We’re each our own worst critics. And as a person invested in your personal growth, your critic seems to be working in overdrive.
You feel like there’s so many things wrong about you.
I know I can definitely relate to this. Especially a few years ago, I could have made a list a mile long with all the things I didn’t like about me.
But how many of them actually matter, and how many are flaws that only you see?
It’s amazing that you’re working on improving yourself, but you need to also give yourself acceptance and compassion, and not look for problems everywhere.
You can start by letting go of these 7 flaws you see in yourself that no one else even notices.
1) Physical imperfections
A lot of people worry about their weight, skin, hair, or other aspects of their physical appearance.
At least one of those things was always at the top of my list of worries at any given moment, until pretty recently.
I would spend a lot of time in the morning trying to hide a pimple on my face, or the dark circles under my eyes, or trying to make my hair smooth.
And throughout the day I would continue wasting energy worrying about it and checking if my makeup didn’t move or if my hairstyle got messed up.
But then I realized that everyone around me isn’t “perfect” either — I would meet people daily who had acne or any of the other things I didn’t like about myself.
And you know what? I never made anything of it when it came to other people. It was just me who I had such impossible expectations for.
And that’s what made me realized, nobody really makes anything of my own physical “flaws” either — and they’re not even flaws. They’re just parts of being human.
2) Feeling like you’re “too quiet” or “too loud”
Do you ever kick yourself over feeling like you’re too reserved? Or maybe it’s the opposite: you have a confident voice and a lot to say, and you’re worried you talk way too much.
Believe it or not, I used to struggle with both these feelings.
Especially as an introvert, I don’t always feel like socializing a lot with people, so in large groups I would often end up just listening to others without contributing a lot myself. But with friends, I would truly open up and was excited to share all my thoughts.
And afterwards, I would always get in my head analyzing how I must have come off to others.
But you know what I learned? Being introverted or talkative isn’t a flaw, it’s simply a different way of engaging with the world.
Your worries might make you frame yourself in a negative light, such as disinterested and aloof, or annoying and overbearing. And you know what, some people will see you like that no matter what you do, because you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
But people who care about you will appreciate your authentic personality. Being quiet also makes you a great listener, and being talkative makes you interesting and engaging.
The right people will celebrate that, and you should too.
3) Being too awkward or too serious
You probably see some flaws in yourself when it comes to social interactions.
Depending on my mood, I could leave a social interaction feeling like I was too serious, too awkward, too silly, or tried too hard to be funny.
These worries come from a place with good intentions: we want to be likeable, and make others feel good around us.
And we have a certain image in our minds of the kind of person who will do that. When you constantly compare yourself against this image, it’s easy to feel like you don’t measure up.
However, there’s one thing you need to know. You’ll actually do much better at being that person you want to be when you stop spending half your energy criticizing yourself.
When I allowed myself to let go and stop worrying so much about what others thought of me, I became much more relaxed, and I noticed people laughing at my jokes more, and asking me to hang out more.
So clearly, the things I felt so bad about when it came to my social skills were flaws that nobody else even noticed.
4) The sound of your voice
Have you ever heard the sound of your voice in a recording and just cringed?
Maybe you think it’s too high, too low, not clear enough, too raspy, or a billion other things.
And maybe there are even things that bother you about the way you speak: too quickly, too slowly, with too many pauses.
Recently, a friend of mine saw a video of himself giving a presentation.
He told me, “I can’t even get past the first 30 seconds because of how ashamed I feel.” I asked him what he meant, and one of the first things he said was his voice.
I was stunned because personally I really like the sound of his voice — and I’m sure many others would agree with me.
The reason why your voice may bother you is because you’re used to a different sound when you listen to your voice from your head. Then when you hear how it sounds in a video, it’s unfamiliar and strange.
But think about your friends voices: there’s nothing weird about them, right? That’s how other people hear your voice too.
5) Not being “good enough” at work or school
Another flaw you might see in yourself could be about your performance at work or school. There’s always that gnawing feeling at the back of your mind: Am I doing enough? Am I good enough?
This feeling of being a fraud, waiting for others to uncover your lack of competence, is often referred to as “impostor syndrome.” And let me tell you, it’s not just you. It’s so common that it has a name!
At my previous job, I would say I was happy enough, but deep down I always had this sense of anxiety.
I would be super hard on myself with each tiny mistake, and I felt like I made way too many of them.
But you know the funny part? When it was time for performance reviews, I consistently received positive feedback. My bosses were happy with my work, yet I was my own worst enemy.
One day, it hit me: why am I putting myself through this? We’re all human. None of us know everything and that’s perfectly fine.
It’s okay to learn as you go, to ask questions, to make mistakes. That’s how we grow, after all.
6) Personal habits or mannerisms
We all have them. Little quirks and habits that become a signature part of our character. But often, these are the things we become most self-conscious about.
For me, it was a habit of tapping my fingers when I was deep in thought. At my desk, in meetings, even during dinner, my fingers would absentmindedly dance on the surface next to me. I feared people would see it as a sign of nervousness or impatience.
And then there was my tendency to lose myself in thought mid-conversation, to drift off into my private world. I worried it might seem like I was disinterested or distant.
These small traits can feel magnified in our minds, but the truth is, others often barely notice them. Or if they do, they see them as a part of who you are, not as flaws to be corrected.
So, whether you’re a finger-tapper like me or have some other idiosyncrasies, remember that these habits are not flaws that others are zeroing in on. They’re just another part of your individuality. And they’re perfectly okay.
7) Repeating the same words or phrases too often
I remember the day I realized just how often I say the words “oh wow”.
A colleague on Zoom told me how extremely hot it was where they live? “Oh wow!” A friend sharing how much work they have to do? “Oh wow!” My partner told me what he had for lunch? “Oh wow!”
I remember this because of how insecure I started feeling. I started looking out for this phrase whenever I was talking and tried to eliminate it from my vocabulary.
Maybe you too have noticed you start your sentences with “So,” or you use the word “actually” more than you’d like, or something like that.
But you should notice one other thing too: all of your friends also have something they overuse. For one of my friends, it’s “Gee”. Another one often uses the structure “First of all” and “Second of all”.
And also, notice how this isn’t something anybody dwells on. Because ot each person, this repetition is just part of your speaking style. It’s how you naturally communicate.
In fact, all of us have our own set of “crutch words” that we lean on in conversation. These words fill gaps in our thoughts, giving us a moment to organize what we want to say next.
It’s time to stop seeing yourself as flawed
You may have been feeling bad about one or several of these flaws that you see in yourself.
But I hope this article has shown you that most likely, no one else even notices them.
My own list of flaws went way beyond just these 7 — there must have been hundreds of things I wanted to change about myself.
But over time, I realized the improtace of self-love and acceptance. You are an amazing person already, and your self-growth journey will take you even further.
However, be sure to appreciate yourself for who you are along the journey, and know that you are definitely not flawed.
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