Most of us want to do things well. Some of us want to be perfect.
No matter where you fall on this spectrum, at some point you need to make peace with your imperfections. If you don’t, you are destined to suffer.
I’m not intending to paint a bleak picture but the fact is we all have imperfections. Maybe we don’t have the perfect body, we don’t take tests well, or we struggle to keep houseplants alive. Whatever the flaw, the closer we come to accepting the reality of our shortcomings, the closer we move towards self-acceptance.
From an evolutionary perspective, we all just want to belong and feel secure. If we’re not accepted we’re at risk, so the mind goes into overdrive to help us be more perfect so we can “fit in” with our tribe and feel safe.
We may constantly be in search of the perfect outfit, gadget, home furnishing, or we may regularly go out of our way to say something smart to impress the right people. Or we might pick more destructive habits, abusing drugs, alcohol, or sex as a means to fit in. Underlying all of this is a subtle belief that we are not okay just as we are.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan, PhD to address the two opposing notions: “I’m perfect just the way I am” and “it’s time for me to change.” DBT can help individuals to manage stress, regulate emotions, and improve their relationships, and the therapy is largely rooted in teaching self-acceptance.
How to Practice Self-Acceptance