Your perfection isn't helping anyone

11:36 AM

Do you struggle with perfectionism?

You may not call it that. But we all have a list -- maybe short, maybe long -- of hidden things. I would never tell her that. I would never share that photo. I could never ask for help with that sin. 

People could never see my house like this.

He could never see me looking like this.

My parents could never hear me talking like this.

My friends could never know I feel this way.

These hidden things, these sources of inferiority and shame, we cover them up and push them down, and we curate a collection of good things to make up our presentable face. Your list of good things might look something like this:

I'm so busy, but so blessed. I have important things to say. My achievements are big and my following is bigger! Check out (and click like on) my influence.

I woke up this flawless. My kids are beautiful. My house is clean. My nails, shoes, and curtains are this season's style, and yes! Those are homemade organic donuts in the oven!

Everything is under control. My schedule is printed out, color coded, and displayed between the calendar and meal plan. My bills, my appointments, my bookshelves and my sock drawer are organized. We all just need to stick to the plan.

Whether you cling to influence, performance, or control, here's the thing. Your perfection is not helping anyone. Your perfection is a weapon, and I guarantee you've already gunned someone down.

Recently a kind older woman at my church gave me a knowing smile after listening to me talk about all the struggles in my life. All the ways I'm falling short. All the things I don't have figured out. And then she gave me a gentle response that I wasn't expecting.

"Kelly, you are perfect. You're doing a great job at so many things. You have everything going for you. And you just don't need to try so hard! People need to see that you're a real person."

What? I am anything but perfect. I told her, "I don't think I look perfect! I feel like I'm just trying to hold myself together when I get to church!"

That's not what people see, she said.

And you know what? Your shortcomings, your failures, your struggles -- that's not what people see when they look at you.

So why do I say your perfection is a weapon? Because no one needs you to be perfect. Honestly, no one even wants you to be perfect. Every single one of us is struggling, and learning, and picking ourselves back up after we fall. Your pretty face, your impressive following, and your gold foil planner won't help me through that.

And just as sure as your perfection won't help, it will hurt. It will make others believe they are not only failing, but they are failing alone. And the only way out is to reach an impossible standard.

So celebrate your good things, friend. But be vulnerable. When it will serve someone else, share your hidden things too. You just don't need to try so hard. And the community that you find when you share your true self, well, that will be worth every imperfection.

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  1. I loved this post! It was so encouraging to me!


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