The Paralyzing Power of Perfection

I did not want to write this post. This topic takes being vulnerable to an entirely new level for me. I’m talking about perfection. It’s something I’ve always strived for, but is a complete love/hate relationship. It’s what has made me successful in many aspects of my life, but also debilitating in others.

When I was in college, a project for my graphic design class was to create a business. My dream job was to be an event planner so my fictitious company was Perfect Planners. My tagline was, “Events Precisely Planned to Perfection.” Fortunately, things worked out and I’m currently in my dream job. No, Perfect Planners is not operational, but it was fun to dream about!

October_Perfectionism in Blog
The event planning company I created in college.

My job as an event planner is to forsee future obstacles or issues and avoid or remove them. I’m responsible for coordinating the perfect/best situation with little to no mistakes. Perfectionism requires planning and preparation, to remove any possible mistakes and to me, that’s the very definition of perfection. I try my hardest to do the right thing because when I don’t, it creates extra work and heartache. That’s why I strive for perfection, to avoid disappointment, in myself and others. I want to get it right the first time so I don’t have to go back and fix it.

I try so hard to be perfect and maybe you do too: plan the perfect events, write the perfect blog post, design the perfect artwork, say the perfect thing, be the perfect boss, friend, wife, etc. I’m afraid of making a mistake so the only alternative in my mind, is perfection.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to put your best foot forward, be prepared, etc., it becomes a problem when it paralyzes and prohibits you from doing things. And that’s EXACTLY what perfectionism has done in my life. It’s called paralysis analysis which is the “state of over-analyzing a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.” (Wikipedia). It’s exhausting and has stopped me from doing so many things! I was too afraid to make a mistake for fear of not being perfect, so I didn’t do it!

Why is this important to talk about?  Because perfection leaves no room for vulnerability and being vulnerable is what makes us relatable. It’s what I’ve tried my best to share with you, my readers and followers. I hope by sharing this message, it will give you pause to see areas in your own life where you are constantly striving for perfection. I don’t want perfectionism to stop you and I from doing the things we feel God is calling us to do. I don’t want us to try so hard to get it right, that we end up not doing anything at all. I don’t want it to prohibit you from fully living.

Continue this discussion with me on Thursday as we dive into Pushing Past Perfection.

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