Confronting my P-Bullies {Part 2}

People-Pleasing, Perfectionism, Performancism, and Procrastination.

The journey of confronting my p-bullies continues today as I consider perfectionism.

You know, that character trait we try so hard to disguise by giving it a more positive spin–highly organized, born-leader, attention to detail, commitment to excellence, A-type personality. Somehow, by giving it a different name it just sounds better, right?

But perfectionism? Well, that just sounds like a spoiled princess.

Yet this is exactly who I had become.

It began in my school days, as early as elementary. A need to be perfect in all that I accomplished. Avoid chaos. Stay organized. Achieve high. Receive recognition. It was a simple equation.

Into high school, college, and law school, this perfectionism continued. Every assignment, presentation, and group project was never sub-par. Every “I” dotted and every “T” crossed with absolute precision. I would get the best grade. I would win. I would be perfect.

The awards continued. Scholarships. Accolades. Atta-boys.

But perfectionism is a lonely road.

“I ended up alienating myself from my classmates because they found me intimidating. In my efforts to impress, I unknowingly set the bar so high, nobody felt they could come close to my achievements or to me.” – Cheri Gregory

Now, into my adult life–a wife and a mother–this need for perfection in my circumstances, surroundings, and finished products has only been perpetuated and fueled by my pinterest-perfect living and a desire to compete with other wives and mothers.

To ensure a perfect facade at the very least, I need things to be my way, in my timing, conforming to my view of the world and our present circumstances. I need things to be perfect. And it needs to be my definition of perfection.

Recently, my husband was trying to help out in the kitchen by putting away the leftover food from dinner. When I entered the kitchen and noticed that he was using the “wrong” Tupperware for the chili, a look of disapproval quickly came over my face. “Doesn’t he know better,” was my first thought. But as I tried to correct my thought process and my look of disdain, it was too late. The damage had been done.

Seriously? Tupperware? He was trying to help! And who cares which container is used for the food. At least the food is being put away, right?

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So, here is the deal.  I hate the feeling of chaos or living out of control. A pile of dishes, for example, in my sink is just a reflection to me of imperfection and chaos throughout my entire life. If my kitchen is a mess then I must be a mess.

And in the midst of obsession with the mess and the need for perfection, I miss out on so many amazing moments. Opportunities to grow with my family, to teach my children, to minister to others. And again, like in the days of school, I find myself alone.

Perfect but alone. Perfect but relationships destroyed.

Why? Why must I be perfect? Why must everything and everyone around me measure up to my definition of perfection?

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So there it is. A fear that I’m not perfect. A fear that my imperfect world is just a reflection of my own imperfections.

Now what?

God’s grace, God’s grace, God’s grace.

I remind myself that Christ died for me “while [I] was still a sinner” (Romans 5:8), and this means all of my imperfections and insecurities–dishes, laundry, and all.

I have had to learn how to count the many messes (yes, embracing the messes) as blessings–crumbs of food on the floor under the high chair means that Kaycee is alive and healthy and eating; dirty socks and potty training panties piled high on the laundry room floor means that the Lord has provided clothes for my family; games and toys strewn across the living room floor means that my children love to play here and feel comfortable in this home.

I am not perfect. My husband, my children, and my home are not perfect. Our circumstances are not perfect. And that’s ok.

It’s time for me to stop chasing this perfectionism prize.

It’s time for me to be brave, embrace the imperfections, and delight in the wonderful moments of the present…wrong Tupperware and all.


{Share Today} Please share in the comments today:

  • In what areas of your life are you demanding perfectionism?
  • How is perfectionism impacting your relationships? Are you feeling alone?
  • What fears do you have that need to be acknowledged?
  • What brave steps can you take to embrace the imperfections?

Cure-for-the-Perfect-Life-COVER-1000-x-1545-662x1024This series is derived from and inspired by The Cure for the Perfect Life by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory.

{Read Chapter 1} You can get a taste of this fabulous book by downloading and reading chapter 1 Here.

{Buy the Book} Get your own copy of this amazing book, Here.

Remember, check back next Monday for “Confronting my P-Bullies {Part 3},” as we continue this #braverliving rebellion.

For those of you who missed it, here is {Part 1} of this series.

Mary 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Confronting my P-Bullies {Part 2}

  1. Pingback: Confronting my P-Bullies {Part 4} | Super Woman Syndrome

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