By Josh Silver
Growing up, I was one of those kids who always compared myself to others. No matter how hard I tried I never seemed to be quick enough, smart enough, tall enough, artistic enough. Really you can just fill in any adjective and I would have found someone that was better than me. When I look back on the way I felt about myself I think that using drugs started as a way to quiet that voice of discontent in my head. I fell back on drugs as a crutch and as long as I was high I could rationalize my faults and blame my lack of “enough” on the fact that I was an addict.
Sobriety has given me a much better solution to this problem. I’ve learned that once you accept your faults, you are then able to see your own strengths. Of equal importance is the fact that once I accept my own faults, I can then accept the faults of others. I can learn to look at a whole person and not extrapolate their whole personality from a single action that they’ve made. So now, with these new tools, I can accept both others and myself.
It might seem pretty obvious that accepting your own faults can have a positive impact on your life; the truth is this is easier said than done. While there may never be a definitive “How To” on acceptance, there are a few little tricks to use.
First of all, start with the little things. Let yourself have some time everyday to be you. Be lazy, be scared, be weird, nerdy, stupid, obsessed, depressed—just be you. Next, try and make a list of things that you like about yourself. Funny enough, this is harder than it sounds but I refuse to believe that you (the reader) aren’t talented at anything. Lastly, combine these two aspects of yourself and try looking at the whole picture. Try surrounding yourself with people that will both call you on your bullshit and let you know when you’ve done something right.
Most importantly, realize that nobody is perfect and it’s pointless trying to be.