The unshakable truth is this: None of us is perfect. We have flaws, make mistakes, and experience moments of self-doubt.
However, in a society that celebrates perfection above all else, it’s difficult to remember that your flaws are what make you beautifully human.
“I long to be myself, fully, unapologetically, 100%,” says Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani, co-founder of Mindvalley, in her book Becoming Flawesome: The Key to Living an Imperfectly Authentic Life. And by showing kindness to your shadows and letting go of the desire for perfection, so can you.
As a reminder to embrace all aspects of yourself and connect to your wholesomeness, here’s a roundup of perfectly imperfect quotes.
1. On PerfectionismPerfectionism is a terrible burden. It’s the one thing that often stands between us and real, lasting, deep happiness and the feeling of peace and fulfillment. — @KristinaMandLak Click To Tweet
What if you could come out on the other side of perfectionism and realize that everything you’ve ever wanted is imperfect? Would you let go of being flawless and embrace your true nature? Would you unburden your soul from the unrealistic version you created of yourself?
In the process of doing so, you might realize that you can truly find beauty in your life by uncovering the flawesome (Kristina’s word for the awesomeness of your flaws) greatness within.
2. On What Imperfection MeansImperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. — Marilyn Monroe Click To Tweet
Can you believe that even Marilyn Monroe, one of the greatest icons of female beauty, embraced her imperfections unapologetically? Despite being aware of her flaws, she managed to shine her light and win the hearts of an entire world.
Imagine just how much power lies in owning her authenticity. And imagine that power being in each and every one of us.
3. On Emotional AnalgesiaI believe that the biggest problem of contemporary society is emotional analgesia. We learn to ignore emotional pain, focusing on the positive and demanding good vibes only, slapping on band-aids and popping paracetamols to feel better,… Click To Tweet
Running away from your feelings can look like self-sabotaging behavior. You ditch long-term results for short-term pleasure and repress all painful emotions with a “good vibes only” attitude.
But while numbing your emotions may provide temporary relief from your emotional “hell,” it’s a slippery slope that can lead to more significant problems down the road.
Studies have linked emotional numbing to depression and worsened PTSD symptoms. And experts in psychosomatics, like Dr. Gabor Maté, have found that unresolved emotions can even manifest as physical illnesses.
4. On ConformityThe reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself. — Rita Mae Brown Click To Tweet
You may get to your end goal, and you may succeed in pleasing everyone around you. But in reality, you’re the only person who’s going to be there no matter what.
When you focus on falling in love with yourself, you realize it’s the most intense and passionate relationship you’ve ever had. It never gets boring.
And the best part of it all is that it lasts forever.
5. On Hiding Your Shadow
Your dragons will not cease to exist, no matter how well you build the walls of spirituality around them. — @KristinaMandLak Click To Tweet
Those parts of yourself that you tend to hide or run away from represent your “dragons,” as Kristina calls them. However, embracing your wholesomeness and living authentically is all about accepting yourself in both your darkness and your light.
You can dismantle your idea of perfection to benefit your path to self-actualization. And sooner or later, you may come to realize that nothing will make you feel more whole than facing your shadows and showing up for the most unappreciated parts of yourself.
6. On FailingIt is impossible to live without failing at something—unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default. — @jk_rowling Click To Tweet
The word “failing” can make people cringe. It sounds like the ultimate defeat and the most shattering shame. But it happens to everyone, from the littlest mistakes to the biggest setbacks.
Take J.K. Rowling, for example. Before she became a household name due to the Harry Potter series, she was rejected by 12 different publishers.
So failure doesn’t mean that’s who you truly are. Rather, it means it’s your chance to grow.
7. On Authenticity
Authenticity is not a switch—you cannot flick it on and off at will. — @KristinaMandLak Click To Tweet
The greatest act of self-compassion is owning your authenticity and letting it shine through every word or action.
Sometimes, it might come with grace and ease. But other times, you’ll need to be radically honest with yourself.
And once you get a taste of what it means to live from your core, you’ll probably never want to come back to the burdensome days of hiding who you truly are.
8. On Feeling ImperfectThe more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive. — Jhumpa Lahiri Click To Tweet
The ultimate question is: would you rather feel perfect or feel alive? Many people would say that a life lived in fear is a life half-lived.
It should be noted that one of the most exceptional experiences of being human is opening up to the whole spectrum of our emotional world.
So what if you choose to be flawesome despite the fear of not being perfect? Maybe things turn out to be much different than you expected.
