Anybody else out there have a major struggle with perfectionism?
I am a recovering perfectionist, but I’m not as far down the road as I’d like to be (which is probably my perfectionism flaring up and judging my journey away from perfect expectations).
2 Corinthians 12:9 seemed more like a suggestion than a requirement for my Christian life – that I would “boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” I’d really rather boast in those things I can do. A few years back, a wise boss gave me an interesting challenge. Every time I messed up, I was to announce it to him. This was an unbelievably painful exercise. I hated it, but it was the first step to letting go of perfect. Nothing fell apart when I made a small mistake, and there were many times that I needed to let go of perfect so I could get assignments out earlier. Letting go of perfect was a time saver and a stress saver. Not only that, but remembering that we are not perfect reminds us of our need for grace.
Striving for perfection allows us to rely on ourselves – to have it all together and to be in control without the need for anyone else. When I strive for perfection, I forget that my imperfections have been bought for a price. Through Jesus, my imperfections are made eternally right. I must learn to rest in this – not my ability to maintain some level of perfection – and let go of perfect.
Grab Amy Spiegel’s book Letting Go of Perfect to become a recovering perfectionist, too.