Perfectionism Destroys Our Joy
The unreal expectation of trying to be perfect is stealing my joy right from underneath my nose. Often times I don’t recognize why I don’t have peace and joy in my life. But then it smacks me right in the face.
This quote comes to mind;
“Perfection is often the enemy of greatness.” -Janelle Monae
My unreal expectation of perfection is stealing my joy and ultimately my greatness.
It makes me miserable. I beat myself up when I can’t live up to my own expectations of being perfect.
If you are a perfectionist you know exactly what I am talking about.
Here is what my ego says. It says in order for God to love me I have to be the perfect man. I have to be the perfect Jesus follower.
The Pursuit of Perfection is Exhausting
I put such high expectations on myself to be perfect, which is an impossibility.
I feel like I disappoint myself, others and God when I am not perfect. What an exhausting and joyless way to live life.
It’s a tough pattern to break though. Striving for perfection has gotten me a long ways in life. A super fit physique. A very successful sales career. Now I am trying to build a business/ministry trying to be perfect.
You know what, people don’t want perfect. They want real. People want to know us in our humanness and messiness.
Why is that so hard for us perfectionists to get that through our thick skull?
I am being shown that it is ego. It’s pride.
Holy Intention Not Perfection
God doesn’t expect perfection, he wants holy intention. He wants a pure heart. He wants us to be in relationship with Him.
That’s why he went to the cross for us. Because we aren’t perfect. He knows that. He loves me unconditionally as an imperfect son of God.
If he loves me unconditionally, why can’t I give myself grace and love myself unconditionally? If he loves you unconditionally, why can’t you give yourself grace and love yourself unconditionally? That’s a really good question to ask ourselves.
For many years I have tried extremely hard to make others happy, only to not live up to their expectations. My destructive thought pattern was I am supposed to make others happy. In the process of trying to be perfect and being focused on making others happy, I denied my own happiness.
Joy Comes From the Inside
What I am learning is people are responsible for their own happiness. Happiness, joy and peace comes from the inside.
All I can do is show up with love and my own inner peace and joy. It’s up to the other person to receive that love. It’s not my job to make others happy.
My higher self knows that I am not perfect. My higher self knows that I have nothing to prove and I am worthy.
Give Ourselves Grace
I am learning that in my imperfection I am not disappointing God. He knows my heart. He gives me grace. Why can’t I give myself grace?
The ego mind says in order to earn love I have to be perfect. And when I am not perfect the ego mind beats myself up either verbally by what I say to myself or I go beat myself up in the gym to the point where my body feels broken because I deserve to be in pain because I am such an imperfect person.
Believe it or not there is some good that comes from Facebook. I saw this meme this morning on Facebook.
“Some of the worst people in the Bible made the most positive impact. Why? Because their story didn’t end with their mistake. It finished with their comeback. You might feel like you’re defeated. But your story isn’t over.”
I was telling my coach yesterday that I feel like I am failing miserably and I shouldn’t be leading a men’s fitness ministry. I told her I felt like I am too imperfect to lead a ministry.
God Knows Our Heart
She compassionately reminded me that God knows my heart. He knows that I am imperfect. And God doesn’t use perfect people to change the world. He uses imperfect people like me and you who are open to doing His will here on earth.
What are the possibilities for our lives when we let go of the expectation of perfection? How would our lives be different if we knew that we aren’t disappointing God with our imperfections. We are loved unconditionally and he wants to use each and every one of us to be the light in a world full of darkness.
In this season, my hope and prayer for us is that we learn to give ourselves grace. That we stop beating ourselves up for our imperfections and we learn to love our imperfect selves. That we are all worthy and called to minister to others in all of our imperfections.
Live an Inspired Life,
Founder and Creator of Barbells & Brothers