God must have a sense of humour. I do have to wonder what he was thinking when he made me. Perfectionism, OCD, stubbornness, determination and no off switch. To say the least it makes for an interesting mix...particularly inside my head!
The last few weeks have pushed the boundaries. Internally, I have been weighed down by my constant seeking of perfection in myself. If there is the slightest imperfection in what I do and in my head, I have missed the target as if the arrow went so far down the paddock you will need a cut lunch to go find it.
My head has not been a place of stillness and satisfaction. Instead, it feels like my brain is constantly in self-defence mode. Where an imperfect action or outcome just spurs on the opposition leaving me disappointed and defeated. 'Why bother', 'You make no difference', 'You messed up', 'You are not cut out for that', 'Just give up', echo through the head daily. Actually, they appear to have put the kettle on and curled up with a blanket with no intent of leaving. Triggered by one event...one action...that was well received but the critical brain kicked in and pulled it apart.
The challenges in my head are not due to the expectations that others place on me, they are due to the expectation I place on myself. Constantly striving for perfectionism and a brain pattern that says accept nothing less. The last few weeks has been full of mental and physical fatigue. There has been a weight that has been stubborn to lift which has resulted in thoughts of letting go of a dream.
Now giving up is not something I tend to do. I would like to think that the stubborn streak that I have comes to the forefront when the 'give up' card is put out there. It is time to dig the heals in and take the 'failure is not an option' stance. What I do need to do is to change my view of perfection. I need to challenge the thoughts that lead to the defeated feeling. I need to capture these thoughts and run them through my perfection filter.
This morning I read this statement by Alli Worthington,
"And here is the truth that all of us who are builders need to know--perfectionism is not excellence; it is procrastination based in fear."
The perfection that I have in my head puts unrealistic expectations on myself. While it can drive the desire to do more, be more, it can also be damaging to my self-esteem. It appears that I am my own worst enemy.
However, I need to ask myself is this how God sees me? The short answer is no. He overlooks the imperfections and looks at the heart and attitude. He wants people who will stand up when he says rise, will walk when he says go and will act when he says do. You don't need to be perfect, you just need to be open to hear his voice and open to what he may ask of you.
He will take the imperfections and make them perfect. He knows the weaknesses within and can use them to make you stronger. Imperfection is not failure, it is a work in progress.
As I find time to breathe today in stillness, my focus will be on changing my viewpoint and challenging the imperfect thoughts that may flitter through looking for a place to stay. These unwanted visitors will be asked to move on promptly so they don't get in the way of what I need to focus on.
I believe that God has a purpose for my life and I need to pursue it. Perfectionism can hinder and steal my purpose if I let the feelings of disappointment and defeat take hold. It is time to change my view of perfection.
Read the full article by Alli Worthington at Propel Women