Permission To Be Human And Fail

Permission To Be Human And Fail

You’re a human being, right? If you’re reading this post, then I certainly hope so!

In which case, I want to give you permission to be human. To be fully human. To mess up, to fail, to be imperfect. And to do it over and over and over again.

And not to feel bad about yourself when you do. Not to beat yourself up. And to instead accept your failures and struggles as an inevitable part of the human journey.

Because the truth is that we’re all far, far less than perfect. And when we hold ourselves to some impossible standard of perfection, when we beat ourselves up over our failures, we damage our human spirit.

Brene Brown quote

Everyone Struggles, Everyone Is Imperfect

You know that, right? That everyone struggles and is imperfect. And my guess is that you’re quite forgiving of other people’s mistakes. Particularly if they’re someone you care about.

But I wonder if you’re equally willing to forgive your own mistakes. If you’re willing to accept yourself just as you are. If you’re willing to say “You know what, I screwed up and that’s okay. I’m still a good person.”

As Brene Brown reminds us in the quote above, “you are worthy of love and belonging”. In fact, you are worthy of love and belonging because of your struggles, because of your imperfections.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve messed up in my life, both small and large. Things I regret, things I’m ashamed of.

And I’m sure I’ll do it again today. In fact, I’ll probably mess up a lot today. I’ll probably say an unkind word to someone. Or maybe I’ll fail to follow through on a commitment. Or I’ll hurt someone’s feelings.

And here’s the thing…none of those makes me any less worthy of love. And the same goes for you too.

Leonard Cohen quote

The Importance of Accepting Yourself As You Are

If you’ve read anything about self-acceptance, then you probably know that self-acceptance is the key to growth and change. That until you accept yourself as you are – warts and all – you’ll stay stuck where you are.

And it’s true. But in my opinion, there’s a far, far greater reason to accept yourself as you are.

When you fail to accept yourself as you are, you end up hiding yourself and your gifts from the world.

So many of us don’t do the things that we really want to do with our lives, the things that we feel deep in our hearts because we think we’re not worthy.

We’re afraid that if we step out and start sharing our gifts with the world that somewhere along the lines we’ll be found out to be a fraud.

We’re afraid that we’ll be exposed, that someone will find out that we’re really that amazing.

Or worse yet, we’re afraid that by stepping out our deepest, darkest secrets will be eventually be exposed to the world. And our egos couldn’t stand for that, for people to find out the raw, unvarnished truth about us,

So many people say “I don’t know what to do with my life”. And I wonder if that’s really true. Or if what really holds people back is that they have a little voice telling them…”you’re not worthy, you’re not good enough, you’re going to get exposed, better to keep playing it safe.”

Permission To Be Human And Fail

And so that is my gift to you. To be human. To allow yourself to mess up. Over and over again. And to keep accepting yourself when you do. No matter how many times you need to do it.

And I also encourage you to share your story, to share your struggles with others. At least those that have earned the right to hear your story. Friends, family, people with similar struggles and failures.

Sharing your failures, sharing your struggles helps to loosen their hold on you.

And what you’ll also find is that most people will like you MORE after you share your struggles. I know that’s true for me…the people whom I admire the most are those who share both their successes as well as their failures.

And when you’re ready, I encourage you to step into your greatness and to start sharing your gifts with the world. Just don’t wait too long. Don’t wait till you’ve erased all of your imperfections or you’ll be waiting a long, long time…

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi Ed,
    I found your article on Google+ Spiritual Blogging community.
    I also like Brene Brown’s work.
    Thanks for writing on this topic–the gentle reminder about the power of self-acceptance, worthiness, and owning our struggles. Being human is where it’s at!

    1. Thanks for your comment Elena! Agreed that we definitely need to work on things like self-acceptance and worthiness!

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