Perfectionism: The Perfect Recipe For Disaster

Is your picture-perfect life an illusion? If someone observes you from the outside, do you appear to be living your best life. Do you have it all together? Are you a perfectionist?

Perfectionists relentlessly pursue extremely high and demanding standards, which are often unreasonable to others. They feel, subconsciously, that their worth or value is based on their ability to meet these standards, even at a great cost to themselves and their wellbeing.

What is a perfectionist? The dictionary defines it as a person who has a propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards. The belief that moral or spiritual perfection can be achieved.

the belief that a sinless life is attainable.
As is frequently the case, perfectionist traits have their origin in negative childhood messages and beliefs accumulated over the course of early development. Perfectionists were taught that there is no room for error, mistakes, or failures in life. Perfectionism is a pride- or fear-based compulsion that either fuels an individual’s obsessive fixation on doing something perfectly or paralyzes them from acting at all, both of which often result in the harmful neglect of necessary or good things. Perfectionism can also involve comparing oneself to others, or self-disgust when one does not complete a task.

The Pitfalls of Perfectionism

Perfectionists often find themselves walking on a dangerous emotional tightrope as they seek to do everything correctly and perfectly, without mistakes. Their standard of excellence is commendable, but their methods and motives for accomplishment are flawed. With such high standards, perfectionists are seldom able to enjoy life.

Common pitfalls the perfectionist can experience:
Interpersonal relationships suffer.
Perfectionism is very destructive to interpersonal relationships.

They not only tend to drive themselves crazy but also pressure others with whom they are in relationship.
Personal happiness or satisfaction suffers. Perfectionism is a form of self-absorbed narcissism, and, therefore, perfectionists are fearful of any kind of disapproval or failure and struggle to appreciate anything good in life.
Perfectionists have a fragile view of themselves, and therefore, often have elevated levels of anxiety.
Perfectionists are extremely hard on themselves. Those who battle with the problem have an “inner critic.” They hear the shaming voice, “I’m not good enough.”

The perfectionist may also fight with procrastination, putting off what needs to be done, fearing it is not the perfect time. They may feel their accomplishments never measure up. The endless pursuit of perfection can drain a person emotionally.
Powerful feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure wreak havoc in the mind of the perfectionist, never allowing them to rest and enjoy their successes.
The sad reality is those who suffer with this flesh pattern are unaware of its negative implications, and some may even view it as a positive trait. They, therefore, refuse to accept any perspective but their own. Anything less than the best is unacceptable. It is a form of self-sabotage which leaves a person depressed and anxious. These “overachievers” often demand from themselves and others what is not possible, overstepping their responsibility when it pertains to others.

Perfectionism is an attempt to attain something that does not exist. Think about it – What and who really determines if you are good enough? God alone. He is good, and only that which flows from Him is good or Godly.

Breaking Free from Perfectionist Flesh Patterns
How do we change the thought process of a perfectionist? We cannot; only God can. As with any flesh pattern of sin, unless and until a person comes to the end of themselves as a point of reference for doing life, they will not experience the Christ-Life.
If perfectionism is something you find yourself struggling with, give yourself permission to fail. Failure is inevitable, and it may become extremely freeing from a life of always having to work harder and be “better.” These slight changes in your life can ease the anxiety if you find yourself in comparison with others or putting yourself down. “Give yourself permission to fail and acknowledge that there is no “perfect” outside of God himself.” These slight changes in attitude will liberate you from being controlled by perfectionism. Christ accepts you “as is”, flaws and all. He does not require your perfection because he is the only one who is without sin. His acceptance of you, is the basis of you accepting others, flaws, and all. God is the only Perfect One and has never expected perfect behavior on our part.

When perfectionistic, achievement-oriented tendencies creep into our relationship with God and undermine the very heart of what it means to be in Christ. The problem is that these images of Christian perfectionism affect how we think and act. It is as simple as understanding that we do not perfect or sanctify ourselves, only God does. The Christians walk with God should not be focused on ourselves but the” intentions of God.”

Perfectionism alters our focus; it is religious performance. Perfectionism is deadly due to the wrong expectations. The Christians expectation should be one of experiencing Christ’s Life in submitting to Him, listening to Him, caring more about who we are on the inside, not just the outside, being content because of who God is and finding our identity in God alone.

Living content in Christ allows us to experience God’s purpose, his perfect character being expressed through us, the unhindered restoration of relationship with God.

When God gave the Law to the Israelites, He knew full well they could never perfectly keep it by their own effort. Perfection of human behavior is not the objective. It is only as we allow Christ to break us free from these controlling perfectionist patterns of sin that we will begin to enjoy life and be content with what we have or have not accomplished.
You may ask, then, why did Jesus say, “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48)? To drive us to Himself. He is the source of perfect character and behavior. Only the Perfect God, can empower us with Jesus Christ and thereby we may express His perfection.

As Christians we have been made spiritually perfect (Phil. 3:15) by the indwelling presence of Christ, and consequently, we may derive His perfect character.

Surrendering your false sense of security and control and embracing Christ’s Security and Control will allow you to live the extraordinary life of Christ. Relinquishing control of your perfectionist tendencies and receiving forgiveness for your imperfection is the way to freedom!

EMBRACING who you are in Christ as the unique person He has made you to be even in your imperfections is good enough. Relying on the Perfect One, Jesus Christ, is not only the only cure to selfish, fleshly tendencies but God’s way for you to experience His Perfect life and character. Declaring “I can’t, but God can!” is – Life As God Intended.

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

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