Recovering from Perfectionism

 When I look back on my life, I see a series of lessons God has orchestrated to grow and change me, and in hindsight I value these lessons deeply. This summer has been no exception, when God used an emergency eye condition and distorted vision to clarify the eyes of my  heart.

Releasing Free to Parent, the book my daughter Erin and I recently wrote,  has made me realize how far I still need to go in addressing certain deceptions that I stubbornly hold onto. Over and over, God patiently reveals to me what needs fixing and slowly my heart is gaining freedom from fallacies such as:

Perfectionism.

And my deep need to please others.

As well as my fears over the criticism that will inevitably also come as a result of writing and releasing a book.

Pages and glowing letters flying out of a book on wooden deckIt’s no accident that this book was completed during a time of major challenges in my own life, complicated with significant challenges in the publishing process. It’s no accident that we wound up delivering (in order to get it done in time for our school’s Paideia conference) an imperfect work still in need of some edits and minor revisions.

It’s a frightening proposition for a person like me to release such a book, especially to my own school community. Yet that is exactly what God had me do in order to address my fears of never being quite “good enough.”  He did this  by testing my willingness to step out and offer up a book that was “not quite ready enough.

It’s a fallacy to think we can’t act until conditions are perfect and that God is somehow held back by our imperfections.

This is a lie by, the accuser of our souls, to keep us from stepping out in obedience to what God is calling us to do. Waiting until one is perfectly ready is a means of self sabotage.  Putting off doing something until the perfect time is the killer of dreams and opportunities.

How about you?

What are you putting off doing that you feel called to do?

Do you find yourself holding back with certain dreams out of fear of “not being good enough?”

There is no perfect time, but we can always turn to a perfect God who will grant us what we need to accomplish the work He has called us to do.

And how about your kids?

Are there areas that they refuse to try in because they are afraid to fail?

What are they interested in that they keep putting off because they are not quite “good enough?”

Tell your kids (and yourself) that what  they really need to do is simply jump in and start.

In the beginning their efforts will likely be riddled with mistakes. But one step at a time, if they are willing to work hard at something and be OK with experiencing some bumps along the way,  they will accomplish their goals and realize any dream that God has placed in their hearts.

If I had waited to produce a perfect book, Free to Parent would have remained unwritten. With my daughter’s encouragement however, as well as her fearless mindset of “jumping-in-and-just-doing-it,”  I could no longer put off writing either.

My prayer is that our book will resonate as a message of hope and freedom to many readers.

 

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