Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Perfection-What Confidence Is Not

Is perfection an elusive dream?

Should we strive for perfection?

Actually, the Bible says we should strive for perfection but are we supposed to worship it?

We hear the phrase, "I'm a perfectionist." It's supposed to mean that someone is paying attention to details and working hard to achieve quality. We want quality in product and performance. Think race car.

What concerns me is the pitfall that turns into a type of ricochet loop when perfection becomes a distraction. Instead of moving toward the goal, it's easy to keep circling a task instead of finishing it as a part of the whole. Think half a race car.

I've heard many writers reworking the first three chapters of a novel for various contests, but never turning it in to an agent or editor for potential publication. That's a prime example of perfection stealing confidence. Think picture of a race car.

Sometimes the constant analyzing is like the magnifying glass on paper sizzling through hole after hole. Instead of constant improvement, what was once well done begins to show wear and burn marks.

Another battle with perfectionism is obsessive compulsive behavior. When any standard task must be done in the exact same manner or it causes extreme stress, then we've imprisoned the opportunity for driving the race car.

So the question isn't should we strive for perfection? But rather, how do I learn give my very best without burning up my efforts?

Allowing vulnerability isn't a bad thing either. In our culture, we've fought to look like we have it all together in every way at all times. When we think we've failed, we begin immediately attacking on the internal front. Ultimately, I believe worship of perfection is really caused by a lack of self-esteem. Our self-talk becomes failure chatter.

Sometimes it helps to get input from others. Not for mere opinion, but as Proverbs teaches that where there are many counselors, plans succeed. Getting objective view points helps pop us out of our internal negativity and see our work through new eyes.

Is there something that's got you spinning in circles rather than moving toward a goal?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, please share.

If you'd like some tools for personal growth in the area of self-esteem, please visit these links. 

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