1. to be not perfect and fully human.
2. “Michael is unperfect and amazing.”
Perhaps you’re wondering, “why are you using a made-up word instead of just using ‘imperfect’?”
The truth is — it’s not a made up word at all. In fact, William Shakespeare opened his Sonnet 23 with the following line:
"As an unperfect actor on the stage"
.. but like a lost treasure, the word unperfect slowly fell out of use over the last couple of centuries and became almost forgotten. In much the same way, a lot of people slowly lose touch with their true selves, and end up choosing to fit in rather than accept who they are and be themselves.
You know those quirky, sometimes frustrating and shameful fragments and parts of you that make you unique and different? Those elements that frustrate you and cause you to feel like you’re different .. that shit you’re always anxious about that will cause people to reject you, if you don’t keep it neatly tucked away?
It was a long time ago when you started learning that you had to hide who you really were if you were going to be accepted by others.
You needed to start taking on what other people thought you should do so that you could be seen as successful.
As acceptable. As loveable. As being enough. Being worthy.
You started to push that little voice inside you to the back of the bus, and drowned it out with everyone else’s voices telling you how to act, who to listen to, and who you supposed to be. You learned to follow other people’s rules, or suffer rejection and ridicule. And at some point .. that little voice inside you got thrown off your bus completely.
Most people spend their whole lives trying to hide, fix and compensate for who they really are. Every one of us picked up a whole bunch of unfair and damaging beliefs early in life.
For you, maybe it was that you weren’t smart enough because someone bullied you. Maybe something happened to make you think your body wasn’t how it should be, and that you should try to hide it. It could have been something so innocent as a passing comment someone made to you, about you .. and all it took was that tiny little moment to cut you open like a knife, causing a scar that would define how you would see yourself going forward.
Everyone goes through these defining, painful and unfair experiences. Moving through life, it’s these invisible forces that have been pushing you into being something and acting like someone you never felt comfortable with.
You smiled when you hurt, and you laughed when your soul was crying. You hid away the thoughts and feelings that you knew others would judge you for. Rather than standing up for yourself and roaring your truth, you stepped back, bowed your head ever so slightly, and let the world decide who you were going to be.
You allowed what others thought to overshadow who you really were.
Well my friend, if any of this sounds familiar, you’re definitely in the right place.
Because the days of you pretending to be perfect .. acting like everything’s fine .. trying to convince others you’ve got it all together .. those days are about to come to an end.
One of life’s great paradoxes is that the true path to greatness lies first in recognizing yourself as unperfect, and then leaning into it as your unfair advantage.
Not imperfect. No, you’re unperfect and you’re extraordinary.
And contrary to the bullshit story you’ve cobbled together in your head — that everyone else has it figured it out and you’re the one that can’t get it together — everyone is just trying to figure it out. To hold it together. To not run away from their life.
Everyone is unperfect. And that’s what makes it so fucking amazing! We’re all in this together, if we’re each willing to be honest about it.
I know this, because I’m the most unperfect person I know. I’ve fucked up a lot of things, hurt a lot of people (no one more than myself), routinely hidden who I really am, and just generally questioned where I was going most of my life.
I substituted achievement, recognition and winning for feeling connected to myself and others. I turned away from those who mattered to me, because the need to be right and to be seen as perfect were the dark forces that controlled me most.
Yet, throughout my life, I’ve also savoured moments of knowing that I’m awesome. I felt it when I was being courageous, and when I was telling the truth about something that was really hard to be honest about.
I spent most of my life mastering the ability to hide behind external success, appearing confident and fearless, and striving to prove that I was simply perfect. And no matter how hard I tried to shovel more dirt into the hole I could feel deep in my soul, the hole never filled up.
In fact, somehow against all the laws of physics, it kept getting bigger and bigger.
And as you might know, trying to fill a bottomless hole is exhausting.
It took some very painful losses, failures and experiences to finally feel like I was being shaken by the shoulders, and that some invisible force was slapping my face and screaming, “wake the hell up.”
I used to believe the greatest moment of my life was when my son Cooper was born. But I’ve come to realize that the most important and special moment of my life was when I finally woke up, and decided to try something different.
Life isn’t about trying to change or hide who you are to meet the expectations and demands of the world. Life isn’t about succeeding. Life is about feeling, about living who you really are, and having the courage to do each of these things unconditionally. When you have the courage to reveal your unperfections to others and trust in them, those special elements pave the road to peace, alignment and connection.
I know. It doesn’t make any sense. But in this moment, you know it’s true — it’s just really terrifying.
Need some evidence?
Think of the human beings in your life that you cherish and respect most – that inspire you, and give you the courage to make tough decisions and take steps into the unknown. Perhaps it’s your BFF that you’ve known forever that has overcome so much, and yet always been there for you. Maybe it’s your spouse whose held your hand as you walked through the coals of hell, or perhaps you have the benefit of having a coach or mentor in your life that has been a guiding light for steps along your journey.
They’re very likely the ones that have leaned into what makes them different and unique, rather than trying to hide them away from the world. And it’s that courage and willingness to be real and authentic that draws you to them, and feeling like you can trust them to cast a light along your path.
Need more proof?
Ok, think about the person in this world who more people would say they love and admire than anyone else. She goes by only her first name.
You know who I’m talking about. The truth seeker, the woman that has made a life (and become one of the world’s richest women) because of her unwavering willingness to be authentic, to be honest, and show the world that she’s as Unperfect as everyone else.
How crazy is it that you know who I’m talking about, without ever saying her name?
That’s not only the power in seeking out your authentic self and your inner truth .. but it speaks to how desperate the world is for your courage and authenticity to shine.
The courage to be vulnerable and stand in front of the world naked, without the armour and masks you’ve accumulated over the years .. well that’s some scary shit right there.
But here’s the thing – when you finally accept your unperfection, you release yourself from the chains of judgement and trying to live up to other people’s expectations and needs. You present yourself as a full human being, one that embraces your quirkiness and uniqueness in a way that inspires and empowers both yourself and others. You being making choices based on what makes you happy, instead of trying to please others.
You inspire and give the courage to others to start to open up their true selves, and start to heal some of the lifelong wounds and upsets that have kept them in the dark, away from really feeling and loving their life.
You’re unperfect, and you’re extraordinary.
If you’re willing to accept this truth, that’s all I’m asking from you. I hope that you’ll find something here that speaks to you, that helps you, and most importantly .. that inspires you to embrace and celebrate the fact you’re unperfect and exactly enough.