The definition of perfectionism is: a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.
Ever since I was a little girl I felt like I had to be perfect so others would accept me and not reject me. I believed I needed to perform in such a way that aroused others interest in me.
So, I started striving for things that I now believe are society’s standards of what success looks like. Which is not necessarily what actual success is.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about working on yourself. It is good to grow and become better at things.
There is such a thing as healthy growth and self-development.
In fact, I believe that God has given us a responsibility to be good stewards of our lives which involves taking care of and improving ourselves.
The problem lies when it consumes us to the point that if we don’t reach a certain standard, we shame ourselves as a result.
It becomes a problem when we start to believe we are a failure if we don’t live perfect, look perfect, or act perfect.
A good friend of mine gave me a book for Christmas by Brene Brown. The book is called The Gifts of Imperfection.
That book brought to light a lot of what I have struggled with all my life which includes shame and perfectionism.
The book made me realize that my search for love and acceptance was really at the core of my perfectionistic drive.
So I took this revelation to God and surrendered my perfectionism to Him. I asked God to give me the courage to let it go.
By requesting that of God I found that He was willing to take this burden I have been carrying around with me and in exchange wanted to instill in me a new found love and appreciation for myself.
In the weeks after finishing the book, I searched the Bible to find scripture that would back up the truth that I was enough just as I am and that I am loved and accepted by the Almighty God Himself.
A scripture that really hit home for me was Psalm 139:14 which says that God’s works are wonderful and because He created me that makes me wonderful.
He also says in His word that He loves me so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for me so I could live with Him forever (John 3:16).
Understanding these truths enables me to realize that there is really nothing I can do to make God love me any more than what He already does. That means I don’t have to strive for perfection anymore.
There is a freedom that comes with letting go of perfectionism because it allows me to be a more authentic person not only with myself but with others as well.
Therefore, the more authentic I become, the less fear I have of embracing my imperfections.
“It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts: courage, compassion, and connection.” –Brene Brown
So the next time you want to reach perfection, tell yourself that perfect or not you are loved, accepted, and are enough.