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Ontario Society of Adlerian Psychology

Gemeinschaftsgefuhl ~ Advancing Adlerian Psychology in Ontario Through Social Interest, Sense of Belonging, Community Feeling and Equality

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The Courage to Be Imperfect

by Charmaine McIntosh | on April 16, 2016

The concept of the Courage to Be Imperfect was developed by Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs. When we have the courage to be imperfect, we can focus on the present time rather than worry about what has happened in the past.

Some points to consider:

  1. Individuals should be encouraged, not expected, to pursue perfection.
  2. It is better to have the desire to be useful than to have the desire for self- elevation. The latter is accompanied by constant fear of making mistakes.
  3. Too many human relationships are mistake-centered and fault-finding.
  4. Mistakes are unavoidable and, in most cases, less important than what the individual does after he or she has made a mistake.
  5. Mistakes are not failures…they are aids to learning.
  6. Are you motivated primarily to help others, or to be superior to them?
  7. Develop a sense of your own personal strength and self worth.
  8. Develop the courage to cope with the challenges of living.

“We have to learn the art, and to realize that we are good enough as we are because we will never be better regardless of how much more we may know, how much more skill we may acquire, how much status or money or what-have-you. If we can’t make peace with ourselves as we are, we will never be able to make peace with ourselves. And this requires the courage to be imperfect; requires the realization that I am no angel, that I am not superhuman, that I make mistakes, that I have faults; but I am pretty good because I don’t have to be better than the others.” ~ Rudolf Dreikurs, M.D.

Retrieved from

Courage to Be Imperfect

Rudolf Dreikurs was a psychiatrist and leader in Adlerian Psychology who focused on parenting and educational training.  Learn more about Rudolf Dreikurs Here


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