Is this a word you know well?
You know, growing up I never thought I was a perfectionist. At anything. Well, think again, girl!
When was the last time you just had to be the best at something? At something you’re passionate about and you love so much. And, if you’re not the best (and most of us probably are not…I mean, there’s always someone better than us), what do you feel?
Why do we feel the need to strive for perfection? Why do we feel like if we’re not the best at the things that we love, we’re not good enough, we’re a failure, we’re second-best? Why are we so comparison-based? If we weren’t focused on how we stack up against others and were instead focused on our successes and how to better ourselves, how much more of a fulfilling life would we live?
I think we start off with the wrong assumptions about God, ourselves, and our lives…so that is where we go wrong first and if we identify those things first, then we can know where to start in how to correct it in our lives.
First, you are loved.
Although quoted too much,
John 3:16 | “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
If He didn’t love you, would He really have sent his only son to die for you?! Also, Jesus died to give us LIFE. Not just after death. But now. Starting right now, Jesus has given you new life. Abundant life. Free. Beautiful. What does that mean to you?
Galatians 2:20 | “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”
1 John 4:9-11 | “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
We might live through him. We have a reason to live, and it’s not to try to prove ourselves to everybody through our accomplishments, even people who are close to us (or supposed to be close to us).
Second, you are enough.
God created you exactly as He wanted you to be. He has led you along on a crazy journey that is all your own. Nobody has experienced things in exactly the same way as you have, yet you are able to relate to others and they can relate to you as well. He has not left you lacking something important that you need in order to be fulfilled and to live the life that He wants for you. In fact, you have everything that you need (here, in this very moment!!) to continue on this journey and be who you are meant to be! He has made us for relationships, which is why we so desperately want people to look at us and accept us and congratulate us and be proud of us, but that is just another way humans have messed this up. God wants a relationship with us, which should be the first place that we should look for these things, instead of people.
What helps you when you are tempted to strive for perfection? What do you do when you know you are striving to make someone proud of you, or for love, or for other things like that?