It is always surprising to me when someone doesn’t see their flaws. Especially since I spend most of my time focused on mine. It’s not just me either. I know some pretty amazing people. AMAZING. (You know who you are.) No joke. I really think if I gathered all of you up, we could pretty much take over the world. Or at least survive the zombie apocalypse together. Point being, even these people don’t see how amazing they are. So focused on their flaws and how to improve, they sometimes miss their amazing-ness. So when I hear about people who always think they are right, that the other person is the flawed person, and they use that warped mindset to tear other people down, it really bothers me.
I know I could spend less time focusing on my flaws, but it’s a thin line between realizing you are flawed and thinking you are perfect. I know I am not perfect. I also know I can always be better. I’d rather keep trying to be a better person and treat people better, than to think I have it all figured out and everyone else needs to step it up.
Recently, my oldest chicken tested for her black belt. I struggled with how much to build her up because you want just the right amount of confidence to do your best. Overconfidence sometimes backfires. Spoiler alert…she didn’t pass. She made one mistake and from there she transitioned into a slow, deflating balloon. The confidence leaking out of her face. She almost stopped, but the instructor told her to keep going. She made it through the rest of the dance moves (technical term is brown belt form), but then she had to break her boards.
This is the most stressful part. Without that pep, it wasn’t looking good. She broke the first one with her left elbow strike, but then she threw her left front kick and the board thunked instead of cracked. Everyone (parents and judges) got really quiet. My heart sank into my stomach and I held my breath.
It didn’t break (you have to break all 4 boards to pass) and she knew it was over.
She collected her boards, handed them to the judges and held herself together until she had to sit back down with the rest of the students. That’s when the tears started. Her tears caused a ripple effect across the rest of us…me, my husband, and the other two chickens. That’s how bad we all wanted this for her and how much we knew she had wanted it. My first instinct was to go up there and console my daughter. Instead I had to fight that urge. I stayed seated knowing she had to go through this alone. Then hating everyone that had anything to do with making her cry.
I told myself all the reasons why it was everyone else’s fault – she had been sitting too long, she was the first up of the brown belts to go, they rushed her into testing…but I knew it wasn’t any of these things. I knew she made a mistake and lost her confidence. She would need to look within herself to figure out what she did and work harder for the next testing. The funny thing is, she knew this too.
The pride we felt as parents as she held her chin up through the remaining hour of testing was immeasurable. She continued to give everything, even knowing she hadn’t passed. She didn’t give up. She fought harder. She applauded the other brown belts as they each broke their boards.After the testing was done, she didn’t make any excuses for herself. Not one. She spoke only about what she would need to focus on to do better the next time.
This is what I am talking about.
A 12-year old gets it.
So why not some adults? Stop blaming every one around you. If there is something you want, but you don’t have, why is that? What can you do to change it? Work harder, reach out to people to help you, stop attacking the people that love you and listen for once. Don’t tear those people down. Making them feel like they are the problem. Most likely they are working on themselves and also standing by you through your delusions of grandeur.
Admitting you are flawed is not a sign of weakness. How are you ever going to improve if you blame your flaws away onto someone else? That victim mentality only gets you so far. The idea that if you only had more money, more time, a bigger house…whatever it is, that it’s not you, it’s your circumstances and if those change then all will be right in the world. No it won’t. You will still be the same – unaware of your flaws and tearing down people around you because you can’t see or admit that maybe you are in the wrong.
Lots of advertisements, self-help, motivational quotes make references to believing we are perfect. While I agree we need to have a positive self-image, let’s be clear we are messy, imperfect and flawed. To me that is perfectly acceptable to admit.
It’s when we are blind to all of the messy imperfection, that we start thinking we are better than. That it’s everyone else that needs fixing. This person continues to point out everyone else’s flaws, yet has none of their own or uses excuse after excuse as to why they aren’t to blame for how they show up. They are boring, predictable, and unpleasant. I bet the zombies go after them first.