Monday, June 08, 2015

Perfectionism and the Struggle for Identity

I am a perfectionist, to a fault. I notice it a lot when I'm trying to write.
(I have written about this before.)

Perfectionism keeps me from trying sometimes.

It's an all or nothing mentality. (This is not very productive, helpful, or useful in any way.)

And I realize that we only experience grace in our imperfections!
 ""My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Cor. 12:9
I keep seeing how I have tied my self-worth and identity to my performance in academics, writing, etc., but I don't know how to break the deeply ingrained habit. I mean it's practically programmed into us from the time we start school! Behave well. Get good grades so you can get into a good college so you can get a good job where you must perform well to keep your job and earn a good living...

But I realize that tying my identity and self-worth to my performance only fuels my perfectionism which becomes debilitating. It causes the procrastination/paralyzation cycle I find myself in so often when writing on a deadline. (You see, the procrastination allows me to say that of course it won't be perfect because I didn't give myself enough time to make it perfect... it's rather manipulative of myself I suppose.) 

And yes, I know that my true identity is in Christ and that nothing I can do will make God love me any more or less than He already does, and yet I keep striving to earn more anyway... Or maybe I'm just trying to prove something to myself and the world around me.

This is not a post where I can wrap it all up neat and tidy with a bow. This is a post where I'm talking about an ongoing struggle. I don't have all the answers. (This is another thing that keeps me from writing - thinking I need to bring it all to a clean resolution, but life doesn't really work like that.)

I will end with the few things I've been telling myself lately to try to push through the procrastination/paralyzation cycles:

  • Journal - Just write!
  • In writing and in life, think progress, not perfection.
  • Remind yourself over and over again that your true identity is in Christ as a dearly beloved child of God.

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