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Embrace Your Imperfections and Thrive

Embrace Your Imperfections and Thrive

Does it sound counter-intuitive to embrace your imperfections and thrive at the same time?

I think embracing your imperfections is actually the key to thriving. One of my all time favorite quotes from Carl Rogers speaks to this idea: “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”


Embrace Your Imperfections

We all have imperfections and flaws. Our attempts to be perfect, actually hides our true selves. Perfectionism is like a shield. And like all shields, perfectionism keeps people at arms length; keeps us separate and disconnected. So, you may still be wondering how to embrace your imperfections and thrive. I’m talking about letting go of unrealistic expectations. Letting go of perfectionism. And changing your inner dialogue so you aren’t your own worst critic.

Embracing your imperfections and mistakes will help you:

  • Build relationships
  • Feel connected to others
  • Love and accept yourself
  • Grow into the person you want to be

Most of us strive to continuously improve ourselves. In order to do that we need to accept where we are right now. If I require perfection from myself or others, there isn’t room for growth. There is only room for criticism when I let down myself or others. This sets up a dynamic focused on failure rather than growth.

Growth oriented people:

  • Learn from mistakes
  • Don’t “beat themselves up” when they make mistakes
  • Take risks
  • Stay true to themselves
  • Accept that not everyone will like them
  • Acknowledge their own strengths and weaknesses
  • Invest in their own learning (reading, consultation, training)
  • Invest in their own self-care (exercise, friends, hobbies, therapy, health care)

So, where do you start?

  • Practice self-compassion. Talk to yourself as you’d talk to a valued friend
  • Practice self-forgiveness. Actually say the words or write them down: “I forgive myself for _______. “
  • Practice positive self-talk. Routinely say things to yourself like: “I don’t have to be perfect.”
  • Watch this fantastic Ted Talk – Kathryn Schulz On Being Wrong

If you struggle with self-criticism and perfectionism, and you are or (want to be) a growth-oriented person, I invite you to sign up for my Grow Happiness Newsletter. About once a month you’ll receive an email with tips, articles, and motivation.


This post was originally published on the Grow Happiness Blog at

photo thanks to kdshutterman at

Embrace Your Imperfections and Thrive

Sharon Martin, LCSW

Sharon Martin is a licensed psychotherapist and codependency expert practicing in San Jose, CA. She is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism: Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism, Build Self-Esteem, and Find Balance and several ebooks including Navigating the Codependency Maze.  

To learn more, visit Sharon's website. And please sign-up for free access to her resource library HERE (worksheets, tips, meditations, and resources for healing codependency, perfectionism, anxiety and more).

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APA Reference
Martin, S. (2015). Embrace Your Imperfections and Thrive. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Dec 2015
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