Two weeks ago I shared how I have been trapped by perfectionism ever since I was a young child. Up until a few years ago I was convinced that perfection did exist and could be attained, if only I tried hard enough.
It was not until walking through the Beth Moore Bible study “Breaking Free” did I realize the strong hold fear and perfectionism had on my life.
I entered into the Bible study with the mind set of “I don’t have a strong hold. I don’t suffer from an addiction.” Boy was I wrong! Much to my surprise, I discovered my strong hold was fear. Fear is a close friend of perfectionism.
My tendency towards perfection has not disappeared, but instead of being controlled by it, I am learning to have better control of it.
The Lord is gracious and teaches me, if I am open to it.
Here is what I have learned:
1) Perfection does not exist. This one took me a long time to grasp. It does exist in a Pottery Barn catalog, but not in reality.
2) I am not perfect nor will I ever be. The only human who was ever perfect is Christ.
3) It is ok to be good enough. This one is still hard for me to accept. God loves me despite my faults and His opinion is the only one that matters. If I endeavor to give each day my all, that is good enough.
4) Striving for perfection as a mother, wife or in my home robs me of joy. Learning to hold my expectations loosely allows me the freedom to enjoy life more fully. Life is about relationship with others and experiencing Christ’s joy. It is not about the perfect birthday party or having the best dressed child.
5) Daily living only allows for some things to be accomplished and that is ok. This is something I am currently working on. Setting my mind to spend an hour accomplishing a task and being ok when I have to stop. Believe it or not perfectionists are often procrastinators because we think the time has to be perfect and the project has to be done perfectly. Unless that can happen, why start?
6) Stop waiting for the “moment of arrival” when life will be perfect. Life will never be perfect. Each day and every moment is a time for learning. The “moment of arrival” will occur only when I am with my Savior.
I still have much more to learn but am already feeling some freedom from perfectionism. And to be honest, it feels good!
Do you feel captive by perfectionism? What is one step you can take today to start your journey to freedom?
© 2012 Standing on Peace