Practice makes perfect… That’s what we hear at least, but if we really think about it, we know it’s not true. Nobody can be perfect, but in our society, we sure try to appear perfect. Many of us put great pressure on ourselves to be perfect and have great fear of judgment, failure, and disappointing others. In this podcast, you will hear some practices for taking some of this pressure off of your shoulders and resting in God’s declaration that you are enough.
- Identify your perfectionism – Perfectionism isn’t actual being perfect. It is trying to be perfect. We can often recognize our perfectionism as the “inner critic” voice in our heads.
- Find the source – Recognize the source/motivation of your perfectionism. Is it the fear of judgment, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of looking foolish, the fear of disappointing others? More than likely, your motivation relates to your ego, which has more control over human behavior than we often realize. Our ego-driven actions are not God-driven actions. In fact, an acronym for ego is Edging God Out.
- Work from a place of love – Recognize that if something is from a place of love, you can’t get it wrong, even though it may not be perfect.
- Stay in your lane – Don’t compare yourself to the perfect images that others and the media project.
- Be aware of the dangers – Recognize that one danger of perfectionism is a restriction of creativity and activity. If you want to be perfect and know that you won’t be perfect at something, you are likely not to do it. Perfectionism keeps you from trying, and it is important to know this so that you can try to prevent it.
- Educate: Educate yourself before doing something you aren’t perfect at. This will calm your fears about lacking perfection and help you feel more prepared to try.
- Be aware of your body – Does it feel like you are heavy-burdened? This means that you are trying to carry everything by yourself and being motivated by perfectionistic desires.
- Strive for completion – Completion by God involves simply becoming more fully like the person God made you to be. Instead of trying to be perfect, try to be more complete.
- Focus on your inner self – Perfectionism is often about the outer self (what the world sees). Instead, focus on growing and transforming on the inside. Recognize that this is not selfish.
- Rest in God’s grace – Grace is the antidote to perfectionism.
- Ask – “What would God say to you?” Know that God says, “You are enough.”
- Galatians 1: 10 – Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
- Matthew 11:29-30 – Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
- Matthew 5:48 – “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Be reminded that the Greek word for “perfect” used here actual means “complete.”
- 1 Peter 3:3-4 – Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.
- Matthew 23:26 – You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.
- Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements (book) – “If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough.”
- Shauna Niequest – “Grace is that stuff that loosens the knots that have kept us tied up in judgment & anger. Grace is the key turning in the lock, releasing us from the cage we put ourselves in when we elect ourselves judge & jury. Grace is the balm for our anxious minds, a loving hand on the forehead calming the frantic attempts to figure out, figure out, figure out. Grace is an arm around our shoulders, gently walking us back to the place of peace—letting God be God, and letting us be once again free.”