I have this word, this idea, that nags at me daily. It digs down deep into the very core of who I am. I have written about it before but I still can’t shake it.
If I don’t think I will succeed, and not even just succeed but excel, at something I don’t try. There are some things I do without that perfect seal of approval but I question and doubt how well I do.
One of those things is singing in the worship band at my church. Perfection is far from attainable for me in that regard. If I’m honest, I struggle with the confidence to do it because I know people are going to know I’m not perfect.
When I am brave and try something new I am so critical of myself and my success. The goal is always perfection, good enough is never good enough.
The funny thing is, I don’t hold other people to this ridiculous standards. I give them grace when they mess up. If they aren’t perfect I try to be very understandable.
Where does this notion of perfection come from? My parents never raised me to think that perfect was the only way to be. But I did learn at an early age what I could do to get praise. Being “smart” got me praise. Making good grades got me praise. At some point I decided being the good girl would get me praise. So I did these things.
As I got into my 20s things changed. My grades were not so good, I wasn’t always acting like a “good girl” and I questioned what I thought of myself. When I lost my perfect label (in my own mind) it shattered my self-confidence.
Somewhere along the way, the media swept in to teach me about perfection. How, even what I thought was “perfect” was no where near perfect. I became so critical of myself. What I said, what I did, how I looked, what other people thought of me. Attaining perfection in these areas became more important than who I was.
I still struggle in those areas. But as I said before if I don’t think I can do it perfectly I don’t even try. I dream about being perfect in those areas, what it would look like, what it would feel like.
I heard something this past weekend. I’ve been chewing on it all week trying to let it sink it.
When God was finished creating man he looked at it and said it was very GOOD.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31
Did you catch that? God said it was very good. He said I am very good. He never said it was perfect. If even my creator didn’t call me perfect why do I try to attain this imaginary idea of perfection?
That frees me to just be me. The very good creation he made me to be. I can take the weight of perfection off my shoulders. I don’t have to reach some bizarre standards that I thought God might have wanted me to.
You are free to be you. Perfection is a lie. Just be good, very good.