Do you believe in miracles? I know I do. In fact, there is one type of uncommon miracle that many of us have created in our minds that we actually strive to achieve everyday–only to fall short “occasionally”–at least as far as we are willing to admit. What’chu you talkin’ ’bout, Toy? (in the Gary Coleman voice) After all, isn’t every miracle inherently “good”? Good is actually relative to the perception of the person relating to that which is good. So now that we’re back at square one, let’s go ahead and do the big reveal. What is this “uncommon miracle”? Wait for it: It is – drum roll please: the MIRACLE of perfectionism!
Yes, sometimes we just want to get it ALL right. *scratch record* Actually, for a certain percentage of the earth’s population, many of us always actually want and somehow expect to get EVERYTHING right – just right- consistently – and we’ll go the distance at all costs to make sure that happens. Perfectionism is REAL.
Granted, there are some “up” sides to it – like the the trait of overachieving in almost everything and the ability to face impossible obstacles and come out on top every time. How cool is THAT! Perfectionists create miracles regularly because the mind of a perfectionist is programmed with the expectation to win–EVERY SINGLE TIME. Then, on the other hand, there is another side that doesn’t get dealt with as much as is needed– Perfectionists tend to painfully deal with habits of procrastination, success blockage, and unwarranted stress.
Here is a brief excerpt from http://www.sciencedaily.com that sheds additional light on the topic of perfectionism:
“In its pathological form, it is an unhealthy belief that anything less than perfect is unacceptable.
Perfectionism can drive people to accomplishments and provide the motivation to persevere in the face of discouragement and obstacles.
Adaptive perfectionists have lower levels of procrastination than non-perfectionists.
High-achieving athletes, scientists, and artists often show signs of perfectionism.
For example, Michelangelo’s perfectionism may have spurred him to create masterpieces such as David and the Sistine Chapel.
Perfectionism is associated with giftedness in children.
In its pathological form, perfectionism can be very damaging. It can take the form of procrastination when it is used to postpone tasks (“I can’t start my project until I know the ‘right’ way to do it.”), and self-deprecation when it is used to excuse poor performance or to seek sympathy and affirmation from other people.
In the workplace, perfectionism is often marked by low productivity as individuals lose time and energy on small irrelevant details of larger projects or mundane daily activities.”
Does any of this sound vaguely familiar? Even if not, chances are you know someone who has at least a few of these traits. How do I know so much about this?
Hi, my name is Toy Parker, and I’m a recovering perfectionist. If there really were a “wagon” for perfectionists who are “recovering”, it’s safe to say I’ve fallen off, gotten back on, been run over by it and even at times just sat in the middle of the wagon expecting it to move itself or for someone to pull me while I’m in it. Pretty insane huh? For years I developed the complex engineering needed to create, support and enhance my own perfectionism roller coaster of sorts and even took the time to enjoy the ride until the day came when I just couldn’t ride that ride any longer. I decided there just has to be a better way to live to find a balance between excellence and perfectionism. After all, there is a difference. For me, this behavior was partially inherited from my father and also learned and even perfected by myself over the years.
Today, I come before you as an overcomer who has somehow managed to re-train her brain to release self-defeating behaviors and live a life that now practices PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION. Below are five key ways to make the miracles we seek to happen in a much healthier way–after all, nothing is impossible for God, right? This is where it all starts, loving ourselves enough to take the steps necessary to stop being so hard on ourselves and others with unrealistic expectations and learn to see each moment as a success as long as we are making progress.
1. Keep moving forward no matter what while doing what feels most uncomfortable first. In the effort to get it right, always remember that what is most important is to keep moving forward. No matter how small the step, carry on with the faith that the end result you seek is achievable. What the mind can conceive it truly can achieve. There is greatness in you because Jesus, the Greater One lives inside of you! Go inward and soar! To help break that demonic spirit of procrastination, which strips everyone of the will to move forward with such precision, tackle the most difficult/most dreaded tasks first. You will have such a fueled sense of accomplishment that it will almost become enticingly addictive for the perfectionist in anyone. Anything else you seek to do after that will truly be a breeze and you be amazingly more productive when you practice this on a consistent basis.
