Hello, my name is Sandy Cooper, and I’m a recovering perfectionist. In the past 20 years, God has completely freed me from various heavy burdens: habitual lateness, busyness, people pleasing and legalism, just to name a few ginormously paralyzing ones. But perfectionism? She still lives here, in the recesses of my brain. And she’s getting on my nerves.
I don’t like the perfectionist side of me very much. I mean, she’s not so bad when I need to organize a closet or edit a manuscript or sanitize a toilet. But in the other 95% of my life, she’s downright oppressive. And, honestly, it’s the oppression I hate. For instance, she’s not helpful at all when I’m dealing with children. She’s a TERRIBLE marriage counselor. She seriously messes with my self-esteem. And she taunts me while I attempt to move through my daily list of household chores, plan and enjoy a family vacation or write a witty yet spiritually profound blog post.
So, in honor of my bondage, I am starting a series on overcoming perfectionism. I have no idea how long it will last, because it’s sort of a series-in-the-making. But I am going to explore some of these concepts:
1. Why is perfectionism so bad?
2. What is the difference between perfectionism and excellence?
3. What is the difference between mediocrity and contentment?
4. What did Jesus mean when He said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect”? (Matthew 5:48)
5. What is the connection between perfectionism and procrastination?
6. What is the root of perfectionism? Is it a temperament thing? An environmental thing? A spiritual thing? A combination of all three?
7. How do we overcome perfectionism and walk in freedom?
So, as we begin, I’d love your input. Answer me a few questions, if you will:
1. Do you struggle with perfectionism? Please identify thyself.
2. How is perfectionism most burdensome to you? When and how does it show up where it bothers you or hinders you the most?
Okay, boys and girls. Go out and gather your perfectionist friends and tell them to come visit me. The fun starts on Monday. Assuming, of course, that I’m not organizing a closet or sanitizing a toilet.
Original Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32785760@N02/
Version of photo used in this blog post is altered from original version