and – (Stop! Make it stop! My ears are BLEEDING)
You get the gist.
But – Celine Dion aside – it turns out that we think in similar categories. Here’s what he says;
‘People call me a perfectionist, but I’m not. I’m a rightist: I do something until it’s right, and then I move on to the next thing’.
This I’m afraid, sounds horribly familiar. It’s my natural pulse – the drive that tells me I’m the best – or I’m nothing. My way or the highway. Right or wrong. Black or white. Forget ‘trying’. Success is everything. Perfectionism gets Results. And results are what make me matter.
This is what I told myself
As I worked through the night to get the top grades.
As I exercised until I could barely walk.
As I starved myself
And tried to be the nicest, smartest, godliest, skinniest, funniest, most successful daughter, wife, sister, friend and Christian.
Perfectionism you see, makes itself at home in all kinds of environments. Schools. Homes. And yes – even churches.
It looks impressive. ‘Burning out for Jesus’. Putting in the hours. Going the extra mile. But who are we doing it for? Him – or us? We talk about giving our best, but sometimes it’s more than this. It’s being the best.
Perfectionism keeps us perpetually self-absorbed. It transforms community into competition. It makes us fearful, hypercritical, proud, anxious and depressed. It teaches us that mistakes mean failure and that we are God.