Believe it or not, I’m not a self-proclaimed perfectionist.

I just think the things I produce need to be good, and if they have a single mistake in them, they’re not good. I’m not a self-proclaimed perfectionist because everybody knows that being a perfectionist is bad—and I wouldn’t willingly choose to be a bad person, so therefore, I’m not a self-proclaimed perfectionist. (Join my newsletter to read more delusional things I tell myself so I can sleep at night).

I’m not a perfectionist…but I do struggle with yearning to be perfect.

I used to think that I was unique in my struggles with perfection. But did you know that over 90% of the American workforce struggles with this? There are also three different types of perfectionism. Self-imposed, other-oriented, and self-prescribed.

This past February was a doozy for me.

After releasing Lawless (grab your copy or leave a review here) in January, I’d been smacked with a bunch of spiritual warfare. I struggled through depression and even questioned if writing was something I should even be doing (it very much is).

By the time February rolled around, I was ready to dig back into ‘regular work’ instead of ‘book release work.’  To put all the negative yucky feelings January brought behind me, and to step into February with determination instead of dread.

Then, I caught the flu and ended up being out of the office for nearly three weeks, and February was over faster than it had started.

The month started with big hopes, bigger dreams, and a nervous energy to accomplish something really good. It ended with me throwing away a giant trashbag filled with nothing but used tissues and my ambitions for the future.

The less I accomplished as a writer, the more pressure I put on myself to accomplish something good. The more I pressured myself, the more I failed. The more I failed, the worse I felt, and the worse I felt, the more pressure I applied.

This is what we call ‘The Downward Spiral of Despair’. So how do you break out of the cycle?

Know your value

For me, perfectionism is not the source problem; it’s a side effect of something deeper in my heart.

When something inside me is hurting, instead of going to God for comfort as I should, I roughly scrub away the tears, grit my teeth, and say, “Fine. I’ll prove that I’m capable. I’ll prove that I am smart. I’ll prove that I have value.”

Then, I take a step forward, twist my ankle, and faceplant in the ground.

The cure for perfectionism isn’t taking deep breaths and telling yourself it’s okay not to be perfect (though that can help).

The cure is going to God for what’s hurting you in the first place. For Him to reassure you of your value.

Breaking news: The perfectionist isn’t perfect at not struggling with perfectionism! It’s a process to unlearn perfectionistic habits, and that’s okay.

I want you to do something, and it may be a little weird to you, but stick with me.

Get yourself a pen, a journal, your bible, and sit somewhere you won’t be bothered.

First, ask yourself how you think you’re doing in your life. Are you doing well? Are you doing poorly? Be honest with yourself and your answer. Write it down.

Then, I want you to ask God that same question. Keep your ears open and really listen. His answer may surprise you. 🙂


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