The Perfectionism Test Will Help You Integrate the Fathers Love
Understanding how perfectionism affects my life has followed the same pattern of seeing shame and performance orientation. I had the impression these issues applied to a select few people that “were really wounded.” As I finally came to see how perfectionism works and functions in my daily life, it brought huge growth in productivity and in integrating the Fathers Love. I first came to recognize it as I pursued further education.
When I worked on my degree in counseling, I had to write a fifteen-page research paper for almost every class. “Writer’s block” and I were constant companions. Yet, I had deadlines! Sitting, staring at my computer for an hour and writing very little had a debilitating effect on me. I heard voices saying, “You’ll never work this out,” “This topic will never work,” “This is overwhelming.” My writing wasn’t coming together fast enough nor well enough to keep me advancing towards my goal. Ugh! I didn’t recognize that I struggled with perfectionism.
Root of Perfectionism
Perfectionism stems from lies of shame, ie: “Something’s wrong with me,” “I don’t measure up,” “No one is there to help me.” I find this area of shame expresses itself as, “My work is not measuring up so I might as well quit.”
Being in a Learning Relationship with Life
Currently I still have to write most every day. Finding deeper security and value in the Father’s love has helped tremendously. It is okay not to know how to do something or not to get it right the first time. Learning and completing projects is a process. It’s normal to make mistakes and go through several rough drafts to get my work at the level I want it. It’s okay to take just a step at a time, and if it takes longer than I planned, then that’s okay too. If I continue taking steps I’ll get there. I learn about myself in the process and how to treat myself with patience and kindness.
As I pursue inner healing, seek to advance in my workouts, or even pursue a deeper prayer life, perfectionism can sneak in. Accepting that I’m okay, and being at the step I am on today is okay, brings the freedom to keep trying.
Perfectionism struggles are a good gauge on my self-acceptance level and my ability to rest in the Father’s love. The more it is okay to make mistakes – have setbacks, extend time tables – the more productive I actually become. It is the striving to accomplish something, rooted in fear and shame, that shuts me down. Try some acceptance today and see if you don’t get moving faster. If you get stuck, we can help. Prayer Ministry resolves perfectionism and brings forward movement in your life.