Showing posts with label #perfectionism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #perfectionism. Show all posts

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Pride and Perfectionism

Perfectionism can hinder our Christian walk. Though not an obvious obstacle like envy or anger, it still can trip us up. Deceitful in nature, it makes us believe our actions are for God but might only feed our obsession.

The obstacle of perfectionism comes, in some form, from pride.
We still strive for parent's approval.
We desire laud and compliments.
We believe no one can do it as well as we can.
We seek to control everything.
We fear failure, so we don't do anything.

How do we know the difference between striving for excellence and being tangled in perfectionism?

The solution is less of us, and more of God. Remember, our worth comes from Him.

I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
                                             Psalm 139:4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
We fall into a comparison trap, when God loves us individually. He made us special just the way we are, not to be compared with another of his creations.
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him.
                   1 Corinthians 12:18
According to Tara Johnson  in Hollow Victory: how to identify & disarm 5 landmines that make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie, before we take on any chore or ministry, we should ask ourselves this question. "Am I doing this so others will think better of me or is it because I'm trying to give my best to God."
Another of my favorite books, The Freedom of Letting Go by Donna Clark Goodrich makes these suggestions for dealing with what we consider to be a failure.
1. Were you simply not meeting unrealistic expectations?
2. Which doors opened or closed because you tried?
3. How is God using this to direct your life?
4. Accept yourself as you are.
Once, when I felt like such a failure because a class I was teaching closed for lack of interest, my daughter encouraged me by reminding me how God might use what I learned in another way, and that's what happened. The class evolved into a book.
From my book, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.
We ask Jesus to take over for us. We can’t do it alone. What a relief. We can lay down the load we’ve carried for years. Jesus will pick it up and carry it for us. I’m not perfect. Now, I don’t have to act as if I were.
Don't let perfectionism tie you in knots and ruin your Christian witness.
Give yourself permission to be human.
P. S. All three self help books can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and make great gifts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Unsinkable. Unshakeable. Unstoppable.

If anything is worth doing, it's worth doing well.
That's something my dad taught me, and something I've strove to do all my life. By doing this, I lapsed into perfectionism. That wasn't the intention.
Strive for progress, not perfection.
In no way does perfectionism raise its ugly head more than in losing weight. God is the God of freedom. We must not obsess over dieting anymore than we should obsess over food. When you begin on a journey of weight loss, ask God to take control. Only through His power can we be unstoppable. Under our own power, it can be a disaster. We can fall face-forward into a plate of pasta or chocolate cake by noon on the day we start the race.
With God, nothing (not even losing a hundred pounds) is impossible.
My hubby & I in the backyard of the unsinkable Molly Brown
Recently, I visited the museum of the unsinkable Molly Brown in downtown Denver, Colorado. Margaret Brown (who never went by Molly) accomplished a lot in her lifetime. She was before her time in the women's liberation movement.
To the left is our ticket to the museum. The fam to the right we used as the home's only air conditioning for a warm day.

Margaret Brown picketed for mistreated mine workers. She ran for public office. She was an excellent fundraiser for Denver fine arts.

And, she saved lives along with her own when the Titanic sunk.
     When the call went out for women and children to come to the deck to be the first loaded into the lifeboats, she went to her room and donned layers of clothing. During the cold night on the water, she pushed occupants to "row, row, row," thereby keeping them warm. Jackets, petticoats, and extra dresses were taken off and shared with others. Not only did she not sink nor freeze, but neither did her boat full of Titanic survivors.

In front of Molly Brown's house, now a museum, with my daughter

Years back, Hollywood presented a movie starring Debbie Reynolds as Margaret Brown. From then on, the Titanic survivor became known as the unsinkable Molly Brown. This museum was a reminder of what a remarkable woman she was in the time period she lived. What an inspiration! She wouldn't accept the word, "no."

I long for that type strength. In some areas, I feel I do show it, but I was never so powerless over anything as I was over food.

Praise God for His emotional healing, for His power to be unsinkable, unshakeable, and unstoppable in the area of eating. His is the only real power.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.
                                                                               2 Corinthians 12:10

Something I hadn't noticed before. The verse doesn't read, "when I am weak, then He is strong." It's "when I am weak, then I am strong."

Praise God. I am unsinkable through Christ.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


We expect to be derailed by grief or fear, but perfectionism? That one slips up on our blind side. This problem is deceitful. What causes it?

I know I never measured up to what my mom wanted of me. Perhaps I’m still trying to make her proud. Beginning at the beginning helps overcome the urge to err on obsession.

What started your obsession with perfectionism? For that matter, how do we distinguish between trying to be the best we can be and worrying over being perfect? This can be a delicate balance with falling over the line, easy.

In her book Hollow Victory: How to Identify & Disarm 5 Landmines that make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie, Tara Johnson gives us this checklist of warning signs that you're out of balance.

1. Never satisfied with your performance
2. Negative recurring and persistent thoughts
3. A constant state of awareness about the lack of perfectionism in yourself or others.
4. Refusing to deviate from guidelines or the 'way things are supposed to be'
5. Constantly fearing rejection
6. When your mistakes feel like a death sentence
7. Refusing to change unhealthy behaviors because you might fail at the change
8. Thinking "I have no value in life unless I'm successful."
9. Thinking that love = good performance
10. Overt competitiveness
11. Persistent low self-esteem
12. Guilt over perceived failures
13. Depression
14. Rigid, inflexible, non spontaneous
15. Obsessive-compulsive behavior
16. Lack of motivation
17. Eating disorders
18. General unhappiness and comparing yourself to others.

If you read this list and decide you're there, the danger comes from deciding what you've been doing is a failure. Let me tell you a story of mine.

When I was losing my weight, our teacher left. I continued his class for several months but then stopped. About 7 years ago, encouraged by others to start a weight loss class, I did. I wrote my own curriculum. It was all about me and how great I had done. The class began with about fifteen members but, within four months, went down to four faithfuls (which isn’t unusual with people with weight problems). However, I started overeating, often crying in class, doing more damage than helping. I began to regain weight. I felt condemned and quit the class before the first semester was over. I felt such a failure.
God has given me 3 books, 2 on something about weight loss.


My daughter gave me some great advice. She told me, “Mom, that doesn’t mean it was a failure. God can use what you learned. Who knows but what He’ll use you to teach again, or have you encourage others online, or who knows what. It wasn’t a failure. It just wasn’t’ the time or the avenue. You weren't ready. You were still learning.”


That was before God helped me write “Divine Dining."
Before He spoke through me to groups about right thinking and weight loss.
Before, He used me to help others lose weight online 
One part of my teaching now is it’s NOT all about me. Perfectionism is a killer.
In her book, The Freedom of Letting Go, Donna Clark Goodrich tells us "Ask yourself: Have I truly failed, or am I simply not meeting unrealistic expectations?"
Accept yourself as you are before you try to be anything different. Failure in a task doesn't mean you're a failure as a person. Relax. Give yourself a break."

Thanks to my daughter's advice, I stopped, learned, prayed, and started again. It wasn't a failure; just success delayed.

If those warning signs hit you between the eyes, think about what you're doing. Is it really a failure or is it just your perfectionism showing? Are you ready or still learning?