Why We Shouldn’t Normalize The “Perfectly Imperfect” Slogan

Why We Shouldn’t Normalize

The “Perfectly Imperfect” Slogan

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“The goal in life is not to attain some imaginary ideal; it is to find and fully use our own gifts.” – The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear & Take Life To The Next Level by Gay Hendricks

We all know what it’s like to visit a friend who just had a baby, or even that magical moment of getting a new puppy when the words spill out of our mouths: “They’re perfect!”

So exactly when does that change? When do we shift from this perfect miracle of life to “perfectly imperfect”? Is it when we first start to cry as we advocate for our needs? Is it when we start to cultivate our courage by touching and exploring places and spaces we’ve never been? Is it when we speak up when noticing an injustice? Is it when we get scared and say or do something that we later regret? Is it when we begin to notice sexual energy coursing through our bodies as the most gorgeous specimen of life enters the room?

When exactly do we go the route of imperfection? Perhaps it’s when shame sets in, judgement bubbles up, self-analysis won’t quit, and we are left with something less than perfection.

But understand none of that is native to you.

As women, we carry an incredible willingness to bow to what has become one of the most popular and bogus taglines of today’s self-help (misunderstood religious dogma) movement: “perfectly imperfect.”  There are three primary challenges with this ever-normalized slogan:

1. The hijacked mind of limitation keeps us where we are, stunting the magnificent presence we are.

Stunting our magnificent presence keeps us in a survivalist mindset. When we let our mind run the show on its own, it taps into the reptilian part of the brain and sees through filters of limitation and threats. Not only will the mind see the external world as something to be defended against, but it will seek out the problems, obstacles and challenges right where we are. As we evolve as a species and become increasingly aware of our potential and capacity, it is extremely valuable to challenge the predominant thought forms and opinions and really ask ourselves: “Do I believe that? Do I believe that there is something in me that is fundamentally imperfect?”

2. It is a complete setup to defer or outsource responsibility.

When we outsource, someone else is holding the reins. Outsourcing our responsibility and affirming our helplessness is the basis of every great fairytale. And that is seductive. Don’t we all, on some level, wish that someone would come along and save us? And yet, the drama triangle of victim, villain and hero is tired and unfulfilling. It affirms and deepens the belief that we don’t have all that we need within us.

3. Shame sets in and it’s like doing the butterfly stroke — hard and arduous!

We begin the ruthless game of comparison. An internal dialogue gets noisier and noisier, orienting our attention to our deficits. That pattern is chemically addictive to the brain. 

This psychosis of making ourselves wrong creates ripe brain space for the perfectly imperfect message.

To suggest that ultimately our greatest and deepest sense of self is flawed is what continues to create generational and systemic layers of suffering. We are not imperfect. We are not perfectly imperfect. We are stardust who have the elements of the universe in us. There is nothing imperfect about that. So stop buying that bullshit.

“You’re capable of more than you know.” – Glinda, The Good Witch in “The Wizard of Oz.”

As entrepreneurs, creatives and all around badass-beings, it is perfect to have a healthy ego. It is necessary to be able to boldly declare, “We are the ones here to shift business, to transform organizations and to splash self-expression all over this spot.” The ego has gotten a bad rep. It has been blamed for every bit of suffering humanity has experienced.

For generations, we have been led to believe that we must work to lose any sense of the ego to achieve the most noble of titles: a “nice” woman. That may not be the language we were each fed, but it was the message. And yet, the ego is essential. It’s the part of our unique personality that has the capacity to make decisions, discern appropriate strategies and tactics for specific environments, seek out pleasure and avoid pain, which are all good things!

Yes, the overactive ego can cause us to spin out but that doesn’t mean it’s inherently imperfect. We are growing, evolving human experiments who are perfect! Let’s lay down the old, inherited and limited ideas of how we “should” be and give ourselves the gift of tapping into what we really desire.

Slough off that played out idea of perfectly imperfect. Let’s start taking 100% responsibility for the perfect attributes, talents, history and circumstances that we each uniquely possess. Even our most challenging moments are intended for our genius.

No one can do life like each of us can. No one. Imagine the world we could create if we each owned our perfection.  

Lola Wright

Lola Wright is the Spiritual Leader at Bodhi Spiritual Center, a preeminent mindfulness-based community organization in Chicago. Raised by hip-hop, Lola has navigated domestic abuse, addiction, corporate success, and welfare. A wife and mother of four children, she is a reminder of power, faith, trust and straight up determination. Lola’s strong voice reminds us, "we got this!"

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