Getting Closer to the People in Your Life
It’s time to give up on chasing perfection and embrace our uniquely individual quirks and imperfections.
We humans are pretty excellent at telling other people what to do — but not so excellent at following our own advice. Case in point: When friends and family confide they’re anxious about what to say or do at a party, most of us tell them, “Just be yourself! People will love you.”
Yet while we urge them to be authentic, we sand away our own rough edges, worried that if we’re not perfect, no one will like us.
What does it mean to be a beautiful mess? It’s an understanding that regardless of how I show up, I’m enough because I said so.
Life is a complex journey, often filled with uncertainties and imperfections. In a world that celebrates flawlessness, it’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to present ourselves as polished and put-together beings. But what if I told you that the key to truly connecting with the people in your life is by embracing your own messy, imperfect self? This is the story of how I learned to get closer to the people around me by being the best mess possible.
From a young age, I was instilled with the idea that success meant being flawless. I strived to excel in every aspect of my life, believing that if I presented a picture-perfect version of myself, I would be more likable and successful. But as the years went by, I realized that this pursuit of perfection was taking a toll on my mental and emotional well-being. I was constantly anxious, fearing that any slip-up would expose my vulnerability.
It was during a particularly challenging phase of my life that I had an epiphany — authenticity is far more valuable than perfection. I began to question the need to conceal my struggles and imperfections. I started sharing my setbacks, doubts, and messy moments with the people in my life, and something incredible happened — our relationships deepened.
Instead of pushing people away, my authenticity seemed to draw them closer. They could relate to my struggles, and by sharing my mess, I allowed them to feel comfortable sharing theirs. Conversations became more meaningful, laughter more genuine, and support more heartfelt.
Through my journey, I discovered that vulnerability is the bridge to genuine connection. When we allow ourselves to be seen in our rawest, most imperfect form, we give others permission to do the same. It’s as though our messy parts resonate on a deeper level, reminding us that we are all human and all in this together.
Rather than hiding my flaws, I embraced them. I learned to laugh at my blunders and accept my shortcomings, making them a part of my story rather than something to be ashamed of. In doing so, I not only accepted myself more fully but also gave others the freedom to embrace their own messiness.
Being the best mess possible isn’t about reveling in chaos or negligence. It’s about breaking down the barriers that perfection erects. It’s about letting go of the need to be faultless and allowing yourself to be genuine, even when it means showing your imperfections.
In my pursuit of authenticity, I learned to ask for help when I needed it, to admit when I was wrong, and to celebrate the small victories amidst the chaos. By embracing my messiness, I created an environment where the people in my life felt safe to do the same.
In a world that often emphasizes surface-level perfection, it’s easy to lose sight of the beauty that lies in our messiness. Embracing our flaws and sharing our imperfections doesn’t weaken our connections — it strengthens them. Through vulnerability, we create deeper, more meaningful relationships that stand the test of time.
Let go of the unrealistic pursuit of perfection, and instead, embrace the messy, imperfect, wonderfully authentic person that you are. As you open up, you’ll find that you’re not only getting closer to the people in your life but also discovering a newfound closeness to yourself.
By being our best possible messes, not only can we quit pursuing perfection, we can also build greater trust and closeness in our personal and professional relationships. Now isn’t that something worth striving for?