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Death to Perfectionism


I’ve been having a hard time blogging or doing any writing at all.  I find this utterly frustrating. A pattern of denial, procrastination, and guilt usually follow.

My desire is to write books and help inspire change for others.  Words burn in my heart but then become watered down and lost.  It’s like the words, ideas, and thoughts are so real and then overtime because I don’t schedule time to write, amnesia sets in.  Then the amnesia morphs into something worse, loss of vision.

Today driving to work, I had an idea. Here was the dialogue:

 

What if, I challenged myself to write 15 minutes a day.

I’ve tried this before, (feeling annoyed).

What if instead of trying to come up with perfectly crafted sentences, you wrote poorly for 15 minutes.

Go on.

Well, what if you didn’t care if people read what you wrote.  What if you just played.

I could do that (feeling hopeful, relieved, and optimistic).

 

Yes, I could do that.  I can give myself 15 minutes a day to be creative.  To not try hard but just play.  I can create messy, unedited, unseen things.  (I’m letting you see this because I’m wondering if in you’re own way you are letting perfectionism keep you from what makes your heart sing).

Perfectionism limits possibilities.  Perfectionism dominates the mind, heart, and spirit; preventing a life of purpose and passion.  Perfectionism bullies. Perfectionism works so hard to do everything perfectly, that we end up doing nothing.

How can you kick perfectionism to the proverbial curb?

1.  Embrace your weaknesses: One of my favorite verse in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 (ESV):  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I don’t know about you, but I’m really good at being weak.

2.  Change your internal dialogue.  Perfectionism is a bossy voice throwing out lots of “you should….” or “try harder at…” statements.  These statements breed anxiety and fear.  Create healthier internal dialogue with statements like, “I am learning” or “it’s okay to mess up.”

3. Have fun: We take ourselves way too seriously.  Perfectionism is like a stern parent who never lets their child have fun.  A constant kill joy of life. Changing perspective and seeing the fun in things allows for greater joy and freedom to occur in our lives.

4.  Celebrate the small moments: If you have a child, then you remember the first steps your child took.  You enthusiastically clapped and cheered as he/she walked mere steps. (They were messy and imperfect steps, but we delighted in them.)

 

So, What makes your heart sing?  What’s one thing you could do today to recapture this song?

 

6 Comments

  • Meghan

    Great word! Thanks, Melissa!

    August 19, 2015 at 1:22 am
    • melissaClark
      Melissa Clark

      Thank you Meghan!

      August 19, 2015 at 8:08 am
  • Michael

    Great post, Melissa!

    August 19, 2015 at 7:44 am
    • melissaClark
      Melissa Clark

      Thank you Michael!

      August 19, 2015 at 8:08 am
  • Mom

    Great thoughts! I can totally relate!

    August 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm
    • melissaClark
      Melissa Clark

      Thanks momma :*

      August 19, 2015 at 2:57 pm

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