18 Inches Down

Moving Truth from the Head to the Heart

How to Beat Perfectionism

Perfectionism is my handicap. It seems to promise excellence and accolades, but all it delivers is bondage.

  • I don’t start until I can do it right.
  • Circumstances are never right, so I can’t begin now.
  • If I manage to somehow get started, projects grow so large while doing them that they cannot possibly be completed.
  • The finished product is never good enough, so it carries over to complete on another day, then sits on an ever-looming to-do list.

I wanted to post blog entries twice a week. I didn’t want to burden you, my dear reader, with useless drivel by attempting daily postings. So I decided I would post twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which was a “perfect” schedule.

But my “perfect” schedule meant that I have been feeling more and more pressured to write the “perfect” entry. Which makes writing tough. It takes a long time to attempt “perfect”, and then it never arrives! I have been dreading my writing, which I normally enjoy.

I have so many thoughts about my Beloved and I love to share them with others so that they can know Him like I do. I don’t have the time or energy for perfection. So out it goes.

  • Just do it, as Nike says.
  • This is enough.
  • Something is better than nothing.
  • Don’t know what to do? Just do the next thing.

“You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy. The joy is in having the Beloved, not in loving what we have.” Ann Voskamp

My life, my circumstances, are just what He provided for me. I have everything I need because all I truly need is Him. He won’t ask me to do what He hasn’t provided all the resources to do, and that includes time and energy. So I can relax and allow Him to flow His version of “perfect”—or enough—out of me.

“I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances…You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all…Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.” Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

The purpose in all of this is to re-realize my need of Him and to turn my attention back to Him. My life is about Him. This blog is about Him. When I can’t do something, I set it down and look away from it back to Him. Then my vision clears and the burden seems its own size again and the peace and purpose resurface.

“I haven’t got anything together and I can stop looking for some hidden door that’s going to someday open up to my real, perfect life and I can stop waiting and I can start laughing praise, because this wondrous mess, this is it.” Ann Voskamp

This wondrous mess of Deanne Bullock—this wondrous mess of my marriage and my family and my church and my house and my blog—this is it. This is my opportunity to need Him and to have Him step up and be the best version of me that is possible.

And your wondrous mess is too. He is enough. Choose to accept that today.

4 comments on “How to Beat Perfectionism

  1. Adriel Booker
    04.06.12

    Beautiful, Deanne. I struggle with perfectionism too. Always have. That’s one of the reasons I started my little five-minute blog this year – to force myself to not have to always get it all “just right”. Some days it’s really hard to hit “publish” when I know I would have worded something differently, or think I need to expound on something so that I won’t be misunderstood. But most of the time I’m so enjoying the FREEDOM to be imperfect. And just like your blog’s theme verse says – we now see a “poor reflection” (imperfectness) but one day soon will see face-to-face. Aren’t we so “lucky”? Happy Easter. Be blessed as you celebrate with your tribe. x

  2. delancydina
    04.09.12

    Just what I needed to read this morning. I am re-setting and I want His direction!

    • Deanne Bullock
      04.09.12

      Me too! I guess Mondays are like that, since they are re-setting days from a busy weekend. Thanks for the encouragement! It’s nice to know someone’s reading!

  3. Pingback: The Ten Commandments of Perfectionism « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

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Hi, I’m Deanne!

Biblical counselor, budding author, and domestic engineer. I enjoy reading, studying, thinking, and writing about it all. I crave simplicity, laughter, and a cup of hot tea in the morning. Metaphor and allegory is my thing, and I enjoy using it to help myself and others understand spiritual concepts.

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