Do you feel a certain amount of pressure to present yourself and your life as perfect? Do you strive to convince people you 100% know what you’re doing and that you’re absolutely making all the right choices, all the time, for you and everyone else?
And if or when you make what’s considered to be a mistake, how easy is it for you to accept it and to let others see it? How easy is it for you to show your vulnerability and to offer to make amends?
My guess is that, like so many people, you feel exposed if you make a “wrong” choice, while simultaneously feeling like you’re wrong all the time anyway. It’s quite a toxic cocktail, and it’s a massive burden that a lot of us carry around.
Would you like to lighten that load a little? Or a lot?
Is it time to forget perfection, to live lighter, and to be happier?
Then read on, my friend.
No rights, no wrongs—only interesting choices
This might seem radical, but what if we stopped looking at any of our choices as right or wrong, good or bad? What if even decisions that seemed wrong for us in the past were actually just interesting for us?
When you replace the notions of right and wrong with ‘interesting view,’ you give yourself so much more room and space to see an event for what it actually was or is. You can look back and recognize that your choices brought you to where you are now and to who you are now. With “good” and “bad” off the table, you get to a place of self-acceptance where you honor exactly who you are—so-called flaws and all!
Mostly, this step is about getting out of the habit of judgment. If there were one key to living a lighter, happier life, that might be it. Begin by choosing to stop beating yourself up for past choices and take that new, open mindset into the present. Make a pact to never judge you or any of your choices ever again.
The more you let go of judgment, the lighter and more spacious your life becomes, and—this has to be the best part—the more fun it becomes! When you don’t mind if you mess up, and you don’t care if you look foolish, and you don’t try to live up to anyone’s expectations and standards, including your own, you have more fun and you ARE more fun.
Think about the people you really love being around. Do they take themselves very seriously? Or do they have a lightness, a “no worries” kind of vibe? Do you ever feel judged by them? Or do they give you the space to be exactly who you are?
When your presence is nonjudgmental, you put others at ease. This is such a gift for others and for you. As well as your existing relationships and friendships getting easier, you’ll notice new and interesting people gravitate towards you as well. Life opens up; doors open up. It’s incredible.
Vulnerability is often perceived as a sign of weakness or failure, particularly among men. Why is that? Because that’s what we’re taught!
The ironic thing is, the opposite is true. When we recognize that nothing is more powerful than we are, we have a level of confidence that allows us to know that lowering our barriers has zero to do with weakness and everything to do with strength.
If or when a time comes where one of your choices hurts someone else, you don’t have to defend yourself and keep those iron-clad barriers up. You can reach out and offer to make amends without ever judging yourself as bad or wrong and without going into auto-self-punish mode.
You can also consider how you might make a different choice in the future. In this way, see yourself as a work-in-progress, not the finished product. So-called mistakes can then be viewed as opportunities to learn and grow and to show us that we have other choices available to us for next time.
If you want to truly embrace not being perfect, allow yourself to be vulnerable. Allow yourself to not have to know all the answers. Allow yourself to not be universally liked or understood. Allow yourself to drop the mask. Allow yourself to let go of the past and any expectations for the future. Allow yourself to enjoy the lightness, enjoy the moment.
And if life is a series of interesting choices, what will you choose next?