I’m not sure when but at some point as women it seems many of us begin to believe the lie we have to perfect at all times and in every area.
Perfect in our physique, perfect in our careers, marriage, parenting, relationships, home, even perfect in our spirituality and faith.
As a mom, wife, pastor’s wife, ministry leader, grad student, homemaker, etc., I have wrestled with perfectionism many times, sometimes winning and other times being left in a headlock tapping out frustrated with my own humanity.
Just this past week I was juggling several responsibilities at the same time and found myself feeling so overwhelmed. I was working on a major editing project, had just launched the blog and was working on building my brand on all social media platforms, along with my every day grind of being a full time mom to my two daughters, taking my son to pre K, and running household and family errands. I was frustrated with myself for not having the house as clean as I thought it should be, for not having posted a new blog yet, for not finishing all the laundry (the list could go on).
I wanted to do and be more but my negative perspective of the situation only made it that much harder to actually get things done. A close friend helped me consider that my expectations of myself might not be the expectations God even had for me.
Without realizing it, amidst new responsibilities, I had let perfectionism slip in and it was stealing my joy. When I realized how hard I had been on myself, I began to shift my response from condemnation to grace for this time of transition, and peace and assurance flooded my heart.
I wasn’t a bad mother, wife, homemaker, entrepreneur, etc.
I just wasn’t perfect. And that was perfectly okay. 🙂
Today you may be realizing you are not and can’t be perfect. That is perfectly okay.
I’m not sure about you but I quickly find that perfectionism is an impossible ideal to attain and I lose so much joy in my journey of life and authenticity as a woman when I try to reach it.
Well why then do I and others at times try to reach it?
Because of what we think being perfect will achieve.
The 7 lies of Perfectionism:
- Being perfect means I’m in control.
- Being perfect means no one will hurt or reject me
- Being perfect means I’m successful
- Being perfect means I won’t be corrected
- Being perfect means I can help others who aren’t perfect
- Being perfect means I can finally share my life.
- Being perfect means I’m worthy of love
Reading these each one may seem crazy, if perfectionism were a person we would see that every promise he/she gave he/she couldn’t deliver on.
Yet when Perfectionism whispers these lies to us in our every day lives, we believe it.
We may not say it aloud, but our actions say it.
I’ve been there. Maybe you have to. The “if only this area in my life could be perfect… (insert any line from above)”. If only I could clean this entire house right now…if only my children wouldn’t have any behavioral issues…if only my husband would do and say everything right..if only I could lose all the weight..
I’m here to encourage you and myself today that you don’t have to be perfect, your kids don’t have to be perfect, your husband doesn’t have to be perfect, your life doesn’t have to be perfect.
In fact, in trying to be perfect, we can miss the beauty in the wonderfully imperfect lives we all lead. We can miss loving and accepting the wonderfully imperfect people around us. And most tragically, we can miss sharing our wonderfully imperfect selves with others.
Perfectionism will steal our joy and isolate us as we strive to fix ourselves before sharing ourselves with others. It keeps us in bondage and fear of the thing that would truly free us which is authenticity.
While perfectionism lies to us, authenticity brings truth.
The 7 Truths of Authenticity:
- Being authentic means you let go of control
- Being authentic means you’re opening yourself to hurt and rejection but also true relationship and deep community
- Being authentic is part of truly being successful because life is about relationship
- Being authentic means you welcome correction as a means of growing
- Being authentic means you know you’re not perfect and can teach as well as learn from and others who aren’t perfect like you
- Being authentic means you share out of a place of freedom and bring freedom to others as they see your vulnerability
- Being authentic means you are worthy of love just because of who you are, imperfections and all, not what you’ve done or accomplished
I encourage you to meditate and even speak these truths today! If a moment comes this week when you are tempted to slip into perfectionism, I pray you and I would counter it with the truths of authenticity.
The Apostle Paul says it another way,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (Romans 3:23)
No one is perfect. We all “fall short of the glory of God.” So this week rather than trying to justify ourselves, let’s lean into God’s grace He pours out on us. Let’s give our best and lean into the work of redemption He weaves in all of our lives and be the beautiful, imperfect, authentic women He’s called all of us to be.
Right now, in all your imperfections, you are more than enough, enough for your family, loved ones, church, job, children. You don’t have to be perfect.
I’m sending you so much love and would love to hear from you! Feel free to comment your thoughts, prayer requests, or questions below.
And always remember, God is writing your story, Page by Page.