To the Perfectionist,
You are not alone. I know that hurt that you often feel.
I know that you replay conversations in your head for hours after they are over. Agonizing over word choice, every single interruption you made or didn’t make, telling yourself you’re unworthy of that friendship.
I know that you fall apart with any criticism—even that which is meant with the best of intentions and love.
I know that you struggle with seeing all of the good when one small, bad thing happens. It makes you feel like you’re drowning.
I know that you end your day counting off all that you didn’t do, instead of celebrating the things that you did get done.
I know that you will spend hours and hours on a task, trying to reach perfection, only to end up frustrated by that lack of perfect and giving up. Either quitting altogether, or putting in the bare minimum effort and claiming that you don’t care.
But here’s the truth, perfectionist.
It’s okay to be a work in progress because God gives us grace that we don’t deserve.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
You are worthy, because God created you specifically. You were not made on accident, but with purpose.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:13-14
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be powerful, friend. Do all things for the glory of God, and he can use it— “perfect” or not.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
You can only control what you can control, so stop trying to control it all and instead, give your fears and worries to God.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Criticism is a GOOD thing because it helps you grow (and you can’t live your life in fear of what others think!).
“Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.” Proverbs 15:31
Your life is FULL of blessings from the Lord, so stop focusing on the negative and starting listing out some gratitude each day.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
You do enough—you cannot do it all, so focus on taking care of your priorities, and then rest the rest of your weary load on God.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 12:28-29
Progress is more than enough. Growing slowly is enough. Trees don’t shoot up overnight, and neither will you.
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon” Psalm 92:12
You are not simply perfect or a failure. It’s not either, or.
“Do not be over righteous, neither be overwise—why destroy yourself? Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool —why die before your time? It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.” Ecclesiastes 7:16-18
You. Are. Enough.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8
Perfectionist, I hope that some of that truth set you free. It is possible to stop feeling those fears, worries, and failures that consume so much of your mental space right now. You just have to learn to see past all of that, and search for the truth.
You are enough, just the way you are, perfectionist.