I was proud of being a perfectionist. I thought it made me into a good person. I was good at it. Throughout my life people told me I was perfect. I thought it was easy to be perfect.

Now I know it’s not. It takes a lot of effort. For all that calm exterior, there is strain going on underneath. A strain that eventually breaks.

Perfection looks good on the outside but on the inside there is destruction. It wasn’t until I felt the destruction that I started seeing the downside of perfection.

Perfection looks great but when I learnt that the price to pay for it is stress, exhaustion, and self-destruction, I don’t want it anymore.

On the outside, perfection looks like peace. It looks like I’ve got everything together. It looks like I know who I am. No wonder I wanted perfection.

But on the inside, perfection looks like war. It looks like a broken mess. It looks like I have no idea who I am.

I think perfectionists don’t know who they are. Either that or they’re afraid of who they are. Or they don’t like who they are. Or all of the above. They don’t accept who they are. They think they’re not good enough with their imperfections and weaknesses.

So they can never be real. They are afraid to be real.

I never would have guessed this about perfection or myself. But now I see perfection for what it really is: fear. Perfection isn’t noble; it’s cowardice. Be brave, be real, be you.

I’d always say I was a perfectionist. But I’m learning to look at it differently. I am not a perfectionist. I am me. I turned to perfection and used it cover myself. I thought it was a beautiful cloak. Now I know it’s a straightjacket. I’m going on a journey to throw the jacket off and find the beauty in imperfection. The beauty in me.

I used to expect perfection of myself. But I’ve learnt that God never expects that of me. He saw the beauty in me all along. I’ve also learnt that God doesn’t walk behind me with a whip; he walks beside me cheering me on.

Have you ever struggled with perfectionism?


26 thoughts on “Perfectionism

  1. This is all very true. It feels good to notice this, doesn’t it? I used to be a perfectionist too and for me it was because my self worth was based on how well I did things. Not anymore. I am good enough no matter how well I do things or if I make mistakes. People who want me to be perfect for them aren’t worth my time.


    1. It’s so good noticing it – very freeing. I reckon perfectionism, performing and people pleasing have been three of my biggest hurdles where my self-worth was based on looking like I had things together, doing well at whatever I did, and making people happy. Not anymore. Just looking to be me now. Thanks so much for sharing.


  2. Beth Moore does a great segment on perfectionism in “So Long Insecurity”. She talks about how perfectionism is a form of insecurity where we oscillate between having a superiority complex and then beating ourselves up. It’s all about performance, which – as your know – is completely counter to the Gospel of Free Grace Soreriology. 🙂


  3. I have learned that perfection can never be reached because there are too many people to please in the world. We can only strive to do our very best in all our moments to live our lives to the fullest.


  4. Beautifully worded post! I can relate to what you say. I also had to learn how to move away from perfectionism. The more we can just be ourselves, the more free we are! Thank you for sharing 🙂


  5. Very good post. I also believe that at the root of perfectionism may be the sin of pride. But I totally agree it can be paralyzing. I am glad you’ve found your freedom. I was once plagued with it in areas of my life, and yes it is freeing to be okay for it to not be perfect. Breathe…..


    1. That is such a great point you make. I often say that I think of myself as the most proud person alive. Dealing with pride is definitely something I need to address. It’s like a paradox: how do you get rid of pride? Because pride doesn’t want to be gotten rid of.
      Definitely love the freedom from perfection though. So much better!


  6. Great post Juni! I feel like I still struggle everyday with perfectionist tendencies, especially with writing, but I’m definitely getting better everyday! Glad to hear you’re questioning this mindset.Your post made me think about this quote I read by Anne Lamott that eludes to the same, ” I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die.”


    1. Thank you! I can definitely relate to struggling with perfectionism and writing. It was paralysing and gave me such bad writer’s block. When I finally realised it came down to fear, it freed my writing. Just writing anyway. Not waiting for the fear to go away but just doing it anyway.


  7. Yes, I’ve been a perfectionist for almost all of my life. Like you, I discovered it to be an annihilator of peace.when I forget and slip into old patterns, my inner voice reminds me that I am not here to be perfect…at anything.

    I am here to be brave and show up in my life. Period.

    Thank you, Juni, for writing this post. It is essential to stand in remembrance of its truth.



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