Perfectionism

‘Even perfection has its limits…’ Psalm 119:96 NLT

High standards and attention to detail are commendable; they show you take pride in your work. However, dyed-in-the-wool perfectionists take an all-or-nothing approach by finding fault and obsessing over how they could have done it better. Case in point: after delivering one of history’s most memorable speeches, Abraham Lincoln described his Gettysburg Address as a ‘flat failure’. Perfectionists see opportunities to perform as opportunities to fail, so even when they do reach their goal there’s no sense of accomplishment. None of us will ever attain perfection this side of eternity. We’re all imperfect; get used to it! We only ‘…know in part…’ (1 Corinthians 13:9 NIV) So: (1) Give yourself permission to fail, in order to succeed. Henry Ford said, ‘Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again… more intelligently.’ (2) Though you’re not likely to excel initially, don’t be afraid to try. You won’t get perfect results, but it will let you see that sometimes ‘average’ can be progress. (3) Lighten up. Be forgiving of yourself, and extend grace to others. Emerson said, ‘A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.’ (4) Don’t get bogged down in details. Set a time limit; say, ‘I’m going to give this thirty minutes.’ A well-known counsellor says, ‘Have reasonable expectations…do your best and encourage others to do the same. Flaws and imperfections determine your uniqueness. Relish them. Embrace them…you’re human …God made you that way.’ The truth is, God doesn’t judge our mistakes nearly as harshly as we do. He ‘…remembers we are only dust…’ (Psalm 103:14 NLT)