The thing that has helped me in my ongoing journey out of over-doing, over-committing and over-whelm is reminding myself often that there IS a difference between “trying too hard to make it all just right” and “partnering with God for excellence.”
- Perfectionism or trying-too-hard-to-make-it-all-just-right is a relentless mental/emotional chase for flawlessness. It’s impossible, works against me and can lead to procrastination or burnout.
- Excellence is enjoying quality in balance, works for me, and inspires me to intentional action.
- Perfectionism leads to self-talk with absolutes, generalizations and demands like: I must, I should, I have to, I never.
- Excellence encourages self-chat such as I want to, I can, and I will.
- Perfectionism is motivated by avoiding others’ negative opinions and disapproval.
- Excellence desires personal and spiritual growth and willingly accepts self-responsibility.
- Perfectionism fears “doing it wrong” and is only satisfied at victory or the finished product.
- Excellence enjoys satisfaction throughout the process. (TIP: When you’re facing a long intimidating task, try chunkacizing it by breaking it into do-able daily increments. When you’ve reached your mini-goal, relax and celebrate. You’ll have less “I can’t wait until it’s over!” angst.)
If you’re like me, you can sometimes be your own slave-driver. So this verse gives you (and me, too!) permission to be gentler with ourselves. I love that!
Which of these perfectionistic symptoms sounds a little too familiar to you? What one gentle self-care moment are you going to allow yourself this week?