I think the most important truth you can tell yourself is that you are imperfect. I know right? I'm gonna venture that's not what you wanted to hear. You've probably heard many a mantra over the course of your lifetime, such as "practice makes perfect." Well, I hate to break it to you, but practice doesn't make perfect. It makes permanent. Now if you apply that logic to basically everything, then that explains why we still fumble over a few notes at our recital even after tireless hours of practice at a piano all day long, or why we still crack at that high note even though you've nailed it a dozen times before at rehearsal. That logic explains why mistakes can still happen despite our best efforts. What it doesn't explain is why we punish ourselves for those human errors.
Think of it this way. You take your heap-o-junk car to the shop. Despite your best efforts, the car breaks down again on your way back from the shop. You turn the car in to be fixed, but to no avail. You try everything you can. You nurture it. You change your plans around that car. You keep buying new parts and it still won't accept the treatment. What's your next step? Well by this time, you might wanna consider investing in new car. But are you going to blame yourself because the car's a piece of crap? NO. You're not going to say, "Gee, this car won't start, I can't do anything right, there's something wrong with me." But let's apply that response to a situation that is actually more or less the same.
You try out a new diet. You buy everything you need. You were dedicated, you followed your regime, but nothing comes of it. You hardly drop a single pound. Frustrated, you say to yourself, "Why can't I just lose the weight? I must be doing something wrong. I need to have some self control. I'm so unhealthy." What you've basically just stated is that your vehicle (aka your body) is rejecting this diet because you suck. Wait...what? How is the fact that your machine doesn't care for the program you're trying out have anything to do with your strength and will power? Don't you think it's probably the diet that's not working, not you? If you've done all you can do, isn't it time to switch gears? The difference between this and my first analogy, however, is that you can't simply switch out your body like you can a car. So what are your options? Well, considering you've only got one machine here, you can either despise it, kick it around, deprive it of fuel, run it's engines dry, send it spiraling, wreck it and watch it burn, or....you can appreciate it for what it is, not for what it isn't. Nothing in this world is perfect. Not your home, not your life, not your grades or words, and certainly not your body. And that's okay. That's more than okay. Because in being imperfect we each have a lesson to learn. Being imperfect is one of those beautifully refreshing sort of factors that allows you to connect to people. It also helps us search for the things that rule make us happy. If your signature dish is cinnamon toast crunch with a cup of OJ then you're calling in life is probably not the next Gordon Ramsey. If you try your luck as an athlete and end up hunched over begging God for mercy half a mile in, you might want to reconsider your options. However, if you pick up a paint brush and the images flow from your brush to the paper in a slightly clumsy but comfortable rhythm, then perhaps you've found something new to explore. Over time, after continual and dedicated effort...you're still no Monet. Whoops!
My point is, everything happens for a reason. That means that your imperfections, your shortcomings, your inabilities all exist for a reason. They are imperfect like life on earth is. If we were perfect, then we truly would be outcasts. But this incessant nagging habit of expecting constant perfection from ourselves will be our downfall. Perfection is a concept, and one we idolize all too willingly. I've got to be honest, perfection in my limited experience has drawn further away from my happiness. It paves the way for undeserved self blame. For sleepless nights. For psychological scars that won't heal. It paves the way for fear of rejection and practically fertilizes the seed of self doubt until before you know it you're stuck with a horrendous weed in your garden. Thorny, all encompassing, suffocating the life out of everything else. But for a moment, remind yourself that you are here to make mistakes and were intentionally made imperfect, and just see how much easier it is to breath. I promise you, that as you let go of the need to be perfect and simply revere your natural design to be a little bit of chaos, a little bit of organized, and a whole lot of amazing, you will find that being imperfect is the greatest gift of all.