Hello, I’m a Perfectionist
I am a self-diagnosed perfectionist. I live my life stuck in a small cage, chained down by the effects perfection has on my heart and mind. I become so focused on perfection that I begin to fear anything less. I set standards, unrealistic expectations on others in the relationships I engage in, but most importantly, I set them for myself. I’m not proud of this. I struggle with it greatly because with the desire for perfection comes other struggles: with scrutiny, criticism, and comparison-all friends of the devil.
My tendency to strive for perfection is the very fuel the devil uses to place doubts in my heart and discourage me. I desire perfection because I desire goodness. Although at the very root my desire for perfection is good, the devil knows how to take that desire and warp it. I fear disappointing people and my biggest fear is disappointing God. Therefore, perfection becomes a mask I hide behind thinking that if I reach it then I will never be a disappointment. I’ll never let anyone down and surely God will see how good I’ve done and then He will be proud of me.
I fear disappointing people because I also desire love. Real, authentic, holy, beautiful love. I fear never experiencing that. I fear I’m not good enough for someone to love me like this. Perfectionism again becomes a mask I use to try and hide my many flaws- all the ones I am keenly aware of. Because I’m aware of them, I worry that once someone knows the real me they won’t think I’m good enough. I tend to think that I need to be perfect to be loved. Because I find myself a slave to this broken mindset, I find myself struggling with comparison. I often scrutinize myself physically, spiritually, emotionally, and look for ways I can be better. I think that if I was only more like this or more like that then I would be happy, then I would be better, more worthy.
Like I said, I know it’s broken but it’s my first instinct; the first way my mind processes things. It hinders my relationships because I’m afraid to be seen, afraid to be known, afraid to be me- the real, authentic, sometimes messy woman I am. I’m afraid of rejection. But there is hope.
The book of Sirach says, Blessed is he who shall have seen you. I think there should probably be another verse here which says, Blessed is she who has the courage to be seen. Stepping out raw, open, vulnerable, unhidden, and real is scary. I am walking through the storm of this battle currently. I have hope though that with the encouragement of others I can reach the point where I am ready for that. I dream of being a strong, confident, authentic, beautiful woman from the inside out. I know it’s attainable. I have seen it and I admire the women who do have the courage. They inspire me to continue my walk with Jesus asking Him daily to help me see myself through His loving gaze and then have the courage to believe it, to live it.
When we live authentically and fearlessly we become a gift to others. That is why the book of Sirach phrases it, Blessed is he who shall have seen you. We become a gift to others when we lay down our masks and become vulnerable. We become a gift because we offer an invitation to others to follow us in authenticity. It creates a world where being vulnerable is valued, admired, respected, and beautiful. When we act authentically – flaws and all – we embody the very person God created us to be and we begin to set the world on fire.
Even though we aren’t perfect, we are perfectly imperfect. Seems contradictory, but God created us good. He created us exactly as we are. The things we find imperfect about ourselves are perfect and lovable in God’s eyes because they are part of us. God didn’t make a mistake when He created you. Every imperfection makes you unique and beautiful. It makes you who you are. God doesn’t make junk – just diamonds. So shine bright darling. After all, it’s not about perfection, God just desires our hearts. Our love is enough; it’s all He ever wanted.
P.S. You are enough
By Michelle Lauren
Photo credit | Elissa Voss Photography