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The unfortunate reality is that most of areas of life are going to be imperfect. You can either grizzle about it and get frustrated, or you can learn to accept it and keep moving forward in spite of it.
The personal development journey contains a tension that never goes away. You have to be happy and grateful with what you have, yet at the same time strive to improve yourself.
Learning to accept imperfection is a crucial part of learning how to navigate this fine line. Instead of letting imperfection frustrate you, you make peace with it and use it as a personal development tool.
A desire to be better is excellent motivation, as long as it doesn’t turn into unhappiness and frustration at not having yet achieved your goal.
Identifying areas where you are less than satisfied in life can help guide your personal development. Imperfection is a signal for you to focus and work on that particular issue.
Make Peace With The Journey
When you want to improve upon something in your life it rarely happens quickly. Personal development goals often take a lot of time and require serious discipline. You have to form a new habit, stick with it and slowly see your gains accrue over weeks, months and sometimes years.
Along the way you might stagnate or backslide and you will probably get frustrated at your slow pace. Yet good things take time and you shouldn’t rush.
The very nature of the fact that personal development is a journey means you spend more time traveling and less time at your destination. Bumps in the road are inevitable and they are all part of the process.
If you can make peace with the fact that the journey will be less than perfect then you will be in a better space to appreciate the ride.
Understand That Failure Can Be Beneficial
Failing isn’t the catastrophe that it’s often made out to be. The greatest benefit from failure is the learning that takes place. In some endeavors you have to fail many times before you succeed but with each failure you get closer and closer to success.
In the moment when failure occurs it is natural to experience frustration and anger. But if you can see the bigger picture and the benefits that failure can have in the long run then it is much easier to accept.
Failure might mean you have to re-calibrate your goals or change your approach. This is the feedback you need in order to help you move forward.
Perfection Is An Impossible Standard
It would be great to have a perfect life. Abundant wealth, exciting career, great relationships with family and friends, plenty of leisure time. But it’s an impossible standard that nobody can define.
In personal development there is always more that can be done. You may be fit, but you can always be fitter. Your bank account might be healthy but there is always room for growth. Your relationship might be awesome but you can always work harder to eliminate conflict, insecurity and miscommunication.
Committing yourself to an upward trajectory of personal growth is important but chasing perfection is a dead end. If you accept that it is impossible to achieve then it helps you to make peace with the things in your life that are not perfect.
Accept That Negative Emotions Are Part Of The Human Experience
Imperfection can cause frustration, dissatisfaction and irritation. You want to achieve more and the lack of progress brings you down.
It’s not possible to ride a high all the time. Personal development gives you the tools to manage your emotions better and take a greater degree of control over them. Yet it is impossible to completely eliminate negative experiences or negative thinking.
Sadness, anger and frustration all have a place in the human experience. When you accept that it becomes much easier to move through the bad times and get back to happiness quickly, rather than getting bogged down and stuck in negative thought patterns.
While it’s fun to dream the impossible dream of a perfect life, it’s important to recognize that achieving perfection is not a very good goal. It’s just not measurable and can have the downside of making you unhappy because you haven’t achieved perfection.
Achieving a high level of mastery is worth striving for, as long as you can accept that the journey will have bumps and true perfection can never quite be reached.
Being happy with what you have in life while at the same time striving for more is a difficult balance to achieve. Accepting difficult circumstances and one’s own flaws without self criticism is a necessary step on the personal development journey.
Author Bio: Brad writes about relationships and personal development at his website Badass Young Men. His main interest is in helping people improve their confidence and self esteem and overcome their insecurities.