Here in Los Angeles plastic surgery is all the rage. So are botox injections and so many other things that people who partake in them falsely believe will make them more perfect. I remember an episode of The Twilight Zone (“Number 12 Looks Just Like You” – Jan 24, 1964) where everybody undergoes surgery at age 19 so they will look beautiful and alike. They are all numbered instead of being themselves. One young girl refuses the procedure and yet gives in at the end.
While our society has not gone that far, it showed what could happen when we have a society that conforms to a certain standard of beauty. Instead of celebrating how unique each one of us are, instead, it showed that we all need to be the same in looks and what we do.
There are some women who even went through plastic surgery to look like “Barbie.” I wonder how many young girls and grown woman have been influenced by this. Probably the worst example I’ve seen is that of Jenny Lee. She’s a mother of two and has undergone somewhere over 50 procedures the last I heard and that was in 2010. She is known to suffer from Body Dismorphic Disorder (BDD). This is pretty common and normally starts in the teen years.
Unlike those that have gone under the knife because they don’t like any type of imperfection, I’m here to tell you that it is your uniqueness and imperfections that are perfect. I remember the day when I finally embraced the scar that runs down my forehead as wonderful. We all have imperfections and that is okay. Whether they are physical or what we do. Just learn to embrace the real you.
Here are five ways that being your imperfect self is the road to true happiness:
1. Look inward at your best qualities. You may possess qualities that were developed in order for you to cope. Some of those may be useful for others. True beauty is what comes from the inside and not the outside. How many times have you come across a physically beautiful person that turned out to be shallow on the inside?
2. Know that what you see as an imperfection, others see as perfect. It’s like the concept that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Know that you are treasured. Most importantly is that you learn to treasure the gift you are (as my friend Jerry McGowan would say).
3. Realize that when you stumble it’s okay. Mistakes are part of life and trying to be perfect will never happen. In fact, perfectionism is imperfect and creates stagnation. New ideas come from mistakes. So don’t make the mistake of trying to avoid making mistakes. Instead, embrace and learn from them. Even learn to laugh at yourself. I do this when I speak and it actually connects better with the audience.
4. Help others. This has shown time and again to be a proven way of raising your own self-worth. Volunteer in some capacity. Even reading to kids or helping at a senior center will work. Even find something that you are passionate about and help there. Use your unique qualities when you do.
5. Create your new life now. I have to give credit to Dr. Albert Ellis for this. He talks about rewriting your personal history. Part of it is that while acknowledging the mistakes of your past are there, they are not you. Learn from them and move forward. Where you are at now is your past tomorrow. When you change how you think and believe about yourself, you will change.
I wish you a happy and as Dr. Ellis would say, getting to unconditional self-acceptance.
Bob Choat works as a Peak Performance Coach, Trainer, Professional Speaker, Author and co-owner of Optimal Life Seminars along with Dr. Lori Shemek, Ph.D. He is focused on people in every industry reach a higher level of performance in their lives.