Are you perfect?
For that matter, what is perfection? Can you define it? Can you describe it?
A lot of Nice Guys seem to struggle with the belief that they’re not “good enough”. That implies that there is a “good enough”, a hypothetical threshold that normal people remain above, and which the Nice Guy falls eternally short of. This is the Nice Guy’s deepest-held secret: that he’s fundamentally imperfect compared to everyone else around him. Wallowing in that belief, he hides who he really is behind a mask of niceness, causing the multitude of problems that I’ve discussed in previous articles.
All of this is completely unnecessary.
Suddenly, you come across a little tree sapling. It’s about a foot tall. Probably popped out of the ground only this year.
Visualize yourself in this scenario, and then choose your most likely reaction:
1. You feel scorn and disgust towards the tree for not yet being a fully-grown tree. You yell at it and tell it what a failure of a tree it is. You might spit on it or kick it.
2. You look with pride on the sapling that is struggling to reach its potential as a fully-grown tree. If it’s having trouble, you might give it a hand by removing encroaching weeds, or sharing your water.
Which response did you pick? My guess is that you picked #2. You know, intuitively, that the sapling is not a failure just because it isn’t a grown tree yet. You know that it will get there eventually, and to do that, it first needs to be a sapling. That’s just the way of trees. Therefore, it is exactly where it needs to be right now, and thus is already perfect.
Why should it be any different with you? In order to get to the amazing person that you’re going to be years down the road, you need to be exactly where you are right now. That’s just the way of humans. Just because you’re not there yet, does not mean you’re a failure and deserving of only scorn and disgust. Most people understand this, and when confronted by you, will also choose response #2. (By the way, there are people who will choose #1. They’re usually extremely insecure and afraid themselves. Don’t take their reaction personally, because it has nothing to do with you.)
I’ll ask again: What is perfection? To me, perfection is not a goal to be achieved. Perfection is being on the path of the journey of your life. And no matter where you are, you are on that path, and therefore you are already perfect.
Accept that you are like the tree sapling, struggling to grow, and on the path of eventually becoming what you are meant to be. Let that process happen in its time, and stop worrying about it.
Let go of whatever false notions you have of perfection. Let go of unreasonable expectations of yourself. Stop beating yourself up for not being “perfect”, and stop being afraid of being rejected by other people for your supposed imperfections. The people that are worth having in your life will love you for the sapling you are. Make yourself one of those people by learning to love and accept yourself, and others will follow along.