“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Problem with #Perfection

Are you a #perfectionist? 

Let’s find out if perfectionism is an issue for you. Here are a few statements for you to consider (retrieved September 19, 2012 from the Centre for Clinical Interventions):


Somewhat True
Somewhat False
Nothing good comes from making mistakes

I must do things right the first time

I must do everything well, not just the things I know I’m good at

If I can’t do something perfectly then there is no point even trying

I rarely give myself credit when I do well because there’s always something more I could do

Sometimes I am so concerned about getting one task done perfectly that I don’t have time to complete the rest of my work.

If you have answered most of the above questions with True or Somewhat True, then perfectionism might be something you want to work on.

The problem with striving for perfection is we end up never feeling good enough. As a result, we miss out on enjoying life because our focus is on getting things done or trying to look like we’ve got it together. Dr. Scott Barfoot of Dallas Theological Seminary points out, “Perfectionism is the mental habit of formulating ideal standards that we demand ourselves to meet in order to prove to ourselves, to others, and to God our worth.” Unfortunately, it all boils down to our own self-worth. Perfectionist thinking says, “If I’m perfect then I am worth loving.” Peel back the layers, we find shame. “If you saw me for who I really am then you wouldn’t love me.” So, we work harder and try to perfect ourselves. Dr. Barfoot explains, “Perfectionism is at the root of a works-based faith.”  We were created for love and belonging. But the more we perfect the more we miss out on connecting and loving one another.

Watch this 5 minute video of Brené Brown talking about perfection.

Is this hitting home for you?  The Centre for Clinical Interventions has a great 9 module self-help series called Perfectionism in Perspective.  If you struggle with perfectionism, I encourage you to work through the series. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I think any of the extremes can affect your life and your professional performance.