The Prison of Perfectionism
“some days everything about life is just hard, everything bugs me, along with everyone. I’m so short tempered, I have zero motivation, and I just start out the day down, and feel as though everyone and everything is against me and I caused it or brought it on myself. I woke up and my allergies were awful, my hands were swollen, I couldn’t find my daughter’s favorite toy, or Zeke’s goggles, I’m behind on laundry, struggling to figure out how to do something on this computer, getting mad at Mark for dumb things, burned banana muffins (it was my first attempt at gluten free), Zeke soaked his diaper and got the couch wet. I’m a bad mom, I can’t keep up. I’m a bad wife, I’m nagging my husband. Can’t I do anything, right? How many other people have days like today and do they feel as defeated as I do?”
Can anyone else relate? I realize after reading this that at the core of this dialogue is the desire for everything to be perfect, and for me to be perfect. Perfectionism is a prison and we hold the key. There’s a huge difference between perfection and striving to do your best. I can’t tell you how many things I haven’t tried because I don’t want to fail. If I can’t win, then I won’t engage. I was trying so hard to have everything perfect, and it was killing me. Perfectionism was stealing my joy.
But it’s not about the list of things that went “wrong” it’s how I perceived it. I perceived that everything was my fault, I caused it and it’s a reflection of who I am. There’s a reason there’s a high correlation between depression/anxiety and perfectionism. The anxiety about messing up, or not being perfect, causes you to procrastinate and the more you procrastinate the more you become anxious. These anxious thoughts will eventually lead you down the path, that you can’t do it, and then you aren’t enough, which is a perfect storm for depression. We have to realize that this list of things that went wrong do not make us who we are.
If we wait until everything is perfect, we will never start. If I waited until I was an excellent writer, or my website was perfect, or I paid a professional to make my logo, I would never started this blog. A year ago this was only an idea and eventually I gave myself a deadline and said you know what this is the desire of my heart, and I’m just going to rip the Band-Aid off. Can I tell you it’s been so worth it? How many people have affirmed me, how many people have actually read it, way more than I expected. I would’ve missed out on the opportunity to realize that I wasn’t alone and way more people related to my story than I ever could’ve imagined. I don’t want to miss out on the joy of life, because I’m waiting for everything to be perfect. I don’t want that for you either. So let’s capture those thoughts, tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine and celebrate who we are, where we are at, and keep pressing on. You are enough!
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10