Once again I’m fighting this battle with fear, perfectionism and shame. I can’t write about this or that because I’m afraid it won’t be good enough or it won’t resonate with my readers. Why am I writing anyway? Who even wants to read my blog? I’ve already highlighted my desire to overcome perfectionism and the ‘how-to’s I employed to defeat perfectionism. One of the ‘how-tos’ is really to just go for it, because you will never be ready and your preparations will never be 100% perfect. If you are a perfectionist, realise that perfection is a fallacy, and just go for the best that you can give on the day in that moment during whatever time period you have to complete a task or live life. Fear and perfectionism are crippling. And so is shame. And they are all emotions based on your expectation of the opinions of others who often don’t matter anyway!
Brené Brown in her book, ‘Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead’ talks about the cure or self-help tool for overcoming shame being vulnerability. Admit to your weakness, talk it out, share your fears, and shame can no longer reign. Because vulnerability displaces shame. Your sins are no longer hidden, but forgiven. And the judgment that you may have expected may not be as fierce as you first thought, or even exist at all. Because vulnerability enables others to share their stories too; it enables others to defeat their demons and to overcome their shame.
(To listen to Brené Brown speak, watch her TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability.)
Thankfully, when battling with perfectionism, ‘I am good enough’ and ‘I am enough’ are affirmations I use on a regular basis that help to combat the devil’s lies in my life (Read about positive daily affirmations here). My fear of failure and desire for perfectionism at one time outweighed my full enjoyment of life; but now I have almost done a 180 of my behaviours, emotions, and thought-constructs, and overall belief-system.
I’m not doing this because I’m not perfect at it becomes I am good enough to give it a try so let’s go.
Rather than giving up at the first hurdle, I run and fall, pick myself up and go again. And do better the next time.
Rather than staying in because my hair isn’t perfect and my make-up is a mess and my overall appearance just isn’t up to par, I grab an outfit, scrub on some war-paint (or don’t bother!), and race (tentatively) out the door.
Rather than not starting a blog post because ‘it is rubbish’, I start typing, edit a little, and publish it anyway. Who cares?
Rather than fear change, I jump at it. I have to travel and live in Arizona for a while for training? Ok, why not!
And rather than wait for everything to be perfect and ‘ready’, I dive in. Because I truly believe in the infamous, immortal words of Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step’ in faith. My faith is getting stronger everyday as I walk closer and closer with Christ by reading God’s word, praying and honouring him through my thoughts, words, and action, and singing praise and worship even when I receive the worst news or my circumstances and those of friends are sucky (keep praying for Kelly Chadwick, by the way please!).
God helps. God comforts. God guides. God protects. And God’s word is truth and life.
‘Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”’ John 14:6 NIV
So how to overcome fear, anxiety, perfectionism, shame and all the other negative emotions in life? You will never be truly rid of them because life isn’t perfect, just as much as anything you do in life will ever be perfect. But, you can have a heart transformation in relationship with God that changes you from the inside-out, leads you to trust in God’s words about you in the Holy Bible, view yourself through the lens of a loving, caring God, and know that He’s got your back through whatever you go through.
‘For he [God] will never leave nor forsake you.’ Deuteronomy 31:6
So what do you do with your fear, perfectionism and shame? Hand it over to God. And fearlessly jump into your greatness.