Perfection Is My Enemy //
"I already know it's not going to be as good as I'd want it, so i'm not gonna waste my time at all"
"It's ok, I guess.. but it's not perfect. Let me try again."
"It should be better. I should be better."
"If I just had ____, I could've done this perfectly."
...Do you ever find yourself thinking things along the lines of this? I know I do.
This morning I was reading a Forbes Business Magazine article entitled 'Why Perfection is The Enemy of Done', and as it explained the danger of focusing on the end product rather than the current progress, I found myself realising how much it rang true to my day to day mindset.
Perfectionism is one of my biggest weaknesses. My own self-fed recipe for failure. This has been especially apparent since I started my own blog. I’ve always given the excuse that this is just how God made me. I had the belief that perfectionism is okay because I helped make things better.. but I started to pay too high of a cost for being so demanding. It started to steal my joy and put a wedge between me and my love for creativity.
It drove me to exhaustion, and from there I finally realised I physically and emotionally could not do it anymore. So, with great desperation, I cried out to God and begged him to help me understand why I had this deep desire to make things “perfect.” After many days of praying and begging God for answers, He slowly started revealing a few little nuggets of wisdom.
The first thing He revealed to me was through something I heard in a podcast recently- Our hearts were created for the perfection of the garden of Eden, but we don’t live there anymore. The problem is that sin came in and tainted what God made perfect. So, it's no wonder our human hearts crave the perfection of God’s original design! But won’t ever live there on this side of eternity. We will always have this void/desire for perfection in our hearts. And honestly, I think that’s actually a good thing.
The Lord is the ONLY one who can fill that ache we feel so deeply. None of our attempts at perfection will ever fill that void.
Perfectionism is a sin. It’s a trap. It’s the enemy’s way of convincing us that we can somehow earn our worth. My worth was totally wrapped up in the lie that if I can just post one more perfect picture, produce one more perfect blog post, or do this project perfectly then I would earn my worth or prove that I was a good blogger.
I'd thought if I can just write the perfect post about everything I’ve learned, attend every church event, serve in every service possible, getting the best possible university grades, and above all making sure not to say or do the wrong thing, that I would somehow prove I was accomplished. Doing all that stuff perfectly would make me worthy of having some type of influence in this world.
But the truth is, I’m worthy because I’m a child of God. It’s my position in Christ, not my perfect performance that gives me my worth.
And lastly, God showed me that excellence and perfection are two completely different things. God created me with a special eye for excellence. That excellence doesn't need to be without flaw.
From these things, let me share my KEY POINTS with you to overcome perfection:
- BE PREPARED- Remind yourself that you are worthy and that God says so. When doing things, reevaluate if you're doing it to try and prove your worthiness- if the answer is yes, change things.
- SET REALISTIC GOALS- Attainable ones!
- BE OKAY WITH FAILING- It is OKAY to fail. Even if it doesn't feel like it!
- CELEBRATE YOUR WINS- This is probably the most important! Celebrating your wins brings joy, and people are more productive when they're joyful!
All of these have helped me so much, and I hope they help you too! There is something so freeing about separating self and perfect. Just know- even by reading this post today, we are one step closer to overcoming perfectionism!
Have a great day!
Love, N. x