The isolation of imperfection

This week brought news my son’s godfather died suddenly and I was immediately filled with regret for the texts and emails I wrote in my head but didn’t send over the past 6 months. It was painful to sit with my own shortcoming. 

In the work context, the recorded zoom call that didn’t go well, the mis-judged tweet, the failure to win new business, the redundancies we didn’t imagine would have to happen, all present us with a plethora of opportunities for imperfection. 

For those who struggle with things not quite going to plan this can cause a high degree of discomfort, and for many, extreme stress and anxiety. It is in these moments when we judge ourselves so harshly that we forget what it means to be human & we feel isolated in our imperfection. 

Imagine how you would respond to a good friend experiencing any one of those situations above. What would you say/do? Chances are you will have compassion for your friend. Yet how do you show compassion for yourself? 

Researcher Dr Kristin Neffs, states that when we exhibit compassion for others we go through 3 steps we can also follow for selfcompassion: 


  1. Notice whats going on 
  2. Be kind to yourself 
  3. Remember you are not alone – to make a mistake is a shared human experience.