By Candice van Pletsen
I’ve had to battle perfectionism at different times in my life and it rears its ugly head occasionally.
Even as I write this blog there’s that inside voice that says ‘you’re not a good enough writer’ and ‘what do you have to share on parenting, remember what you did yesterday?’
I still remember holding my newborn baby and looking into his brown eyes thinking how perfect he was! He was, until a few weeks down the line he didn’t follow all the rules of the child-rearing books I was reading!
There were days and nights where he did not sleep or feed the exact times that the books said he would.
That was just the introduction to my control mindset being dismantled. Many more incidents, over the last 8 years of parenting 3 boys, have taught me that things happen which you cannot control. This is when you need to learn to let go and accept those imperfections.
The list is exhaustive, but things like my kids not eating enough vegetables, negotiating their way through everyone of my requests, letting them eat off the floor, watch too much tv, do way too little chores and having a playroom where nothing is put in it’s proper place! Can you relate?
There’s nothing like parenting to expose our imperfections.
Perfectionism is like a slave driver: relentless, obsessive and debilitating. It’s rooted in fear, a fear of failing.
It disguises itself as humility but – actually – its pride. Pride makes us want to write a perfect blog, paint a perfect painting, have a perfect home and be a perfect mom. It’s thinking too highly of yourself. No one is perfect. When we realize this we’ll be prepared to take more risks and be okay with making mistakes along the way.
There’s nothing wrong with striving to do better and improving our parenting skills but when you suffer from a constant sense of failure and not feeling ‘good enough’ it could be that you’re struggling with perfectionism.
3 tips to challenge perfectionism:
- Knowing who we are
In the light of Christ, only he is perfect and we are works in progress.
Heb 7:28: “The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect.”
- Taking risks
The greatest mistake we’ll ever make is never wanting to make one! This is the only way we grow and learn. Don’t let fear of failing stop you from taking risks and learning along the way.
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” – Richard Branson
- Take your eyes off the audience
Stop worrying what others think. God’s opinion of us is above others. Sometimes we get frustrated and ashamed that we can’t get the admiration of others that we desire. Let’s focus rather on who we are in God and His approval and love for us.Hope this has been helpful and encouraging!