Chasing Perfection | How to Make the Best of Your Character Flaws

TIA HERE with the age-old Hannah Montana adage: "Nobody's perfect." Although Hannah may not be real, her advice is, and I know it still applies to me every day, a constant reminder that being perfect is an impossible goal. Just like every good literary character has their set of flaws, people are no different. So, when it comes to addressing your imperfections, there are two ways to take it all in—fall into a vast pit of despair as you fail to become the person you wish you were, or find a way to make the best of it. Look for your fatal flaw in the list below, and consider its silver lining:





JEALOUSY


Envy is impossible to control, but not impossible to manipulate. Whenever you see someone doing something cool—whether it be skydiving, making a short film, acing all of their classes, or talking to that cute guy you like—don't let your jealousy turn you to hate. Instead, let it push you toward two, more positive directions.

First, transform your jealousy into admiration. Face the person who is achieving all of your dreams and don't spit in their face. Compliment them. Support them. They are doing something wonderful and deserve your praise—not your bitter backside. This will not only help you cope with your envy, it'll also bring you to spread positivity and develop connections and friendships (rather than burn every shiny bridge in your path). Maybe some day when you're a movie star too, you'll meet up with the person and the two of you will support one another on your continued paths to enlightenment.

Secondly, use your jealousy to refuel your inspiration and passion for achieving your dreams. If this other person got the solo or passed the chem test, then that means they had to work hard to get there and their hard work rewarded them. If you work just as hard, or harder, you'll find the same results. So why let them climb all the stairs while you're waiting for the elevator? Get climbing, and maybe you'll even surpass them!



ATTENTION SEEKING


This is a popular one among today's millennial youth. Anyone who shows any shred of self-confidence or desire for love is reduced to the embittered phrase "attention seeking." My response to that is... so what? Everyone wants to feel loved and adored, and while some people may have more subtlety and a desire to be humbler, that doesn't mean that anyone needs to be called a mean name. If someone says you're an "attention whore," throw it back in their face. "What's so bad about that?" It's a hard question to answer without pulling out an outdated verse on humility. If the person responds that deserving attention comes to those who wait, then it's clear that they're the type of person who will sit around for years, waiting for something that may never come. If you're attention seeking, that means you're willing to fight for your goals, whatever they may be, and that is a quality to be admired.

Still, maybe tone down the endless stream of selfies, and make sure you apply your determination across the board. Be attention seeking in more than just the physical—work on your passions and show them off! YouTube videos and tumblr selfies may be the first rung in the attention-seeking ladder, but they are not the last. Present yourself proudly and work toward your goals with your head held high. Being an attention seeker doesn't mean you can't be a class act with a lot to prove. So prove it!


ENTITLEMENT


Another popular millennial accusation, being entitled means showing little gratitude for what you've got and taking your situation for granted. This is a tedious path, but one you can walk with grace if you keep your head on straight. If someone tells you you're entitled, that probably means you have it good—that you have it better than them. Don't tell them they're wrong (they're probably not), but instead take a good look at yourself. If you do have it better than a lot of other people, you should take good advantage of that. Know the phrase: "It's not about the cards you're dealt, but how you play the hand"? That applies to people of all different standings. If you are dealt very good cards, you better not squander them.

So if someone tells you you're entitled, tell them what's up: "I know I have a lot of opportunity, and I'm not taking it for granted. I'm proud of who I am, but I also know there was chance involved with the situation I was born into—that I'm one of the lucky ones. And I'm going to make the best of that." It's important not to lose sight of your fortunate situation, your family's money, and your social status at birth. But you should not feel like you have anything to prove to an accuser either. The life you were born into was just as random for you as it was for anyone else, but being dealt good cards means that you have an opportunity few others in the rest of the world have, and you should take it. Don't let being called "an entitled millennial" shame you—let it give you more perspective, humbling you in a way that only drives you forward and not further into your shell (where you'd only become the kind of person you're on trial for being). Older generations will gripe that you've got it easy, and you probably do. But you can't help that. What you can help, is not letting it go to waste.


CONTROLLING


You probably think everything you do is right (or better) without a doubt in your mind. The truth is, you are 100% wrong. Your way is not the right way, because there is no right way, only your way, so as long as you keep that in mind, we'll be able to move forward. Being controlling means making enemies, because everyone likes to think that they're right and you telling them they're not is a dangerous business. But there is an upside to being a control freak—and it appears when you find your place.

You can only walk around with so many leashes on so many dogs before they slip out of your hand and start running loose. Hopefully, if this happens, you'll realize there's at least one dog still moving with you, in the right direction. This is your goal—one of the few things where your instincts are almost always right, and your controlling nature can only bring you power (and not ruin). Find what you're good at, what you understand, and let your controlling self go free! You have the personality of a boss, a leader, as long as you don't fall into the wrong industry. Stay on your toes and keep looking. You may have to start at the bottom like everyone else, but you'll have the clearest view of the top.


HIGH STRUNG


Anxious. Nervous. Paranoid. Panicky. If these words describe you, then you might be a little tightly wound. Here's the good thing about being a nervous wreck—you have the potential to be disturbingly efficient. As an incredibly high strung person myself, I've learned that the best way to play off my anxiety is to dive into a million activities and learn to enjoy every last one of them.

I make endless Wunderlists and fill my iCal with every single thing I have planned. By organizing like mad and keeping busy, I am giving myself a bit to chew on (which saves me from grinding my teeth) and am allowing myself to clear my head as quickly as possible (before it pops). If you can lasso your panic, then you may find it'll drive you down a road to success. Being high strung means you have the potential to be an invaluable worker who is always on time, has great attention to detail, and rarely fails. Just don't lose control of this pony, or you might get a swift kick to the face.



LAZY


Do you rarely get to places on time... or at all? Do you procrastinate with TV shows and internet browsing? Do you turn in assignments late, or decide not to do your readings, or choose comfort over any level of stress, as often as you can get away with? Some would call you lazy, others would call you European. Laziness takes a different meaning depending on whose mouth it falls from. Americans tend to think you're lazy if you don't spend 100% of your time working for some end, non-gamers think all (dedicated) video game playing is laziness in disguise, and your parents will probably think you're lazy no matter what you do.

Because the definition spans across so many forms I think the conclusion is clear: Laziness is by far the most subjective of the sins. If someone calls you lazy, it just means they strive for different things than you do and don't understand why you don't want the same things they want. If you think someone else is lazy, you're probably not giving them enough credit for all of the things they do. So if you're working hard, playing hard, and having a great time, don't let any comment about laziness get to you. No one's work or work ethic is the same, and there's nothing wrong with that. Find people similar to you and stick with them—work with them if you can—because they will never call you names.

For all those poor souls looking to get a hold of their faults and seal them up forever, hopefully these were some different solutions to what makes you "problematic." Who you are, the good and the bad, exists, for the most part, beyond your control. But, like with everything, there are still elements to life that you can grasp onto—so don't let go of the reins, and get to steering yourself onto the right path.

For more, check out Tia's new blog!

Much love,

T.