Perfectionism is the Opposite of Self Worth

Welcome Back! I missed writing to you. I went away to a missionary leadership training over the weekend, so lots happened since my last post about love. I am still rolling that around in my heart. There are so many aspects to love. As I grow into loving myself and others better, I move away from the old Julie who needed to be the best and brightest (and hear others say so) to fill her soul. Read on with an open heart for truth, may these words bless you.

 

For much of my life, I relied on other people’s praise and affirmation for my own self worth. Inside of me there was an echo of my accomplishments that would quiet with the first hint at criticism. And without achievement, I had zero purpose, nothing to offer.

As painful as it is to revisit, I know I am not alone.

  • For all who say yes to every volunteer opportunity because you want to feel liked, important and needed.
  • For all who struggle with feeling like a failure in the event of one mistake or one displeased customer
  • For all who hear lies in their heart about their worth

God gave me an image as I thought about this post.

eggspainted

Are you familiar with those hand-blown eggs so delicately and beautifully painted? Colorful and dainty ornaments … alluring with their mysterious perfection.

An artist blows out the contents of the egg to leave it hollow. Ornate designs make its outside attractive to others while inside there is nothing.

Perfectionism plagues empty, unrealistic souls who reach for validation,

dressing themselves and their work with painful precision to receive accolades

to then pour into the self who needs to know she is worthy.

perfectactresspic

Today, I am thankful I learned the only perfect one is Our Lord Jesus Christ.

That took a huge weight off my shoulders.

It also meant the scrapings of people-praise I had for self-worth were withering and dying.

What now, Lord?

Who am I if I cannot be perfect at my job, at mothering, at love?

Genesis 1:26
Then God said, “let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

Wow! Let’s just stop and consider this a moment, we are created to be like God. We are distinct from animals, though I am not sure I am reigning over the mama bird protecting these 5 eggs against our garage … but that’s another story for another day.

babyeggspic
We are His.

With His holy hands, He gave us brain cells to learn about Him,

eyes to see His glorious creation,

and ears to hear others’ worship and testimonies to His greatness.

So, we have a self-worth choice, friends …

We can look up to Heaven and boldly tell God He made a mistake with us, that we prefer to continue to try to be this never-achievable perfect being and gain the adoration of employers, bible study partners, other baseball moms, social media friends, etc
OR
We can look up to Heaven and allow the angels of mercy to surround us, for His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), and each new morning we present our aching heart for its mend.

We know by faith we are made with His specific intentions to be like Him.

I can hear your grumbles:

What about the extra weight around my hips and my crooked nose? Thank Him for your uniqueness. You can rest easy knowing you are the only YOU He created since the beginning of time.

What about those mothers at playgroup who judge me because I allow my kids to watch lots of TV? Thank Him for reminding you not to let people define you, that you belong to Him.

What should I think when the boss demotes me because I screwed up a big project?
Thank Him for the strength and courage He gives you to stand on His faithful promises for you, not the condemnation of others … or the condemnation from yourself.

Take it from me who relied on perfectionism as a way of being for a l-o-o-o-o-ng time.
If you let perfectionism go, He will fill that space with a kind and gentle Spirit who whispers only life-giving messages.
Slowly, and not perfectly, you will begin to gain momentum as His child who seeks Him in the face of any opposition, even that within yourself.
And before you know it, your soul will be singing joyful noises, confident in what it has to offer the world.

pigtailwomanjoypic
A self divided is the victim of the enemy.
A love-filled self united with Christ is a faith warrior who cannot help but to tell her story.

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Thank you so much for being here today. I am interested in your thoughts and questions if your heart was stirred. Feel free to like and comment on this blog here. Or find me on social media. Visit again Thursday as we have another brave woman to discuss her story.

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9 thoughts on “Perfectionism is the Opposite of Self Worth

  1. Thank you for the gentle/strong reminder that my imperfections (oversized pores) are his handiwork…What I see as a defect (and certainly not on the magazine covers as a good thing) he chose for me ….and if he creates the sunset, my daughters freckles, turquoise ocean waters and your beautiful friendship…I am trusting he sees them that way to, because they are part of me! Thank you for the nudge and opportunity to share!

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    • Thank you for your honest feedback. Yes, this message was both gentle and strong as you said, dear Emily. Spirit comes full with boldness sometimes. Let us be walking together as faith warriors who can withstand the world’s pull to alternate paths. With His perfect creation and sovereignty, we have joy and love like none other. P.S. Jackson has freckles too, which I notice as cute and he disagrees!

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    • Thank you for being here Jen. Yes, gratitude and the thing I am still working on for myself and others is compassion. Next week’s post will be more what does perfectionist recovery look like, setbacks and all!

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  2. Pingback: 4 Steps to Journey Away from Perfectionism | Julie Dibble

  3. Yes, I caught (or was born with) the perfectionism bug, too. God has to do alot of work on our hearts to purge that one! I’m still a work-in-progress.
    The painted eggs: My neighbor growing up did this. She made exquisite, delicate works of art, but you’re right–they were hollow, devoid of life. I’d never thought about it before… Sometimes, however, she would cut away one side of the eggshell and place a scene inside. The one I most remember was a tiny nativity. So she replaced that emptiness with Christ, but about 1/3 of the eggshell had to be cut away to do it. Hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing Carole. I stand with you on this journey away from perfectionism toward loving ourselves and others well. At first I used the word “better”, and I thought that still implied a grading and a push. Loving well communicates respect. We have moments where we do this, and moments where we don’t. That is so interesting that you knew someone who made those eggs! I only have ever seen them at craft shows. I second your Hmmm on the nativity scene. Wherever there is Jesus, there is life! Blessings, Julie

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