and others too harshly. Before you know it, you permanently set your inner monologue to negativity. You feel dissatisfied and grumpy with everyone and everything. And that’s no way to live your best life!
What if you just decided to take a step away from all the competition, all that clamoring for likes and hearts? What if you chose merely to enjoy your life without sharing it with the world? Here are some top strategies to help you learn to accept imperfection in yourself and others, leave that negative mindset behind, and reclaim your life and be happier.
- Be conscious of your thoughts. If a negative viewpoint has become your default setting, you probably don’t even realize when you’re doing it. Take a minute to tune into your self-talk for a moment. Pay attention to the words you’re using and course-correct for more positive language.
- Flip the switch to positive. Consciously change your inner monologue to focus on positives. Instead of focusing on differences and seeing them as flaws, choose to see what is good in the other person.
- Re-tune to a color view of the world. It’s easy to fall into the habit of seeing things as right or wrong. Sure, someone else’s choice may not be your choice, maybe you don’t like broccoli or would want to work for a multinational or vacation in Antarctica. But it doesn’t mean those other choices are wrong; they’re just different. Seeing things in black and white is so limiting. Open up a little and re-tune your world view, so you see all the colors as equally valid.
- Stay in the present. Some people keep a world history of wrongs and imperfections stretching way back. They act almost like perfection police, waiting to add to their list of transgressions. Or they worry about future mistakes and how to avoid them. Don’t be that person! You can choose to stay focused on the here and now and enjoy what’s happening in your life.
- Turn it around. If you find yourself slipping back into your past habits of judging other people, turn it around and ask yourself - how would it feel if someone was judging you? Remember that old saying about people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones? That’s good to remember when you feel tempted to dismiss someone’s appearance or actions. Cut people some slack and they are more likely to go easy on you.
You can decide right now to stop analyzing other people, looking for what’s wrong with their face or their body or their life choices. Refocus your attitude, so you stop seeing a difference as a flaw but as merely something that makes that person unique. Just let go of the urge to criticize others, and you’ll notice a flow-on effect on how you see yourself.
Accept your imperfection
Wanting to be the best version of you isn’t the same as being a perfectionist. A perfectionist is never happy with who they are, how they look, or how they’re doing. Being your best means you work hard, you try, and you don’t give up. But it doesn’t mean you blame yourself when things aren’t perfect, and you don’t take failure personally.
Relax and enjoy the process
Perfectionists tend to trip over every little detail and allow imperfections to spoil their lives. When you embrace imperfection as a natural part of life, it frees you up to enjoy the ride. Obstacles become challenges that make life more enjoyable. You can slow down and notice all the good things there are in your life.
Adopt imperfection as a way of life
Once you make peace with imperfection, you can be a lot more objective about life. Your perspective changes, and what once seemed overwhelmingly important suddenly doesn’t matter so much. All experiences become just another aspect of a life lived richly, that builds the person you are continually becoming.
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