Help Me Fight Perfectionism

"Hi. My name is Nicki. I'm a recovering perfectionist."
Scratch that. Not quite right..."Hi. I'm Nicki. I'm a bit of a control freak."

you were born to be real, not perfect.

I really wish there was a recovery group for people stuck in perfection mode.

But let's get real. No one has created one yet. Even if there was such a group, I honestly wouldn't step foot through the door, cuz then I'd have to openly admit some days I am OUT OF CONTROL. Not to mention, it might actually be a room filled with crazy people and I don't need any more crazy in my life. Or worse, they'd be perfectly normal, which means I'd be the crazy one in the room.

Some days I feel like I came spiraling out of control!

I have spent most of my professional life in the corporate and political world managing marketing, communications and pr campaigns. And let me just say, I had this epiphany, like right this moment, that it's totally fitting (and ironic) that I've been in an industry most of my adult life that promotes superficial perceptions of people, things and products. Insane.

I honestly used to wear my perfectionism as a badge of honor. Whether I was keynoting at a large conference, training a regional sales team, standing in front of TV cameras or lobbying in the halls of Washington DC, I always tried to look and act like I was in control. Perfect suit. Perfect makeup. Perfect haircut. Perfect nails. But deep down, I was an out of control, nervous ninny. HELP ME JESUS!

Truth is, I'm still an out of control nervous ninny.

Ever feel like you need to have it all together, but deep inside you really don't? Join my club!

I honestly thought I'd find some freedom from my crazy perfectionist ways when I left the high-stress life of corporate America and entered into ministry. Um, not so much. In fact, sometimes I struggle more now than ever before. It's no longer about the perfect words to make a company or politician sound awesome. It's making sure I have the right words, the right actions and the right attitude to let Jesus shine. Holy crap, that is alot of *self-imposed* stress! So grateful for God's grace and the Holy Spirit.

Pick up a magazine. Walk through the halls of a church. Check out a group of women in the middle of a girl's night out. Sit in a corporate business meeting. Perfectionism is everywhere.

It's downright crazy how hard we work to make ourselves look like we are totally together. Exhausting too, don't ya think? The idea of perfectionism is terribly flawed. And let's face it:

No one is perfect, except for Jesus. 

So let's just agree to rest in our Perfect Savior today and trust that He's the only One who has to have it all figured out. In the meantime, let's do our best to just be who He created us to be and trust that He knows what He's doing with us, flaws and all.

Struggle with perfectionism? You might also like to read "The Hissy Fit From West Virginia" and "Be Real. Be YOU!"

Get your free copy of "The Grace Challenge!"

Bible study worksheets, Scripture cards and printable art to glorify Jesus in the middle of your busy, beautiful life. {Get it here.}

24 comments:

  1. I'm a perfectionist too, Nicki. I think what has helped me the most is pursuing humility through God's enablement. I say it that way because even pursuing humility without fully recognizing that I can NOT do it on my own and must do it through the Lord, is crucial for me. Otherwise, I jump into self-effort mode and "ACT like I'm humble" all the while I'm simply pretending. Thanks for this provocative topic! Happy Monday, girlfriend!

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  2. Ugh. I've learned perfectionism is always just out of reach. If onlys abound and race through my mind and heart. "Real" is so much better and reaches so many more people for God. But there are days I forget that...

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  3. Agreed Pamela, it's awful sometimes how much I struggle with this issue. I think it ties into the need to be accepted? Or loved? I don't know, but we all struggle with it to some degree and THANK GOD literally that we can be saved from this craziness! :)

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  4. Preach it friend! I so agree Beth. Ugh, it is such a struggle for me some days, but when we put it out there and realize we are not alone, somehow that makes it all the easier to deal with our quirks. :) I can do all things thru Christ, who strengthens me, including giving up my need for control and perfection. Amen!!!

