Be Perfectly Imperfect

By Abbie Hebron
 Distinguished Young Woman of Missouri for 2014

 

“Practice makes perfect.” Does this phrase, although uttered quite frequently in our society, have any truth behind it? How much practice, in fact, does it take to become “perfect”? What even is “perfect”? We have come to believe, through the influence of media, that perfect is attainable; it is something we can reach if we would just be “better”. In reality, perfection is having no flaws, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that is remotely possible.

Now, I hate to say that being perfect or striving to be perfect is “bad”, because I think everyone needs to “shoot for the stars” and “dream big”. There is, though, a difference between expecting perfection and wanting to be the best you can be. What separates those two ideas? Knowing that you will never be perfect.

Yes, I just said that. I am sorry if you think you are perfect, or think you will ever be perfect. It is ultimately impossible for you to have zero mistakes. This might seem harsh or cruel, but it something that is imperative to know in order to be the best YOU. Imperfection, contrary to what the media tells us, is actually normal. It is quite perfect in its own way.

In my own life, I can confidently say that perfection is something I always strive to attain. But even though I want to be perfect, I constantly know that it will never happen. Now, I was not always okay with that. It wasn’t until the end of high school that I actually started to accept my imperfections. Being able to understand that, though, changed my life and the way I saw myself. Before, I compared my failures to other peoples’ successes. I only saw my flaws, and focused so much on them I couldn’t see the great things I did. The worst, I didn’t see the potential I had, I only could see a future full of continued disappointment. These were all happening because I truly believed I could be perfect. I am sure that most of you have felt this way before (or maybe are going through these mind circles right now). I don’t want to undermine this problem, and say there is an easy fix, because it took me a long time to change my mindset and accept my imperfect individuality. Even after I found my true character and came to acknowledge my flawed self, I still fall into this trap every now and then. It never escapes our minds, and that is largely due to the media’s hold on us.

How to fix this? Well, first you have to find who you are. Whoa! That was pretty deep, wasn’t it? Well, it is true. You have to figure out what you like, what you don’t, who you want to be, etc. Don’t be fake and try to be someone you’re not. It is a waste of time, because someone else is already taking that role. Be UNIQUE. Be YOU. Finally, when you think you have a grasp at who you are and who you want to be, it is time to accept your flaws. For prideful young girls, this is especially hard. Although we lack true “confidence”, we actually think we can be perfect. This is because we set our standards too high, and if you think about it, this is why we are not confident in who we are. Now, I’m not saying to set your standards or expectations low. I am saying to be real, and know that you can only accomplish what you were made to do. Still shoot for incredible dreams, crazy goals, and unimaginable heights, but constantly know that you will survive if you do not reach all of those almost-impossible things.

Being able to recognize the imperfection in yourself (although depressing as it may seem) is absolutely freeing and empowering. Knowing that you are good enough, actually perfect enough, at being YOU is the best feeling in the world (I think). Just remember this, if nothing else- “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” ~Amy Bloom

 

So, go ahead, be perfectly imperfect. Be YOU!

 

Abbie Hebron is a college freshman at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri majoring in Dietetics. Originally from O’Fallon, Missouri, Abbie was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Missouri for 2014. Learn more about Abbie here!

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