9. On Rejection
The only person whose rejection you have to fear is your own. As long as you can accept yourself, the world has no choice but to accept you as well. And if it doesn’t, you won’t give a damn anyway. — @KristinaMandLak Click To Tweet
Truth be told, the way you view and treat yourself is a reflection of how others view and treat you. When you show yourself nothing but love, kindness, and respect, it’s like giving people an instruction manual on how to do the same.
Owning your authenticity attracts people who can truly see and appreciate it. And those who can’t may not even matter to you anymore, because you already have the most valuable person who acknowledges it: yourself.
10. On Being WorthyYes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging. — @BreneBrown Click To Tweet
Despite the most seemingly convincing reasons why you don’t feel enough, your vulnerability and imperfections make you even more lovable.
Think about it: You most probably love to connect with people who seem genuinely themselves and are courageous enough to own their insecurities, not the ones who portray an image of perfection. And it goes the same for you.
Perfectionism won’t bring you the connection you long for but rather will keep your heart guarded against the love that you truly deserve.
11. On Prioritizing Your HappinessYou will do this world a great favor if you allow yourself to prioritize your own happiness. — @KristinaMandLak Click To Tweet
When you think of prioritizing, you probably think of putting something at the top of your to-do list, right? But what about prioritizing your own happiness?
Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we forget to make our own happiness a priority. It’s like we’re waiting for it to magically appear as a reward for all the struggles and hardships we face.
Think of it like packing for a trip: you can’t just throw everything into your suitcase and hope for the best. And it’s the same with your happiness. You can take the time to plan out what makes you happy and prioritize those exact things, packing up for a joyful and fulfilling life.
12. On Inner Beauty
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. — @KublerRoss Click To Tweet
That spark within your soul makes you utterly beautiful. Your unique light shines through the darkness of all times and guides you to the experiences that make your life worth living.
However, the more you strive for perfection, the more disconnected you might feel from your inner wisdom.
Do you agree that you can’t sit down and stand up at the same time? It goes the same for having the desire to control your life and actually feeling in control of it.
So the more you resist and try to manipulate your reality, the more lack you’ll experience. But once you embrace the true, authentic beauty of your soul, life will flow with grace and ease.
13. On HappinessIf happiness is a destination unique to each person, then why are we told to follow exactly the same map? — @KristinaMandLak Click To Tweet
Imagine a place where everyone wants to design the same exact life for themselves in order to be happy. With all of us being perfectly imperfect, how can society’s definition of happiness apply to us as a collective?
What makes our world exciting is that people are different, but we all somehow have a place in this Universe. It’s like an enormous puzzle that fits perfectly together to paint a picture because its pieces are not the same.
14. On Destroying ImperfectionTo banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality. — John Ruskin Click To Tweet
By destroying imperfection, would the world turn into a utopian dreamland? Or would it become a robotized society where everyone is striving to fit into the same definition of “good,” “decent,” “beautiful,” or “successful?”
While it’s sometimes difficult to accept, imperfection lies in the nature of the Universe. In fact, studies have shown that “without genetic imperfections, there would be no evolution of any life form and all progeny would be identical to their ancestors.”
It’s good food for thought. And you may reflect on how embracing imperfection not only drives you to evolve, but also teaches you to be compassionate, kind, loving, and accepting.
It nurtures the courage to learn from your mistakes and welcome your most teary-eyed moments with gentleness. And additionally, it gives you the space to feel connected to other perfectly imperfect people who are also trying to find their way, just as you do.
15. On KindnessYou can be kind when you are sad, grieved, upset, and angry. You can always be kind. Always. — @KristinaMandLak Click To Tweet
Most perfectly imperfect quotes will talk about how striving for perfection is pointless because existence itself is not supposed to be flawless.
You can never predict or control what life may throw at you. It could be pain, disappointment, tragedy, or fury; but it will never run out of ways to surprise you.
However, you can always choose your response. And how would everything turn out if you responded with kindness and compassion?
Let that sink in for a moment.
Experience Your Flawesomeness
Perfectly imperfect quotes can open the doors to reflection and clarity of what’s deeply important to you. You may not find the answers right away, but with some guidance, there just may be some revelations.
Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani’s book, Becoming Flawesome: The Key to Living an Imperfectly Authentic Life, could be the wake-up call you’re looking for.
Filled with quips, tips, and a metaphor featuring Hermione Granger of Harry Potter, you’ll find that being radically honest, accepting, loving, and compassionate is the best way to live.