1. Nobody’s perfect. Repeat: nobody’s perfect
We are confronted with the need for perfection, and it’s hard not to feel inadequate. “If you think about why we feel the need to be perfect in the first place, it all goes back to self-worth,” writes author and life coach Zoe B
. “If we have a strong desire to be perfect then we may use the idea of perfection as a way to validate ourselves as worthy and valuable human beings.” It’s a self-defeating cycle for an adult. But it is especially difficult for young people. One of the best ways to prove that accepting weaknesses and relying on existing strengths lead to success is by example.
2. Use your weaknesses as an example
Your approach makes all the difference in showing your children the strength within weaknesses. For example, my neighbor, Scott, runs a successful accounting firm. He’s also a loving husband and heavily involved in the lives of his four kids. In the summer, his manicured yard shames the rest of us. In winter, he not only shovels his driveway before the rest of us are awake, but he also finishes the neighborhood sidewalks. He’s the perfect guy. Except for one thing: he’s a terrible dancer. His wife admits that when she first saw him try to bust a move, she thought he was having a seizure. But that lack of rhythm is what we love about him the most. It means he’s approachable—and human. His kids laugh, but they also appreciate knowing that as they work to improve their habits, they are loved.
“Embracing your weaknesses and sharing your true self will make others feel comfortable doing the same with you. You’ll start to see the people around you opening up and sharing their own weaknesses and struggles with you,” says writer Thibaut Meurisse
. “This will allow you to build stronger, deeper, and more meaningful connections with them.”
3. Learn from your weaknesses
Although Scott’s groove doesn’t affect his professional and personal success, some weaknesses can interfere with personal achievement. For instance, having a bad temper or procrastination can ruin a relationship or your career. That, in itself, is a powerful teaching tool for your children. “Good parents let their kids fall down from time to time. It teaches the kids how to soothe themselves, as well as where their limits are. It makes stronger, more confident, and more courageous kids,” says writer Melissa Kirk
Our imperfections don’t define us, but they do offer opportunities to improve. And that’s a valuable lesson for young people. “Learning and growing is a huge part of what makes life so exciting. If you only do what’s safe, you will wrap yourself in a cocoon of complacency and boredom,” says writer Jordan Brown
. If your child hopes to be a professor, he or she can address their fear of public speaking, for example.
The world is filled with exciting opportunities for our young people, and none of them require perfection. By sharing past successes in spite of imperfections, you send an important message
to your children that sometimes your greatest strengths come from accepting our weaknesses.
By J’Nel Wright | famifi.com
J’Nel Wright is a freelance writer who specializes in topics concerning lifestyles, health and wellness, and business. Her work has appeared in a variety of regional and national publications. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in English and Social Work. She has traveled throughout Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, French Polynesia, Mexico and much of the United States.