Perfectionism: refusal to accept any standard short of perfection
If you are anything like me, trying to be sure that everything you do is done perfect is a lot of hard work. What if I told you that you aren’t perfect and you can’t do everything? *gasp* Being known as the “good Christian girl” has taken it’s toll on me all of these years. I daily fight the urge to make sure everything comes out perfect starting with my last blog post all the way to the amount of times I call my family and friends. It’s a real life situation I deal with.
I legit thought that I always had to measure up to this “good girl” title that I took from a very young age. Getting through a daily to-do list is a battle in my own mind, to the point where I feel like if I start one of those tasks, I better do it fully and perfect! No shortcuts or halfway job. You know where that leads to? Me typically not even starting the task.
That has definitely leaked into other aspects of my life. For instance, this blog and my website. It took me 2 years to start it. By the grace of God, here I am talking to you about perfectionism and how it really sucks.
I wasn’t called to be perfect guys. Neither were you. We all fall short of perfectionism by a long, long, long shot! Perfectionism is sin. It robs us of our joy and freedom to do things and take risks regardless of failure. Perfectionism is a pride and fear based compulsion that fuels our obsessive fixation on doing something perfect to prove our worth. Instead of accepting that we will fail…A LOT… we focus in on the fact that we failed and that people might reject us.
What I’m learning more and more every day is that my worth ain’t in my attempts in trying to succeed nor is it in my failures. My worth lies in the power and freedom that God gave me through Christ’s death and resurrection so that I don’t have to be perfect. All I had to do was believe that Jesus did this for me so that a PERFECT sacrifice WAS given. I live in the freedom and the everyday truths of what God is calling me to do with that freedom and power that lies within me to do what He’s calling me to do.
I can love people unconditionally and without judgment because I am the farthest thing from perfect. WE ALL ARE! We are human beings, not human doings, and we need to rely on the God who’s already doing everything that He has planned through us.
Here are some steps that I took from a Proverbs 31 podcast that could go for any WOMAN OR MAN who deals with the lies of perfectionism.
1. Perfectionism is not attainable
As much as we truly, in our heart of hearts, believe that we can be perfect on this side of heaven, we need to let it go. I’m not perfect and neither is the next human being. Strive for excellence, and put your whole heart in what you’re doing, but don’t obsess about the outcome of it all. Just be okay with that you did your best, and allow God to do what He’s gonna do.
2. Accept that you can’t do it all
Make lists, but accept that you might not get everything done on it in the time frame you put on yourself. Give yourself realistic guidelines and lists to complete. REMEMBER you only have 24 hours in a day! You are not a robot or machine.
3. Prepare for the fail
YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL! That’s okay though. You won’t ALWAYS fail. Prepare for the failure though, and get back up stronger. The more you fail, the more you learn. DON’T GIVE UP!
4. Focus on who you’re working for
REMEMBER you are doing everything for the Lord. He’s not asking you to be perfect at your job, your marriage, your relationships, your projects, your bill paying, your thought processing, and your healing. He’s asking you to accept that you aren’t perfect. You were made for a perfect place in the Garden of Eden, but we aren’t there anymore. He IS the perfect One that you need to hone in on and trust to pull you through this imperfect world.
Today I want to challenge me as well as you, in whatever we are doing, to keep this question in mind; Am I doing this to prove my worth or am I doing this solely for God? What I do on the outside does not determine my worth. I can only get to so much today. I will fail at some things. People will be disappointed. I will be disappointed in myself at times. BUT, I am free to leave that perfect mindset, and strive at what I am called to and do the best I can. God will literally take care of the rest.