Perfectionism: The Enemy of the Joyful Soul

Hi. My name is Julie, and I’m a perfectionist. [Hi, Julie.]

Perfectionism is a condition I may never overcome, but I am in recovery. I slip on occasion, but I’m getting better, one day at a time. My triggers are the same as any other addict: stress, the need to belong, feelings of inadequacy, old hurts, fear, habit, etc. Essentially, my perfectionism rears its ugly head when I want people to like me, but I’m afraid they won’t approve of the real me.

Instead, I subconsciously present them with a lovely facade that I hope will meet their approval. One where I have all my stuff together, a perfectly tidy home, the right answers, and blah blah blah. Ironically, the same perfectionism I use to draw people in ends up alienating them because they can sense I’m not being real. It’s like I am strangling on my desire to be happy, forgetting that when I try to create perfection in the world, it’s impossible to find peace and joy in God, because I’m essentially living a lie.

2 Corinthians 12:9 – Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

The thing is, when I am settled into God’s love for me, fully connected in and resonating with it, I don’t need anyone else’s approval. Therefore, my level of perfectionism becomes a spiritual barometer. God is always consistent in His love for you and me, no matter what. When I am fully confident of His love, I have no need for worldly approval, just His, so I don’t have to be perfect to appease anyone. I can just be the fearfully and wonderfully made, imperfect, creature that God designed me to be. I can rest and find joy in my Father because I am free to be me when I glorify Him over myself. You are, too. It’s time to break the shackles of perfection, my friends!

Galatians 1:10 (NLT) – Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Reflection:

  • Are you a perfectionist? If so, what are your triggers?
  • What emotional state are you in when perfectionism strikes and how do you feel while you are stuck in it? What are your fears about letting people see you be less than perfect?
  • What would happen if you let go the idea of doing everything perfectly, and of your own volition, and trusted God to help you?

Wise Counsel: Identify something that doesn’t require perfection, but you would normally attempt to be perfect at anyway, and let it be imperfect this week – with witnesses. For example, let a friend see your house a little (or very) messy.  

Prayer verse: Ephesians 3:18 – God, please grant this woman the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep your love is for her. Amen.

Thank you for reading!


Do you have any experience overcoming perfectionism? If so, please help us grow and share in the comments below. If you struggle with perfectionism, you’re not as alone as you might think, so tell us about it. Sharing your struggles might help someone else feel less alone.

Either way, your words will encourage someone and help me get to know you better. I want what I offer to meet your needs and hearing your voice will help me do that!

If this helped you, please click the “Like” star, follow the blog, and share the goodness with your friends! You never know who needs encouragement.

Would you like to (re)invite Jesus into your heart? If so, congratulations sister! This post is for you.

Let’s connect! You can find me on Instagram and Facebook, and join Overflowing Women, a private, supportive, loving, faith-based women’s Facebook community group, where we uplift and encourage one another. It’s new, so you can be one of the first to join! See you there!

Thanks again and God bless!

Cover photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

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