Perfection or Bust
Keep on keeping’ on. That’s what I’m doing. Even when I want to quit, even when it seems pointless to go on, I’m going to keep on going.
It’s not always what I do. Sometimes when the going gets tough, I quit. I bench myself from the game. Have you ever done that? Taken yourself out of the game because things weren’t going the way you wanted them to?
Sometimes I say to myself, “It isn’t worth it. I’m obviously not up to the task, so I’m done.”
I find it funny that after I say that, after I bench myself, after I’ve washed my hands of whatever the situation was I rarely feel better, but usually will feel worse.
I don’t like to lose. I don’t like to play games for fun. I play to win, and typically only play if I’m fairly certain I have good odds of winning. I don’t put myself in situations where I know I’ll come out on bottom.
Fear of failure.
Yep. I’m absolutely positive my worth is judged by how successful I am. If I don’t do well, then I must be worthless.
These are the things my subconscious whispers to me. Perfection is all that’s acceptable, and if you fail, then you are worthless.
I remember as a child someone was always better than me at everything. It seemed as if I wasn’t gifted in any area…I wasn’t special.
I always seemed to earn decent grades, and it always irritated me beyond belief when another student would refer to me as a “smart kid”. I knew I wasn’t a smart kid.
Smart kids didn’t miss anything on their assignments. I always missed something. I may have earned a 90% or more, but there was always someone else who had a higher score than me. I may not have been failing, but I definitely wasn’t good enough to be a smart kid.
A little over a year ago my husband met someone that I had taken a class in high school with…geometry to be exact. I can’t do geometry. Couldn’t then, can’t now. I don’t really like shapes and angles and measurements.
My husband gathered from the conversation that I was the reason this individual passed geometry. When he told me this I laughed. Straight up laughed.
“I was terrible at geometry! I doubt anyone got through that class because of me.”
I don’t remember what letter grade I had in that class, but honestly it is very unlikely that it was less than a B. It’s doubtful that I helped anyone ace geometry, but it is possible that I helped them pass.
See, being “good” at geometry would mean I had an A in the class, and no, an A- wouldn’t count. Anything less than that A is the equivalent of failure to me. So, in my mind, I failed geometry. I will forever be useless to anyone when it comes to geometry because in my mind I can’t do geometry. At all.
This is how I view the world. Success vs. failure.
The criteria for success? Perfection. The criteria for failure? Anything less than perfection.
I have set myself up for failure. Obviously I am never going to be perfect at everything I try. So, in order to keep from failing, I just don’t try anything a second time unless I was successful the first time.
Even if I have done something repeatedly with some degree of success, the first time I do it and it flops, well, I’m done.
I don’t hold others (all the time) to these same standards. It’s typically just myself. So, why?
November is a month of gratitude. Veteran’s Day. Thanksgiving. We celebrate the people and things we have to be thankful for.
I have been participating in a “thankful” a day post on facebook for the month of November. 2012 is not the first time of being grateful each day of the month for me. Forcing myself to stop and select at least one thing to be thankful for each day seems to remind me of just how much I have to be thankful for.
And guess what? None of it is perfect. Not one thing on my thankful list has been perfect. It’s all marred with imperfection, and yet I’m still thankful for it.
Is God any different? Does He expect me to be perfect?
No, He doesn’t. As a matter of fact, He knew I was imperfect before I even existed.
That’s why He sent His Son, Jesus, to be the perfect sacrifice for me.
Perfection on this earth only existed once. It won’t happen again.
God’s measure of perfection has nothing to do with success vs. failure as I see it. In God’s eyes we become ‘perfect’ when we enter in to a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.
God loves you and God loves me. How do I know?
Today I am thankful that God loves me just as I am. I don’t have to be ‘perfect’ to be forgiven.
photo credit: acordovahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/hellacutty/501812452/”>acordova> via photopinhttp://photopin.com”>photopin> cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc>