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4 min read

How To Safely Embrace Your Flaws and Imperfections

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Most of us have trouble with negative thoughts and self-doubt at some point or another. Others may spend their whole lives battling with feelings of self-criticism. Greater self-acceptance doesn't necessarily mean that we have to believe or pretend to believe that we're perfect, but it does mean learning to accept and love our true selves, warts and all. In this article, we'll share when to embrace your flaws, and how you can do it authentically.

The Concept of Wabi Sabi: Why Imperfections Make You Beautiful

Embracing imperfection means accepting that we can be a valuable and beautiful person despite any flaws we may have. In Japanese culture, this concept is known as wabi-sabi. This worldview centers on the acceptance of imperfection, transience, and incompleteness. It is also found in many forms of Japanese artwork. For example, a broken vase may be put back together with a gold-leaf adhesive to draw attention to the cracks.

Looking at this concept in embracing imperfection in yourself, it can be said that as human beings, we are made up of the experiences, strengths, and flaws that form us. By accepting ourselves as a whole, we can appreciate our own journey and see the beauty in ourselves while acknowledging any "cracks".

Why Embracing Your Flaws is Important

Self-esteem and self-compassion can be important factors in living a more fulfilling life. If we spend all our time in self-criticism, we can be hampered in finding and embracing our true self. Many of us set unrealistic expectations for ourselves physically and mentally, then end up chasing these unachievable standards to our own detriment. Learning to embrace your flaws allows you to cultivate a more positive mindset, get a deeper sense of of self, create a greater sense of self confidence, and promote personal growth.

5 Strategies for Embracing Imperfections

Self-improvement often doesn't require making yourself better but acknowledging and embracing imperfection in a way that increases self-acceptance. This does not, of course, apply to unhealthy behaviors, maladaptive coping skills, or harmful actions. However, if you are someone who has trouble finding the positive aspects of yourself because of some impossible standard, then here are some strategies to start embracing self-love.

Find the Positive Side in Your Flaws

Thinking negatively can create a feedback loop that can make you feel pretty miserable all the time, even when things are going your way. On the flip side, focusing on the positive aspects of yourself and your life can do the opposite. Small changes in thinking can lead to big results. For example, if you tend to criticize a physical feature like your arms, find something positive to say about them instead. Rather than think, "Ugh, my arms are so thick," try, "My arms are so strong, I can carry all my groceries in at once."

Focus on Flow State Instead of Perfection

Perfectionism can be insidious. Under the guise of achievement, we can end up damaging our own self worth with continual criticism and unrealistic expectations. Often, perfectionism can lead to poor performance, because a fear of failure or making mistakes can impede our ability to initiate and complete tasks. One way to curb perfectionist tendencies is to learn to focus on the present moment. By doing this, we can create a flow state that leads to a greater sense of enjoyment.

Challenge Negative Self-Talk and Practice Self-Compassion

Oftentimes we talk to ourselves in a way that we would never dream of talking to anyone else. Take some time to focus on how your inner-voice speaks about you. Are you harshly critical of your appearance, behaviors, or a specific personality trait? Do you use words to describe yourself that you'd be mortified to use when referring to others? Self-esteem can suffer under criticism, even if you yourself are doling it out.

Start to challenge the statements you make about yourself or to yourself. Imagine a third-party observer in your head, hearing those words. Are they fair? Are they true? Treat yourself at least as well as you treat your own friends and family. Start embracing imperfections and catching yourself when you try to use your flaws as a form of attack. Find the beauty in what makes you uniquely you.

Surround Yourself With Positive Voices

Meaningful connections can be an integral part of improving mental health, and even physical health. Finding like-minded individuals who can offer support is a powerful act of self-love. If you tend to hang out with negative people, you can catch those negative thoughts yourself. For example, if your friend group is super critical toward themselves and others, it can be difficult not to fall into that mindset. Try to find at least some friends who actively embrace imperfections and self-acceptance. These relationships can make all the difference in improving body image and self-worth.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

There are many beautiful bodies out there, and yours is one of them! Try to embrace the idea of comparing yourself only to your own best, and not the experiences of other people. Whether we're talking about appearance, abilities, or experiences, let's acknowledge that it's only natural and human to compare yourself to others. However, this is rarely helpful. Embracing your flaws can mean that you can admire others, but also see the beauty in yourself.

Reach Out For Help if Necessary

Embracing imperfections can be the key to self-acceptance and greater self-confidence. Ultimately, however, it can be difficult to achieve this kind of perspective, especially if you're someone who has struggled with poor self-image your entire life. Therapy can offer support in embracing imperfections by targeting the root cause of your self-criticism. A therapist can also offer further strategies for embracing your flaws and helping you build better relationships. By learning how to focus on the positive aspects of yourself, you can learn to live a more fulfilling life.

Embracing Self-Love in Austin, TX

While some of us may be able to accept the perspective of flaws as part of the picture, others may still be struggling to embrace these flaws because they strive for perfection. If this is the case for you, therapy can help.

At Williamsburg Therapy Group, we offer a range of online therapy and in-person appointments that can fit into any schedule, so you can find a therapist to support your self-compassion journey.

Give us a call today, and our patient coordinator will help you find the right Austin therapist to offer their experience in building self-esteem, and help you find the tools to embrace your flaws, accept your imperfections, and help you find happiness and a more fulfilling life.

Book a Therapy Session in Austin Today

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