How To Use Your Flaws Before Others Can Use Them Against You
Find me someone without insecurity and I'll find you a purple elephant. I'm willing make this gamble, knowing full well that I do not have access to a purple elephant, nor do I know if one exists, because I know there's no such thing as a perfect person. But beyond perfection, there's no such thing as people who don't see their flaws as great an enemy as any.
It's around the age of 12 when you start to really hate yourself, when you start to see the flaws more soundly — as the whole that make up your entire being, rather than just parts of you. You define yourself with what's wrong with you, rather than what's right, and good. You become obsessed with your flaws, your imperfections, thinking they are all anyone sees.
“Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself” -Joan Didion
Now, these flaws may be entirely in your head, most likely a figure of the unhealthy, delusional and warped perception you have of yourself. They are probably made larger by the inaccuracy of the media and distorted by an emphasis we place on the wrong things.
They may also be real flaws, as characterized by society. Stigmatized imperfections that society, and your peers, deem as unworthy and unattractive. You may very well have big ears and small beady eyes. You may also have awkward hands and a limp in your step. But who says that's wrong?
Whatever your flaws, whether they be real or made up, it's inevitable that there will a come a time people will try to use your flaws against you. They will pinpoint your exact insecurities, your weak points and use them to hurt you. That's the power of words, if they hit the right point, they have the ability to be fatal.
People are cruel, competitive and relentless. They will have no problem twisting a knife into an open wound, blindsiding you with hurtful jabs and low blows. Many of us go through life with a constant fear of people, a fear of our worst insecurities being pointed out and admonished, truly believing that sticks and stones hurt far less than words.
But living in a constant fear of words will get you nowhere in life. Words and opinions are as common as the rain, and fearing the rain is juvenile. Living in any type of fear is no way to live and definitely not a way to gain respect.
There is, in fact, an expiration date by which you can no longer stay in your distorted fantasy and you must learn to accept your flaws before you let them destroy you.
“Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.” -Osho
This is a task that is truly easier said than done. It requires a self assurance that doesn't come easily to most, but should most definitely come at some point in your life. Because the sooner you accept who you are, the sooner you're truly free from the terrible burden that comes with caring about the opinions of others.
But once you learn how to use your flaws, and love them as part of you, the whole world will open up. You will no longer be hindered by any opinion, thought or perception but your own. There will be no reason ever to hide or to devalue yourself. You will become one of those people you admire, full of character and unfaltering self respect, who doesn't crouch underneath criticism and judgment, but stands up to it.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent'.” Those words never rang so true, until you become conflicted with the notion that people do not like parts of you. But who gives them that power? You are in control and you, alone, have the power to accept yourself before anyone else can.
You can't ever get past other people's opinions of you if you don't have your own. Acceptance is the first step towards strength. It's the first step towards coming to terms. There's a common saying in AA meetings or any type of therapy session that acceptance is the first step towards recovery.
Many times you think your flaws are inhibitors, but really they most likely aren't flaws at all. Acceptance turns to love and once you've accepted your flaws, you must decide if you still want to see them that way. Take the time to look closely at yourself, get to know who you are.
Give Them Purpose
Once you've evaluated your flaws, seeing them more as unique traits that differentiate you from the masses, you can give them meaning. Your “flaws” should mold the person that you will become. Because it's really your flaws that make you different from the seven billion other people on this planet. Give them purpose, give them attention and make them part of your character.
Create Yourself Around Them
Mold yourself around them. Once you've accepted your flaws, you can learn to love them. There's no reason to hide them anymore, you must showcase them.
No one can ever use them as flaws because that would be character assassination, and anyone low enough to cross that line isn't worth attention anyways. So find those things you hate about yourself and turn them into defining characteristics that make up your individuality.
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