“Take imperfect action,” they said. “The first step is the hardest,” they said.
As a self-aware perfectionist in recovery, I can come back with a myriad of rebuttals, reasons that paralyze me from taking that terrifying first step. In fact, the draft for this first blog post has been sitting in the “notes” section of my phone for the better part of 2018; oh, the irony. 💯 Some fear failure, some fear success. I’ve struggled with both – in different seasons of my life. I’d often operate under the umbrella of “Fake it ‘til you make it,” due to a cloak of insecurity I’d falsely carried since childhood – seeking performance-based love and acceptance, but also withholding part of who I was, as to not “outshine” others. I’m here to tell you now that “issa trap.” God’s not interested in how you’re pretending to be doing, but in how you really ARE, and about the posture of your heart. Placing unrealistic expectations on yourself and others is a sure recipe for cyclical failure. My hope is that you, also, will be delivered from the snares of perfectionism, and led into an authentic life of surrender and purpose. After all, it’s not by “chance” that you’re here.
3 Ways to Counter Perfectionism:
1. RELINQUISH FEAR OF MAN and COMPARISON. It’s been said that, “We spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like.” Ouch. Who is it that you truly are, and what is your purpose on God’s green earth? Determine to determine those answers, and then live and love unapologetically.
2. GRATITUDE, GRATITUDE, GRATITUDE. Learn to BE Grateful. For at least two years, I’ve been applying the mantra: “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” It’s easier said than done (finding what’s right about someone or something, especially when it’s apparent all that is wrong), but it’s paramount to recovery. Also, learn CONTENTMENT. (Philippians 4:11-13, NIV) “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
3. LOVE YOURSELF. Like really. All. Of. You…from the inside out. This may require the simple application of bibliotherapy and a solid support system, or deeper counseling and psychotherapy, depending upon your family of origin, personal experience with trauma, hardwiring and temperament, etc. My liberation came from all of the above, and in realizing that God’s unconditional LOVE for me was just that – unconditional.
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it.
Still You give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God
(Lyrics: Reckless Love, Bethel Music)
Never be ashamed of your journey. Recovery is not a destination; it’s a lifestyle.
What gifts/ideas has God been cultivating within you, that you’re still “sitting on?” Step out in faith. Take imperfect action. The first step is always the hardest.
“It’s okay to have a spirit of Excellence. Excellence is where character is developed – not in perfectionism. Deliverance is instant, but healing is a lifetime,” (Dr. Estrelita Bruce, PhD).
(PC: @ChrissySchield / River Rhein, Bingen, Germany)