Every Day I Feel Less Perfect
Every day I feel less perfect, and instead of troubling me, this feeling makes me proud and allows me to be much freer, much more myself. Now I walk more lightly, without the weight of other people on my shoulders, without thorns in my heart. There are no more stones to trip up my hopeful step in the middle of my journey towards harmony and possibility.
All these ideas can be summarized by the words “personal growth.” The publishing industry models multiple approaches, strategies, and abilities that you can use to take the plunge and truly invest in yourself. However, it isn’t exactly easy to find those hidden talents, maximize them, and look towards the horizon with a clear mind and a glowing heart.
“What do I want feet for if I can fly?”
The publishing industry is quite aware that the audience that demands the most reading material concerned with personal development and growth is women. Women seek to surpass the limits of their own contexts so that they can grow, transform their own reality, and transform society, where change tends to be very slow and masculinity continues to dominate.
It isn’t easy. In our world, personal growth is a fundamental requirement in every organization. Every business is governed by an essential law: either you grow, or you perish. However, this need isn’t so explicit at the human level. Sometimes, growth involves ceasing to be afraid of raising your voice, daring to defy established norms, and demonstrating your capability. Women are already making leaps and bounds in this area.
Personal growth means surpassing yourself
Most of our readers have heard of Abraham Maslow‘s famous hierarchy of needs. This theory, which he developed in 1940, puts self-actualization at the top of the pyramid to reflect those who have finally achieved true personal development.
However, what not everybody knows is that Maslow himself realized two decades later that his theory was flawed. The search for self-actualization implies that we focus all of our efforts, abilities, and energy exclusively on ourselves. It means that we yearn to be capable, independent, creative, brave, and above all, self-sufficient in pretty much every way.
Maslow realized that most people interpreted the top of his pyramid as a crown that an honorable person would receive when they perceive themselves as able, strong, and disconnected from their environment. It seemed like there was no common good, no higher purpose. His approach was flawed. From that point, he introduced another level that went even further than self-actualization to achieve a higher purpose: self-transcendence.
Interestingly, that need for self-transcendence is what characterizes most women who cultivate personal growth and development. Modern women are sure of their identity and potential. They don’t need to exalt themselves, they don’t need to self-indulge. Above all, they seek to transcend, to go beyond the limits that others have imposed on them, to connect with their environment and then change it.
Less perfect and free from other people’s expectations
Women don’t need to be perfect to give the best of themselves and be successful. They just need to be themselves. Dr. Saskia Sassen, a Dutch sociologist and writer known for her work on globalization, explains that most of us are obligated to adapt to a world that simply isn’t working.
“I don’t expect anything from anyone. Expectations always hurt.”
Therefore, women should understand that before they undertake that personal development or self-transcendence that they want so bad, they must free themselves. It’s necessary to break with the stereotypes, commands, prejudices, and outdated expectations that imprison them.
It’s not necessary to be perfect to be validated as a person. There’s no such thing as the perfect body, the perfect professional, the perfect mother, the perfect friend, or even the perfect daughter or wife.
You are who you are, and you deserve to be who you aspire to be. In order to do so, first you have to have focus, hope, goals, and passion so you can look towards the horizon and fight for your goals in every moment of every day. Secondly, you should forget about other people’s expectations and take on your own, because they’re the only ones of any value.
Last but not least, it’s important to always be yourself, free from contradiction, deceit, and bias. Only then will you be able to live in harmony. Only then will you take care of yourself the way you deserve. Only then will you give the best of yourself to the world and make it a little more respectful and dignified in the process.
Images courtesy of Irene Sheri