Does anyone else find themselves in a continuing mode to overcome perfectionism?

If you’ve seen some of my recent social media posts, you know I had the opportunity to go on a “Girlfriend Getaway” to . . .

Hawaii.

Yes, three of us each flew to the Big Island of Hawaii from our corners of the country to spend a week together. And can I say it was Uh-MAY-Zing?! We soaked in God’s beauty in the forms of vibrantly colored flowers, aqua-tinted crashing waves upon a black sand beach, and waterfalls, among other things. We took things at a restful pace, giving our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls the space to refresh.

While there, I caught myself tripping up in some of my thought processes. I held myself to unnecessary expectations. I belittled myself because I was less than perfect in some small way.

I was in Paradise on Earth and only saw the perceived ugly in myself. If I said, “Let’s be ready to get on the road by 9:00.” And it was 9:10 before I was ready to go? That wasn’t good enough.

Throughout the week, we reminded each other that we were on “island time.” This meant I didn’t have to worry about meeting self-imposed deadlines. Honestly? My two friends didn’t care if I was ready at 9:00 or 9:10.

So why was I so concerned that I beat myself up over such a small detail?

Has anyone else ever dealt with this?

Mindset shifts we can make to begin to overcome perfectionism

Often, the first steps to overcome perfectionism help us to change the way we view ourselves and our situation.

Look at the big picture of the situation

Sometimes, we must be ready for an appointment by a specific time. But how many times do we focus on the minutiae of a moment rather than evaluating the overall scope of the situation? When we can picture the entire context of a circumstance, it’s easier to be kind to ourselves.

Redirect our thoughts

 One other friend and I quickly cut ourselves down when we did something we thought was wrong. Instead, let’s view ourselves through God’s eyes of grace rather than our condemnation. I suspect negative self-thoughts stem from insecurityWhen we are confident in who we are in Jesus, insecurity slides away.

7 Effective First Steps to Overcome Perfectionism—When we are confident in who we are in Jesus, insecurity slides away #tellhisstory #perfectionism Click To Tweet

Don’t put stress on ourselves to do everything perfectly for others.

In planning this trip, I wanted everything to be perfect and relaxing for my friends. I pressured myself to do everything possible to take care of every detail. You know what? They didn’t want perfect; they wanted the three of us to have time together relaxing. Which meant I needed to learn how to relax my self-expectations.

Find the balance

 between wanting to bless others, no matter the personal cost, and giving grace for imperfections that may come about. No one expects us to be perfect, least of all our Father.

Choose presence over perfection

Part of how we do this is by easing our busyness to be available for where God wants us in a given day. When our hearts are still rather than busy, we are more able to receive His promptings.

Stop worrying about inconveniencing others

Because I don’t want to be a “burden,” I (again) pressure myself to conform to others’ timelines and expectations. We must permit ourselves to take the time required on tasks we must complete. Sometimes, this may affect others, but true friends and those who care about us often flex when we need that.

Live on “Island Time.”

Island Time is an actual thing in some parts of the world. In my mind, it means taking things as they come rather than trying to force things to happen on a timetable. When we give ourselves the grace to move slower through our days, we’re better equipped to handle the unexpected, be attuned to God’s promptings to reach out to others, and pivot when the day demands it.

7 Effective First Steps to Overcome Perfectionism—When we give ourselves the grace to move slower through our days, we're better equipped to handle the unexpected #tellhisstory #perfectionism Click To Tweet
Image of a sea turtle resting on sand with a wave sweeping over it. A reminder that life will sometimes make it challenging for us to overcome perfectionism
7 Effective First Steps to Overcome Perfectionism 3

How do we shift our thoughts to live with an “island time vibe?”

  • Ask and trust God to direct your steps at the beginning of each day. And hold your minutes in a loose hand rather than a tight fist.
  • Have open time in your schedule so that you aren’t stressed out if something does pivot.
  • Remember, for believers in Jesus, our days are not our own. We belong to Him, meaning He should direct our daily steps.

Conclusion

On about Day Four, God brought to mind a phrase I’d first read in Robin Jones Gunn’s book Sisterchicks Do the Hula. It’s a paraphrase from the Message version of Matthew 11:28-30. “Unforced rhythms of grace.”

God gives us grace. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He wants us to live and flow with the rhythm of our lives He ordained for us.

He showed me that to live in the unforced rhythms of grace, I need to:

  • Relax the pressure I place on myself to do everything to the highest possible standard. Sometimes, good is better than best.
  • Be kind to myself in how I think about myself. I’m God’s girl. Beloved. Imperfectly perfect in His eyes. Enough. I am working to adjust my thoughts regarding me.

As I changed my thoughts, perfectionism’s hold loosened. I eased up the pressure and changed the negative thoughts to something more accurate. And I believed my friends were for me, not impatiently tapping their toes when I was holding up the works.

This was my favorite trip to Hawaii, probably because God showed me the beginning steps to overcome perfectionism by living in His unforced rhythms of grace.

What about you? What helps you overcome perfectionism? How have mindset shifts helped you develop healthier thought processes?

*****Update on the Tell His Story link-up. I’ll host the link-up here for the rest of October. I have not heard from anyone who would like to take on hosting the wonderful Tell His Story link-up, so the final link-up will be on Tuesday October 30th.

Even after the link-up ends, I’ll continue to blog here, and I truly hope we can all stay connected in this community. I will look forward to continuing to visit with you all at my place and yours!

Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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