I’m a recovering perfectionist. I have to say “recovering” because I’m not sure I am able to try to let go of that tendency in any way other than perfectly. Even as I try to disentangle myself from those inbred perfectionistic ways, I find myself wondering if I am doing it good enough?
Perfectionism is usually rooted in shame and fear. For many, the striving for perfection is an attempt to cover up in some other area. For some it’s fear of being found “not good enough.” For others it’s an attempt to secure acceptance, or love. For others, it comes from guilt or feeling flawed and unworthy.
For most of my life, I wore the label “perfectionist” with pride. I saw it as a good thing. I saw it as a goal to which all should attempt to obtain. If I was a perfectionist, then perhaps others would equate that with being dependable, reliable, even desirable.
There came a time in my life when circumstances overtook me, and not only could I not maintain my attempts at perfection, but I was unable to do very little at all, certainly not at such a high standard. I was devastated. I didn’t know how to accept imperfection from myself.
If I couldn’t accept an imperfect me, I reasoned surely others wouldn’t either. Sadly, some didn’t.
The good news is, God accepts me and all my imperfection. I am not perfect, but when he looks at me, He sees the perfection of His son, Jesus Christ. He sees me not as I am, but as I am becoming. Becoming more like Him.
Furthermore, while I am still learning, I am grateful that God’s word says we already have everything we need for life and godliness: “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3 NLT)
Have you ever felt as if you weren’t good enough? Can you begin to see yourself as God sees you?