The Thing About Perfectionism
- 2018 Mar 12
After reading the title, would you say that you’re a perfectionist or do you know someone who has signs of being one? If you are a perfectionist, what are some areas in your life where you feel things need to be just right? Is it being the perfect wife, mother, or friend? How about being the perfect employee, boss, or leader? Do you feel like your gifts and talents need to flow perfectly when you minister or perform? Let’s talk about this thing called perfectionism.
If you are a perfectionist, you are not alone. I am one, too! I hate to admit it (and I’ll tell you why in a minute), but I am. Actually, I had a revelation moment just recently, where the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “You are a perfectionist.” It hit me like a ton of bricks! My initial thought back was, “Nah!” But then, as I thought about it for a few more seconds and pondered it, I responded with, “Wait, you’re right.”
Look at this excerpt taken from Anxiety BC (website) on this very topic. It reads, “Perfectionism involves a tendency to set standards that are so high that they either cannot be met, or are only met with great difficulty. Perfectionists tend to believe that anything short of perfection is horrible, and that even minor imperfections will lead to catastrophe.” In a nutshell, perfectionism manifests itself through anxiety. In other words, we have a tendency to become more anxious (than the average person) to get something done, perfectly.
You see, the thing about perfectionism is that things HAVE to be perfect or just about perfect. No, wait. Yes, perfect!
For instance, the picture on the wall has to be hung up perfectly. The report or assignment that you’re working on has to be perfect. That article, blog, book, or social media post has to be perfect before its ready for your readers. That video has to be perfect. The house has to be in perfect order. WHY? Why does it have to be perfect, sis?
Because we are perfectionists! YIKES!
It has to stop, though. Otherwise, we’re going to run other people around us and ourselves crazy! On top of that, God is the only One who is perfect, sis. And He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because He is. All we have to do is rely more on Him, and receive His grace and instruction, and be open to making mistakes. (Did I just write that?)
Personally, I hate making mistakes! Whether it’s a typo or a song, I don’t like it, sis. Of course, you see that I write, but I also sing at my local church. And recently, I cracked on a piece of a song that I was leading, and I felt so horrible afterwards. I felt like I let God, the listeners, my praise team leader, and myself down. I’ll tell you, with singing, you just never know which way the voice will go. You can practice, practice, and practice some more, but that crack just might be lurking around the corner! Noooooooo!!!
Did I say the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I am a perfectionist?
Honestly, I think when things don’t go perfectly for us, I believe that is God’s way of protecting us from pride. Think about it. If we did everything perfectly, why would we need Him? We’d feel like, we got this! We don’t need help. And that’s pride.
The truth is, we DO need help. We need Him in everything that we do. And even when we do pray for things to work out perfectly and they don’t, we still have to accept and respect the fact that God is sovereign. He’s in total control and He ultimately knows what’s truly best for everyone, including us…even when we make mistakes.
Sometimes we have to make those mistakes, because it shows us that we’re not perfect. And we need to be okay with it. Now, a mistake is a mistake. If we don’t practice enough, or go back and check enough, or do our own due diligence, then we shouldn’t expect things to go 100% right in the first place, right? Yet, the point here is that when we do fall short, that we shouldn’t feel like failures or that we’re just not good enough, or go into a pity party.
Instead, we need to rise above it, and continue to trust God as we move forward. Having this mindset will keep us humble and more reliant on Him regardless of the outcome. Then when things do go right, it’s not because of something we did, but it will be because we were totally trusting Him. That’s when He gets the most glory and that’s when we can do a praise dance!
So, the real thing about perfectionism is that we need to just let it go. It’s not healthy. It’s draining. It's rooted in pride and anxiety. And it drives other people crazy! When we trust in Him, we can trust that He will make our way perfect. Psalm 18:32 assures us of this saying, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” His grace is sufficient! (2 Corinthians 12:9) He's got this!
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
QUESTION: Are you struggling in this area, sis? If you'd like prayer, you can email me directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.
ALSO, my NEW 8-Week Study Guide and Video Teaching Series from my book, "IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose” is FINALLY available!!! Purchase here.
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