Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Curse of Perfectionism

OK, maybe that title is a bit strong, but being a perfectionist can be down right debilitating. The quest for perfection can cause us to do nothing for fear that we can't do it "just right." Then there are times when we decide to step out and do something and end up struck by the "paralysis of analysis." I am learning day by day that the key to overcoming these stifling scenarios is to just do it! Notice I said learning, not learned. I have not arrived, but at least I'm on my way.

Take this blog, for instance. I came up with one excuse after another as to why I shouldn't or couldn't do it. "What if I make mistakes?" (Huge deal for the editor in me!) "What if no one reads it." "You don't know how to do this." On and on the doubts flooded my mind. Freedom and release came from the Word of God. One verse stands out from Ecclesiastes 11:4, "He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap." In other words, if we look at what we see (or go by what we feel), we may never do anything.

With regard to doing it perfectly, that's an unattainable goal to start with because Jesus is the only one who has arrived!

One key to freedom in this area is being free from people-pleasing. Our utmost desire always has to be to please God and Him only. If anyone else is pleased in the process, that's a bonus. Colossians 3:23-24 states, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ."

This can certainly present a challenge in our social media focused society. Everybody wants to be friended, liked, followed or tagged. There is nothing wrong with any of these things as long as they do not become our motivation. 

The bottom line is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Where He guides, He always provides the provision, grace and enablement for us. It's not about perfection; it's actually about trusting God. We're clay in the hands of the potter and He is the perfect sculptor.

So break the curse of perfectionism and just step out and do it!


  1. Great blog post Michele. I can attest that perfectionism has plagued me for years both personally and professionally. It's a no win mentality. I was always measuring myself and my tasks against an unattainable standard. When I learned how to let go of the approval of people and unmet expectations of others, I became free to let my best be good enough.

    1. Amen Michelle! Thank God I am on my way!