No one is perfect

We lead our lives comparing ourselves to some crap ideal of perfection, continuously seeing ourselves as lesser. We look at others and see that they, too, are imperfect and so they are lesser. We see those who do better than us in some aspect of our lives and foolishly believe that they are better than us, missing all the things that we do that are better than them, discounting these things in our single minded effort to confirm in our own minds our truly lesser status.

We foolishly believe that imperfection is an exclusion to worthiness.

This is false. You are worth while. You are worthy.

The error is not with imperfection, it is with how we define perfection.

A perfect human being isn’t someone without error, isn’t someone who knows everything, isn’t someone who doesn’t make a mistake, and certainly isn’t someone who can relate to everything perfectly, who can balance their emotions without error, who can think and analyse clearly and is rich, well known, well liked, well accepted and so on.

Such a being is not human. So why strive for being inhuman?

Instead embrace your emotions and their lack of finesse, embrace the errors that allow you to learn, embrace your vulnerabilities that prompt you to tread cautiously when you perceive danger, embrace those poor connections with others. In short, embrace all those things that make you less than perfect, for those are the things that make you human, that make you worthy, that allow you to live your life in light and darkness.

We dream of a better us, a future us. While this does give us direction to travel in, beware that this is yet another comparison to perfection that empowers us to believe that we are not worthy. We are both human now, and we will be human in the future.

Don’t compare yourself to perfection and find yourself lesser. Compare yourself to human and realise that you have achieved it.

You are worthy.

Learning

We learn from mistakes.

Some of us learn from our own mistakes. This is fairly effective as a way of discerning processes that work from those that don’t. The main issue with this is that we often delude ourselves about what did and didn’t work, forgetting the failures and only remembering the successes. This is referred to as confirmation bias. We try various things, remember when they work and not when they don’t, so we over estimate the effectiveness of the strategy. We also involve emotions that don’t belong, biasing what we think happened with what we want to happen.

We can also learn by observing someone else. When they succeed, we know it is a viable method. When they fail, if all goes well, we learn that that is not a viable method. The unfortunate thing is, if the person who is doing the failing action is emotionally close to us, we feel the emotional bond is more important than the intellectual recognition of viability, so tend to repeat the mistakes that those we love or grew up with do.

We can also learn from an educational facility, book or some other coldly set up lesson. This has the greatest chance of being accurate in the ways of success, but has the least emotional connection, so tends to stick the least. We are, after all, emotional learners.

When we are pushed, we have an emotional response. The feeling that we have now is what we look for in our past. The odds are, the solution that kept us alive last time we felt like this is a winning strategy this time too. After all, it worked last time, right?

As a quick response to a stressful situation, this strategy certainly has positives. However as a means of improving our long term safety, long term comfort and so on, it is not a good strategy. We always tend to do what we have always done. This makes it hard to change.

All of the book learning in the world does not help weigh against our instinctive reactions. Neither does observing someone else make mistakes, or even good decisions. They just don’t have enough emotional hold on us.

What makes the real difference is pausing before we act. Using this pause, we can evaluate the difference between what we want to do, what we think we should do, the consequences of both and then choose what we are actually going to do. Afterwards we should review how effective this version is to reinforce to our future selves whether this strategy was good or not.

If we do this, slowly we learn – not just in theory, but in action too.