Are we keeping score of how well we are doing? Do we strive to keep ourselves on task whether it is managing a business, our family’s lives, or our own? Do we want to motivate, influence, and be people others want to follow? When it comes to evaluating our success, do we often fall into the trap of thinking that we must be perfect?
If we are striving to be perfect in everything we do, we may find that perfectionism is the biggest barrier to our success. We need a renewed mind with a mindset reset that is conformed to a God-centered measurement. It is as Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Let’s get a few tools for resetting our minds.
It’s okay to make mistakes
We may think that there is no room for mistakes; the truth is that mistakes are proof that we are moving forward and growing. When we make a mistake, we learn what is not working and where we need to grow. If we operate in fear of making a mistake or that we are going to be rejected, we are trying to play it safe. If we are always playing it safe, then we are not taking the risks to grow and build on what we know by exploring new things and becoming creative.
We want everything certain, and the only things in this world that are certain are death and taxes. The Lord does this purposefully so that we lean into and trust Him because we are not designed to do this on our own. We are designed to do life clinging to the Lord in dependent faith. “For you have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:7-8).
It’s okay to not know everything
We can fall into the insecure mindset that we know everything. We need to get a clue that the more we know the more we realize we don’t know. Collaboration is the key to building a cohesive ministry, small group, or working environment. If we fear to ask for advice, never delegate, or are afraid to say that we don’t know the answers, we are leaving no room to build strong relationships.
The people around us feel valued and important when we ask them what they think and for their advice. When we ask for help or advise we strengthen the connection and trust between us. “But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:24-25).
It’s okay to not know the future
We can tend to think that we always need to be looking ahead anticipating what might happen. The truth is that God teaches us that our power resides in the present. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). So, wherever you are, be all in. Perfectionism resides in the uncertainties of the future.
When we keep our attention in the moment, we are promised by God that He will give us what we need. Our ability to motivate those around us will increase dramatically when we are present with and engaged with them in the moment. Nothing drains a relationship more than lack of appreciation, no matter how well we think we multitask, if our minds are always stepping ahead those around us will never feel valued, heard or appreciated.
It’s okay to let others help
Perfectionists tend to micromanage. If we think we have to oversee everything then we need to learn how to delegate, collaborate, and trust the process. If we micromanage, we create an environment of mistrust, anxiety, and annoyance that can become a relationship killer. Micromanaging tells the people around us that we don’t trust them, that they can’t do their part as well as us, and this leaves everyone feeling deficient. It is wise to take the time to learn the strengths, values, and purposes of those around us. We then have the confidence to know they will do better than we ever could.
We can so fear to let go of the perfectionism for fear we will lose our edge. The truth is when we let go of the fear, we make room for growth and opportunity. Leading from a base of fear leads to procrastination and can cause us to micromanage, leaving no room for transformation. When we are fueled by the Holy Spirit, trusting in the Lord, we don’t lose our edge; we become fueled by creativity and possibility. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Can you start this new year focused on potential rather than perfection?
Can you listen and collaborate to create connection?
Can you stay in today and trust the Lord to provide?
Take some time to study Proverbs 3:5-8.