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Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Updated: Jun 29

I have a confession... I'm not perfect. I know, I know, feel free to take a seat. I'm sure this is a huge shock to all of you. For as long as I can remember I've tried to be perfect (except for the brief years when I said forget perfection I'll just be as stupid as I can) but hey, we'll just forget about those years. Every personality and temperament quiz I take shows that I strive for perfection. I like ordered, un-chaotic, no confrontation, peaceful perfection. At least I'm pretty sure I would if I could ever actually get to that point.

The thing about perfection is that it can't be attained! I try and try but nothing is ever exactly perfect. My drive for perfection comes from two different sides of myself. There is a healthy version of myself that values quality and authenticity and because of that has really expensive taste in pretty much everything. The not so healthy version of myself is driven by fear. The fear of failure, confrontation, the fear of not making any sort of significant impact on the world. I continually walk the very fine line of healthy and unhealthy motivations when it comes to perfectionism. In my quest for perfection the biggest battle is with myself. Fear and shame are loud and obnoxious and continually speak lies to me and tell me that my lack of perfection makes me worthless. They lie to me and say that everyone else has it all together (just look at their Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram) and if I don't have the perfect life I should at least pretend to have it all together so that I don't get judged. The beautiful thing about being a recovering perfectionist is that I can send those lies back to the enemy that sent them and hang on to the truth that God sees me, knows me, loves me and values the quality, authenticity and order that I bring to life. I know that God loves order and peace and I reflect his character when I live my life governed by those values. I also know that I'm unable to attain perfection because he's the only perfect one. My strength can be found in those moments when I am truly honest with myself and with my safe people. I talk about the fear and the shame that motivate me in unhealthy ways and I also share my joy and the satisfaction I feel when I am able to live out my values of quality and authenticity. As I struggle to battle perfection in my life the song "Truth be Told" by Matthew West speaks to my heart on so many different levels. It's time to step up and tell the truth!

We live in a world driven by the pursuit of perfection. Perfection in our careers, perfection in our health and outward appearances, perfection in our relationships, perfection in our faith, perfection in our homes. Perfection isn't something to be pursued because it's something that we can never attain. It's time to stop pursuing perfection and start pursuing the perfect one. It's in surrendering our need for order and control that we can find the beauty in the incomplete, imperfect and sometimes chaotic life that we live. The miracle is, that when we pursue a deeper relationship with God, we are more successful in bringing order to the chaos around us because, we are reflecting his character and he loves to bring order to chaos. So, my fellow recovering perfectionists it's time to get out of our heads and dig into our hearts and discover our motivations, our fears and our values. It's time to tell the truth! I'd love to hear your thoughts about perfectionism and how you battle it in your own life. <