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11 Valid Reasons and Ways You Don’t Need to Be Perfect

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11 Valid Reasons and Ways You Don’t Need to Be Perfect

I’ve given up on trying to be perfect because I’d rather show up fully and actually live this life. Perfection is limiting; it cuts us off from what we’re capable of doing, giving, receiving, and becoming. To honor what really matters, I decided there are at least 11 ways you don’t need to be perfect, just who you are in your wholeness.

“It took me a long, long time to realize we are not meant to be perfect; we’re meant to be whole.” — Jane Fonda

You're powerful and you don’t need to be perfect to own that.

Perfection is limiting; it requires boxes to be checked and draws lines to be colored in. Possibility can be messy, but that's what we came for, I think.

You don’t need to be perfect to live the kind of life you came here to live. You just need to be honest with yourself about what matters to you and then build the courage to create your life from that passionate base.

Being authentic beats being perfect, every single time.

We’re meant to be here, living and learning, expanding and creating, stumbling and struggling, loving and giving.

11 Ways You Don’t Need to Be Perfect to Be On Purpose

1. You don’t need to be perfect to help.

You just need to be passionate about why you're helping. When you figure out your “why”—that deep-seated purpose, that burning desire to contribute—then your passion surpasses the limitations of perfection.

2. You don’t need to be perfect to begin.

To put your heart-work out there, to show up and be all that you are, and to do what you can do from this place, you really only need to explore yourself with compassion.

Giving yourself permission to be a beginner is liberating, a testament to what you know in your heart to be possible and a proclamation of what's worthwhile. The journey of becoming is what's worthwhile.

3. You don’t need to be perfect to be excellent.

Excellence is what happens when you do your best, over and over again. Through consistency, your “best” will inevitably evolve, but if it is your best every time, it is excellence every step of the way.

4. You don’t need to be perfect to appreciate yourself.

Sporting strengths and weaknesses is what being alive is all about. It’s not about being without faults or failure, but how you rise and keep going anyway that leaves a positive impact on the world around you.

5. You don’t need to be perfect to love and be loved.

This is something you were born to do, not something that’s reserved for special occasions, or special people.

To love and be loved, perfection is not required. Authentic love wouldn't limit itself like that.

6. You don’t need to be perfect to be worthy of taking a break.

Your perfection certainly isn’t required for you to prioritize your healing, to take care of yourself, to slow down and keep things simple, or to try another approach.

7. You don’t need to be perfect to be resilient.

There are countless times when I didn’t feel strong enough to handle what came my way, but somehow, I still did, and it definitely wasn’t because I was perfect.

8. You don’t need to be perfect to be spiritual.

One of the most profound gifts of a spiritual practice is that it, too, is a practice.

Through compassion, we learn that we don't need to be perfect in order to be worthwhile and whole.

9. You don’t need to be perfect to be successful.

Success is about perception, like most concepts (e.g. perfection, beauty) tend to be, which means you get to define it for yourself. What if you were to base your success on how loving you could be, or on how present and alive you could be?

10. You don’t need to be perfect to feel like life is perfect anyway.

Life can be a gift, even when crazy things happen. Life can be a miracle, even when it’s messy and unclear. Life is perfect, no matter what happens, because life is LIFE. It’s incredible that we’re here at all.

11. You don’t need to be perfect to own your light.

Flowers typically don’t bloom all year round, especially when you live in a world of changing seasons. Embracing those seasons, whatever the temperature and scenery and rate of growth, is a showcase of how the light isn’t dependent on outward circumstances.

. . .

Tell me: 

Which of these thoughts did you need to read today?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to know!

With love,


P.S. Tell yourself the things you need to hear. Get my book Morning Affirmations for hope and possibility first thing in the morning. Get my book Sleep Affirmations to fall asleep knowing you're exactly who you need to be, here and now, flaws and all.

Comments on this post (6)

  • Jul 08, 2019

    Thanks for telling me this, Carlos! I’m so glad these words could find you :) ~ Jen

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Jul 08, 2019

    The thought I needed to hear today was: “You don’t need to be perfect to begin.”

    — Carlos Tahin

  • Apr 30, 2019

    Isabelle, yes, you DO have your own strength and light and that’s something nobody and nothing can take from you. It seems like the perfect time to reclaim the beauty that is your life :) ~ jen

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Apr 30, 2019

    I have always struggled with acceptance and i try to be perfect for others but I really just lost myself. I am done trying. I had mercury toxicity in my brain and I try to avoid talking about it. Because it makes me feel imperfect. I pretend it didn’t happen or use it as a excuse. But now I realize I don’t have to run from that I am proud of who I am! I have my own life my own strength and my own beautiful imperfections!

    — Isabelle

  • Apr 10, 2019

    Elsa, I am SO happy you’re here. I’m sorry you have to feel this pain and get this diagnosis and go through so much. I feel honored that you shared this with me here. “I have my own life, I have my own strength, and I have my own beautiful imperfections.” WOW. Just those words, after everything else… you amaze me. It’s easy to be bitter, struck down, made small, and so much harder to stand in your own power again, no matter what other people think or say. You’re right. This is YOUR life. Nobody else but you can live it. You’re on a brilliant path of growth and you’ll inspire other people who need it, but who many just can’t show it… yet. Email me whenever! Thanks for sharing and I send all my love to you today :)

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Apr 10, 2019

    I was diagnosed with canver,,
    The next morning i went to class, i was devastated.
    I told myself that its my problem, and i cant cry for it. I cant be sad for it. No perfect person does that. The perfect person definition for me that time contained the rule that “I shouldn’t be sad, everyone dies”,,,
    And when my classmates started making fun of my black spots on skin (a leukemia sign), i burst into tears and stormed out of class without asking for teacher permission. When i came back with red eyes, my teacher was angry that i went out. I thought it was my fault, my problem, something that I shouldn’t have expected others to understand.
    In my whole life, ive been understanding others; i did everything i could for them to feel perfect! And to be the good friend,,
    But when it was their time, they repaid me with making my problems , the fact that i was going to die, a joke.
    I was being perfect for them, not myself.
    I was trying to be the good girl because i wanted them to be happy and alays 5ink that “hey, elsa is the real friend”, but at the end, i lost myself!
    And i lost them, too.
    After that day, i knew i wasn’t perfect. And I didn’t try for it.
    I’m not perfect, I don’t want their approval.
    I don’t want to feel like i have them,
    I don’t want to be that good friend if it means i have to struggle with perfectionism and at the end, be bullied.
    It happened last year, and now I know that I’ll be alive more, at least, leukemia won’t kill me, and i also know that i will never ever try to be alive for them!
    I have my own life, i have my own strength, and i have my own beautiful imperfections!
    Thank you for your beautiful words,

    — elsa

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