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  5. Perfection looks so pretty from afar… I know it is a mirage, but I'm drawn to creating it in my life. On the days I'm hard on myself, I mentally beat myself up about it. On the days I'm not so hard on myself, I feel it is natural to be drawn to perfection. After all, my Heavenly Father is perfect and I am drawn to Him; perfection reminds me of my Father and my yearning for perfection parallels my yearning for God's peace, tranquility and perfection in my life. I know he's not done with me yet, and perfection is unattainable here on earth, but the tiny glimpses of perfection I see and encounter serve only to remind me that the only perfect things I truly experience are God's mercy, love, and grace!

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  6. I loved your phrase, 'wear perfectionism as a badge of honor.' I can so relate. What can we do as a group of sisters to fight perfectionism? What comes to mind is to cut each other some slack, be intentional about jumping to the kind conclusion and not the judgemental conclusion. And quit comparing, quit sizing each other up by the superficial. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement to dig deeper and realize we don't have control, He does.

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  7. Beautifully said! It is something we will never attain on this earth and we have to stop trying! But...when we catch glimpses of it, it can remind us of the awesome journey ahead. Great outlook, but don't beat yourself up every day. :) Time to give YOU more grace!

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  8. Yes! All good ideas Bonny...it's like you can read my mind. :) It's so hard to realize some days that we don't have control, but what a blessing to know that our great and mighty God does! :)

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  9. Ugh perfectionist, control freak....maybe it's ingrained into the name Nicki/Nikki? Because I am the same way! Letting go is rough but I do believe it's what God wants of me. And just wait until you have kids one day - I sometimes seem to revert back to my "must-control-all-things" mentality. Thanks for the post!

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  10. Yeah, maybe it's a Nicki/Nikki thing...but I know alot of non us named people that struggle with it too. :) I don't know if we will ever be able to have kids, but thank you for the heads up in case, that's always good to know. :)

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  11. Love your thoughts! I agree that perfectionism can be found even in our churches, cause it's in us and we gotta let it go. I think we all need to stop putting on false faces, things we want to look like and embrace ourselves 'as is'. God's identity for us is as His beloved - not as 'bedazzled' or 'be perfect'...but as Be His. Be loved. Joining you in the battle..

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  12. You shared a down-to-earth post that so many women can resonate with, including me. Thank you so much.

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  13. We do need to stop putting on false faces, even in churches Sandra! Such a true point. I am speaking at a small event about that very topic soon. :) I love the image of the bedazzler I have in my head right now, and you are right, we are His...and that's always more than enough! xoxo

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  14. Thanks Judith. It isn't easy to write about our flaws sometimes, is it? But we all have them. We might as well admit it and move on. :) Blessings!

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  15. This is such a needed theme, and I have just recently read a whole pile of books on the topic. Holley Gerth, Michele Cushatt, Christine Hoover are the authors that come to mind. Neighboring with you at the Faith Barista link-up!

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  16. Great post...when I see myself the way God sees me, through the blood of Christ, I rest in His finished work...perfect...

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  17. I love the name of your recovery group. It's perfect! (said tongue-in-cheek) I think we try to be perfectionists out of fear. It's one of the reasons I love this movement of getting real and helping each other. There would be no more mean girls, just sisters in Christ standing together. Sounds heavenly.

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  18. No mean gjrls...that would be a DREAM! :)

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  19. I may have to look into some books on this too! :) Thanks for the recommendations. Blessings to you.

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  20. Perfectionism is exhausting! this is so true and the ones I know who are perfectionist are not happy most of the time, even when they get to control things. If Christ did not expect me to be perfect then how can I expect it of myself or other. Good post.

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  21. Isn't that crazy...we strive so hard for something that isn't even attainable and expect a good outcome? We humans are crazy, aren't we? When will we learn? Praise the Lord for His grace!

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  22. Good evening! Just wanted to stop in and let you know that this post is among the featured this week! It's been pinned to pinterest and will be shared across my social media sites this week. Thanks for linking up at A Mama's Story and Mama Moments Mondays. Help yourself to a Featured button.

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  23. Awww you are so sweet for sharing and letting me know. Thank you Sara! xoxo

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