2. Begin with the end in mind without obsessing. Grow and let it go! What goes in your ear determines your actions. In that same vein, your inner dialogue determines your actions as well. Pull the reins on your mind and be more intentional about your thinking. Do not allow your mind to control you. Do not allow it to race. Truly be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Pace your thoughts and intertwine them with plans of action with steps on how to achieve the goal. Focus on the actions necessary to achieve the goal rather than how great or far away the goal is. Achieve each step and as you do, each small success will lead up to the big win. The same goes for your emotions. You always have a choice. You can choose to live in a place of love (which is God Himself – the most heavenly and peaceful place) or within the absence of it. There are no “Inbetweens” either you are operating in a place of love or you are not. You can choose to stay upset and obsess over how upset you are, or you can choose to acknowledge that you are upset and #GrowAndLetItGo and #IgniteYourLife out of that dark place and back to a positive place in love. The choice is always yours to #LiveLOVEdaily.
3. Keep pushing through to your breakthrough. Often times one is grinding through life looking for the “light at the end of the tunnel”. I submit to you today that this is erroneous thinking. It is time for you to break through the dark places in your life and BE THE LIGHT IN THE TUNNEL! This once again where you go inward and soar so you can push through to your breakthrough. All of the solutions you seek are right there inside of you. You are a creative being made in the image of the very God that lives inside you! Speak to your life! Declare your blessings! You have exactly what you say which is a result of what you think on a regular basis. You have the power to create wealth, health, love, happiness, joy, peace, laughter and every positive thing you can ever dare to imagine for yourself. The question is are you ready to receive beyond anything that you could ever ask or think according to the glorious power that works inside of you! That’s when you are truly ready to live an #EPICLIFENOW. Never give in and never give up. Things may not be going the way you want them to but as long as you have breath inside you to breathe another second toward your destiny–the next step forward that you take will get you that much closer to the life you want and truly inherently intend to live. It is about PROGRESS, not PERFECTION.
4. Be patient with yourself and with others. In the time I have taken to love myself more, the greatest gift I have given myself is the gift of TIME Itself. I have finally kicked the “adrenaline rush” habit. I would birth all kinds of miracles from it but the payoff of migraines and stomach aches and extreme fatigue were just no longer worth it. Notwithstanding the myriad of chain reactions the rush would have on family members, friends, loved ones and even myself in terms of sheer burnout–there just had to be a better way. So, as I closed that ride down and removed it out of my life, the rest of my life found me. When I give myself time, I feel better. I even have more to give others. When I give myself time and stop putting tight demands on myself to perform but instead take time to be myself, I am free to operate in my most authentic self with clarity and laser sharp focus. The liberation behind that is so priceless. Also, the easier you are on others, the easier it is for you to be patient with yourself. Everything you do and see is a direct reflection of what is happening inside of you. PAY ATTENTION. LISTEN. FEEL. RESPOND with wisdom and accuracy in love for yourself and watch your entire world change for the better.
5. Love People. Trust God. Pray Always. Expect Victory! You must retrain your brain to expect success no matter what but respect the process to get there along the way. The only thing in life you can control is YOU. The best part about that is that when you make changes within yourself the world and environment around you changes with it. YOU are the catalyst for the changes you want in your life. Don’t try to control the people around you. Just be love and love them. Don’t worry about outcomes, but trust God instead with an expectant heart for His promises for love, happiness , peace and prosperity to manifest in your life daily. Take time to plan and to pray, asking for wisdom and guidance to take the necessary steps to move closer to that next goal. Enter each situation with the attitude of a champion who expects victory!
This article is not just for “recovering perfectionists” or even hard core perfectionists. It is for the ones who love them and for anyone who wants a better way to end a life of judgement of themselves and others on the way to their mountaintop. It is for those who want to love themselves more so they can love others more. It is for those who want to “get their life back in order” after running off track. Most importantly, this article is for anyone who still believes in MIRACLES!