“…..He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” – Jesus, the Christ
To be perfect in what we do is something every reasonable person will desire or expect from you and I. In fact, if you do not expect a degree of perfection from yourself, there is a little chance that you will achieve success and excellence. So, it is good to desire to be perfect within the limit of our abilities. So until you have built yourself above your natural ability, do not expect any higher level of perfection or success from yourself. However, the desire for perfection beyond a limit could become destructive, especially when it becomes extremely possessive. I have seen the way some people place undue and unnecessary pressures on themselves or others just because they want to see a level of success or perfection. Placing such pressure is never a guarantee for success or perfection. You need to understand that we all have our elastic limits and may not always get what we expect.
The bad thing about inappropriate desire for perfection is that it could deny you your sense of being a human and disconnect you from the touch with reality. The desire for perfection may also disconnect you from the interplay of grace in achieving success and excellence in life. This may distort your judgement of what is the true degree to which you make thing happen in your life. The desire for perfectionism must therefore give room for flexibility. This is important because, we all make mistakes. Have you seen how inappropriate desire for perfectionism has hindered many from achieving success this year? Trying to become perfect by your own human effort will always fail. Be brave enough to accept your mistakes but, don’t blame yourself for making mistakes.
I can imagine that when you look back at the year, you’ll say, ‘If I knew then what I know now.’ But if you could live all over again you’d probably say the same thing again and again. The truth is that the journey will take longer than you hoped. The obstacles will be more numerous than you thought. The disappointments will be greater than you expected. The price will be higher than anticipated. So, stop expecting more than is reasonable. Give yourself a chance to be you. Do not judge yourself by what you see in the lives of others. We are not the same in our make-up and potentials. Rather, you should learn to use your mistakes as an opportunity for learning. You need to understand that failing could lead to falling forward. Move from a position where failure is fatal to where failure is a lesson.
To break free from the negative dimension of perfectionism:
– Humble yourself. Repent of being filled with pride about your human effort and submit to God
– Be reality focused. Accept life as it is, not how you think is should be
– Establish attainable goals. Make them realistic and achievable in the here and now
– Set reasonable time limits. Instead of spending time struggling to do one thing perfectly, prioritise and dedicate reasonable amount of time to each activity.
– Lose the ‘all-or-nothing thinking. Not every situation is black and white-most contain shades of grey
– Learn from your mistakes then move on with the lessons
– Confess your shortcomings. Acknowledging your weaknesses releases you from the pull of perfectionism
-Find your worth in God, not in your own human effort in what you do and how well you do it
Stop seeing minor mistakes as major catastrophes. Pick up your pieces, let God help you put them together and move on with courage, faith and hope into the coming year.
Prayer: May God give you the courage to rise from your mistakes and take up your place in destiny in Jesus name, Amen!