Because we are bombarded with so many contradictory messages from society all the time many of us sometimes (or often) have an hard time feeling good about ourselves. We are told time and time again that in order to be a good person we must be equal and superior to others; generous and frugal; spontaneous and organized; assertive and easygoing… and the list goes on. It doesn’t take long for it to become clear that no matter what we chose to do, we can’t do it all and we can’t be perfect, thus we’ll inevitably find something to criticize ourselves about, and will likely blow the shortcomings (read: any approach we didn’t choose, no matter what it was) way out of proportion and upset ourselves unnecessarily.

Some of us handle our inability to be super-human by becoming overly defensive and adamant about rationalizing any and all mistakes we make. The fear of err can become so overpowering that admitting to even the slightest mistake seems unthinkable. Or, alternatively, we make ourselves the target and fire shots with the utmost ferocity. These particular assaults on the self, meaning self-judgment, self-criticism, or self-blaming, often leave us feeling very upset and very depressed. There are only so many times we can get hit before we loose our strength and wave our little white flag.

Some of us can even become so paralyzed in our fears of making or repeating a mistake that we will do whatever possible to prevent ourselves from doing something wrong, which then results in feelings and actions that are overly anxious or overly rigid.

If only being perfect meant undeniable happiness, ultimate worthiness, and inarguable significance.

Feeling good about ourselves is not something that happens after all possible mistakes have been corrected or avoided. It’s something we do in spite of your faults and imperfections. Only then will we have a shot at living life with genuine joy and happiness.