How to Make Peace with Your Imperfections
21 Apr 2014
This post is part of Whose Shoes Blog Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and to join us as we tell the world how we walk boldly in our own shoes, click here.
As a “recovering” perfectionist, I’ve always struggled with the idea of making a mistake. I think that growing up in a strict African household, with a serious emphasis on educational performance and appearances contributed to this disease of perfectionism. But, I take full accountability for the way I internalized what success means in our culture. Instead of defining it for myself, I allowed other people and their expectations—in both my personal and professional life—to dictate what my priorities should be.
What other people thought about my hair, my clothes, my choice of friends and career, and my image drove me to always appear as if I had it all together. Now that I think back on it, I must have been pretty unbearable at times to those who had to deal with me (thank God for my family…they stuck it out). But there’s nothing like living Murphy’s Law to humble you.
Over the past few of years, I have faced a number of challenges—financial, personal, material—that have forced me to confront issues I thought I had dealt with long ago. Only to find out that I had just scratched the surface of what I have now come to understand were insecurities and doubts that were still plaguing me from childhood.
So what happens when you can no longer afford to keep up appearances? Some people die trying. Me? At the point where things got really tight and uncomfortable, God told me to just let it all go. Let go of feeling like I’m not allowed to make a mistake. Let go of thinking I can’t ask for help. Let go of putting on a happy face to mask my inner turmoil. Let go of the need to prove that I am worthy by using material things to define my worth.
And I have to say, it was quite freeing. When I finally humbled myself and gave myself permission to be human, I asked myself why it had taken me so long…
Because it is in this imperfection that we are most malleable and open to God’s voice and His purpose for us.
It is in this imperfection that we learn to have more empathy towards others.
It is in this imperfection that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We open ourselves up to living life out loud without regard for what everyone else thinks.
Looking at my car the other day, I kept saying to myself that I needed to get some of the dents from previous accidents (that were my fault) fixed. Even though they weren’t that noticeable and didn’t affect the functioning of my car in any way, they bothered me because they represented mistakes that I had made. And then I decided that it just wasn’t that deep. I’m going to keep the dents as a visual reminder to myself that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. Just like me, my car is functioning perfectly fine in its imperfection.
What are some of the things that keep you from embracing your mistakes and loving yourself in all your imperfection?
Christine K. St.Vil (founder of Moms ‘N Charge) & Julian B. Kiganda (founder of Bold & Fearless) are two sisters who decided to get together and write "Whose Shoes Are You Wearing? 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be"—a book about gaining powerful insights from a cultural and spiritual perspective on why it’s important to find and fit into your own God-given shoes. They know this book has the power to change lives. You can grab your copy here.