Flawful. As I write this post my computer is giving me the red squiggly line to show me that “flawful” is not a word. Maybe it’s because we as humans are only observant to things that are flawless and look to turn away the things that are full of flaws. But we seem to forget that we are not perfect beings, and that we ourselves are not flawless.
The most frustrating, yet exhilarating thing about being human is that we are not perfect. Despite how hard we try for everything in our lives to be absolutely perfect, the truth is it never will be. We will never be. That is okay. It’s more than okay. It’s right. It’s perfect. Us never being perfect is the only thing that can be perfect. Let me explain my confusing paradox:
Growing up I was a Type A Personality – always needing everything to go perfect and for it to be my way (I can’t even imagine the gray hairs I gave my parents). Anytime I made a mistake, it was like I got a limb chopped off. Or rather, that I was the one chopping off limbs. It could be the simplest thing of not understanding homework, or having a bad practice, and even getting into a misunderstanding with a friend. I would almost shut down. I would either quit, deny, or blame. I never wanted to face it, acknowledge it, or accept it because I felt by doing that I was somehow weak, I wasn’t perfect and that for some reason I wouldn’t be “worthy.
My perfectionism followed me throughout every facet of life. Until two very big epiphanies happened. The first was I realized I wasn’t the only one that was making mistakes. In fact, people I really cared about were screwing up and dealing with it. The second was I had been making mistakes I couldn’t avoid. It wasn’t anything detrimental. I didn’t develop a criminal past or make any life-altering decisions. It was more of seeing how some mistakes are unavoidable, hell some mistakes you can’t just sweep under a wrong and pretend never happened.
As I started to live these epiphanies I began to see that mistakes weren’t such a bad thing. If anything I learned more when I messed up and fell on my ass. It’s like when you take a test in school. When you get a question right, it’s great you move along and barely pay it attention. But when you get something wrong, you scrutinize and wonder where you went wrong and how to fix it.
I believe we has humans are natural fixers. We want things to be perfect and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But we need to embrace mistakes as the stepping-stones for making things better.
I learned when I made the mistakes of partying too hard that that was the person I did not want to be. Just as I learned that putting the blame on others, just stifled my own growth by being ignorant to my own shortcomings. Mistakes are the natural kryptonite to perfectionism. But it isn’t a bad thing.
Over time I began to let my grip loosen and began to allow my perfectionism to take a back seat. When I welcomed my mistakes as the natural ways of human growth, I found myself more self-aware, more confident and happier. Who knew screwing up could help us so much and push us into the people we are destined to be?
Yes, being flawful at times won’t be adorable or admirable, but if that step back causes me to leap 10 forward – I’ll take it anyday!