Embracing Imprefection

Embracing imperfection

Posted by VictoriaKlein on 8/10/2010. ode.com

Sometimes, things need to be just so. Most of the time though, good (not great) is good enough. This doesn’t mean you are settling for second best or short-changing yourself – you’re being realistic, because people are imperfect.

The Association of Psychological Science Convention in Boston took place in May of 2010. Experts in the study of perfectionism got together to share and analyze their research. One of the most compelling studies came from Prem Fry, PhD, professor of psychology at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada. Her study of older adults found a 51 percent reduced life expectancy for perfectionists over non-perfectionists … 51 percent! Along with the possibility of an early demise (you can’t perfect your way out of that), perfectionism has also been linked to other ailments: anxiety, substance abuse, binge eating, hoarding, and more.

Our worlds are fraught with imperfections, but instead of worrying over them (especially those we can’t change), how about we try embracing them instead. I know, it sounds like a novel concept, but it is possible. I recently wrote about a particularly imperfect mental moment known as brain fog. Does its inherent lack of perfection mean brain fog is bad? Nope – in fact, it can be quite pleasing.

As an introvert, DIY advocate, dust and dirt appreciator, and sometimes-lazy exerciser, imperfection runs through my veins. It may have taken me awhile, but embracing my imperfection has increased my overall happiness ten-fold. Other surprising benefits: I eat healthier, smile more, have clearer skin, and take part in more hobbies. Why? Because I’m not worried about making, doing, or seeing anything as a perfectionist ideal to strive for.

Perfection is inherently oxymoronic. Pick up a dictionary and you’ll find nearly 15 definitions for “perfect”. Many of these definitions focus on the concept of an ideal, but an ideal man, ideal vacation, or ideal business report is relative – subjective from person to person. That means your “perfection” isn’t the same as my “perfection.” So who gets to say what is and isn’t perfect? No one, that’s who.

There are imperfect faces, bodies, diets, exercise routines, school grades, flowers, tress, and even foods (think heirloom, “funky looking” varieties). Embrace the fantastic plethora of imperfection around you, put forth your best effort in life, and you just might enjoy that life a bit longer.

You Tell Us!

  • Name one imperfection you are proud of.
  • When is “OK” better than “perfect”?
Ode Magazine USA, Inc. and Ode Luxembourg 2009 (further information in Privacy & Copyright)

rfection

ometimes, things need to be just so. Most of the time though, good (not great) is good enough. This doesn’t mean you are settling for second best or short-changing yourself – you’re being realistic, because people are imperfect.

The Association of Psychological Science Convention in Boston took place in May of 2010. Experts in the study of perfectionism got together to share and analyze their research. One of the most compelling studies came from Prem Fry, PhD, professor of psychology at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada. Her study of older adults found a 51 percent reduced life expectancy for perfectionists over non-perfectionists … 51 percent! Along with the possibility of an early demise (you can’t perfect your way out of that), perfectionism has also been linked to other ailments: anxiety, substance abuse, binge eating, hoarding, and more.

Our worlds are fraught with imperfections, but instead of worrying over them (especially those we can’t change), how about we try embracing them instead. I know, it sounds like a novel concept, but it is possible. I recently wrote about a particularly imperfect mental moment known as brain fog. Does its inherent lack of perfection mean brain fog is bad? Nope – in fact, it can be quite pleasing.

As an introvert, DIY advocate, dust and dirt appreciator, and sometimes-lazy exerciser, imperfection runs through my veins. It may have taken me awhile, but embracing my imperfection has increased my overall happiness ten-fold. Other surprising benefits: I eat healthier, smile more, have clearer skin, and take part in more hobbies. Why? Because I’m not worried about making, doing, or seeing anything as a perfectionist ideal to strive for.

Perfection is inherently oxymoronic. Pick up a dictionary and you’ll find nearly 15 definitions for “perfect”. Many of these definitions focus on the concept of an ideal, but an ideal man, ideal vacation, or ideal business report is relative – subjective from person to person. That means your “perfection” isn’t the same as my “perfection.” So who gets to say what is and isn’t perfect? No one, that’s who.

There are imperfect faces, bodies, diets, exercise routines, school grades, flowers, tress, and even foods (think heirloom, “funky looking” varieties). Embrace the fantastic plethora of imperfection around you, put forth your best effort in life, and you just might enjoy that life a bit longer.

You Tell Us!

  • Name one imperfection you are proud of.
  • When is “OK” better than “perfect”?

Photo: Flickr

© Ode Magazine USA, Inc. and Ode Luxembourg 2009 (further information in Privacy & Copyright)
This entry was posted in General, Happiness. Bookmark the permalink.