When you deal with perfectionism it can be hard to remember that even through your flaws, you are accepted by God. Today I wanted to empower you to make mistakes so you can live out what God has planned for you. Listen in as I share powerful scriptures around acceptance and a few personal stories to remind you that you aren’t alone in this pattern.
If you are wondering how to overcome perfectionism, the Christian Mindset Makeover was created with you in mind! If you want to replace your inner soundtrack of perfectionism with God’s truth, I invite you to check it out.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- [02:02] Alicia’s story around perfectionism
- [04:17] God still loves us in spite of our flaws
- [06:15] 6 Scriptures to remind us that we are forgiven + accepted
- [13:56] A personal story about being accepted in your imperfect ways
- [15:48] God’s acceptance allows us to live in freedom as perfectionists
- [19:05] How we can change our perfectionism patterns with the Christian Mindset Makeover
[02:02] Alicia’s story around perfectionism
As perfectionists, we feel that we need to be perfect in order to be good enough. We feel we need to be flawless to be accepted. In my life, I was afraid of showing my flaws because I thought that people would leave or not want to be around me. I was always trying to avoid making a mistake but that is impossible, unrealistic, and keeps us living small. If we are scared to make mistakes, we do not end up taking any risks because there is a risk that it will not work out. But if we stay in our lane and always do what we think we are supposed to do, we are not living in the capacity that we are called to live in.
With perfectionism, our pride gets in the way. People do not get to see the real us and we do not show them that we have imperfections like they do. For me, there was a pattern of believing that I needed to perform and be perfect to be loved by people in my life. This is how I gained approval and attention. I also learned to keep my emotions to myself so I did not appear as a burden. I did not want to feel like people did not want to be around me so I hid my feelings, always appeared cheerful, and made sure to not rock the boat. If you have ever struggled with this, you understand how toxic it is.
[04:17] God still loves us in spite of our flaws
The secret behind all of this is that we are all flawed. If there is a person that you think has it all together, they are flawed too. Romans 3:23 says, “All of us have fallen short of the glory of God”. God knows every single flaw, even the ones that we are not aware of yet. And guess what? He still loves and accepts us for where we are at in spite of it. In Christ, we have been redeemed from our mistakes and we will continue to be redeemed as we walk with Him.
We are still going to continue to sin and not be able to live perfectly in this fleshly body. We can ask God for help in showing us the areas in which we are not able to live exactly as He wants us to live and then rely on Him to help us grow into that person. There is tension as a perfectionist because we want to be perfected and healed from these things that keep us living flawed in this body. And God says, “You need to continue to follow me, trust me, and confess when you mess up. Trust that you are never going to reach this side of heaven. I see you as perfect because I see you as redeemed through the eyes and blood of Christ. That full perfection is going to happen in heaven.”
[06:15] 6 Scriptures to remind us that we are forgiven + accepted
As perfectionists, we have to live with the tension of not being perfect. But the truth is that we have been forgiven and accepted, right here right now. These powerful scriptures talk about that.
John 1:10-13: “He came into the very world he created but the world did not recognize Him, He came to His own people and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn-not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” We are reborn by the saving power of Jesus, who experienced and understood rejection himself. Knowing how to process rejection is important because things are going to come up that are hurtful. Listen to these previous podcast episodes on managing rejection to help you when it comes up: Ep 205: Managing Rejection Part 1 & Ep 206: Managing Rejection Part 2
Psalm 103:1-5: “Let all that I am praise the Lord with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord, may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's.” God heals us spiritually, heals our physical diseases, and redeems us from the power of death over us. He has restored and is perfecting everything in us that could make us “flawed”. The ultimate healing and perfection is going to come in heaven but even now, we are living in that transformation power of God. We can rest in the fact that we are accepted by Him and we do not need to fix ourselves. We can grow in Christ and in godliness but that is not a condition of love from God.
Romans 3:21-27: “We are made right by God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are” and “Can we boast then that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith.” It is not by our actions that we are saved and made whole. We are redeemed by our faith in Christ. That means that God knows our flaws and that we are being perfected as we walk with Him. But that perfection is happening in heaven and he is working with us now so we do not have to pretend or hide our flaws. We are called to accept others in the way that God accepts us.
Romans 15:5-7: “May God who gives us patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Jesus Christ. Then you can all join together with one voice giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” We are called to accept each other despite our faults. We are all flawed and we can ask God for help because it can be hard to accept the challenging ongoing issues that others have. We are not saying to just accept them and everything is easy. This is a process that God wants to partner with us on.
Ephesians 4:2: “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.”
Colossians 3:13: “Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
A reference that has helped me is the idea that when cars are following each other bumper to bumper, if the front car brakes, the car behind is going to run into them. We need to have that space in between to have room to react. We can use this concept as a way to understand this ability to make allowance for each other's faults. It may not always be easy to do, but we can do it with God's help.
We can also give ourselves space to grow, be imperfect, and let God speak truth into our lives. This helps us to understand that the acceptance of God is where we start from and is how we can understand and accept others in their need for that space in between.
[13:56] A personal story about being accepted in your imperfect ways
I recently had some frustrations around things that were happening in my house. I had a conversation with my family and I became aware that a lot of what I was feeling and experiencing was based on some flaws I needed to work through. And while there is not always just one person at fault in a relationship, I was called out on some things that were the heart of the issue. As someone who has a perfectionist background, this was a big trigger for me.
Through this situation, I understood that both God and my family accepted me for where I was in this imperfect way. This helped me to accept myself and work with God to get through it. It was a difficult moment but it brought a lot of comfort and knowing that my family and God are willing to work with me despite the way I was acting. That gives me the courage to say, “Okay, I want to work on and change these things.”
[15:48] God’s acceptance allows us to live in freedom as perfectionists
A few years ago, I hosted a group called the Connected Bible Community and we had monthly Bible studies. The first month we did “I Am Loved”, which is still available on my website, and the month after we did “I Am Accepted.” “I Am Loved” is a powerful study, but “I Am Accepted” always greatly impacted women because it’s one thing to know that we’re loved but knowing that we’re accepted is incredibly powerful.
As perfectionists, we all have this universal desire to appear good to others. But the reality is, even though each of us are not everything we need to be, God still loves and accepts us.
I once had a client who wanted to do new things in business but she had a lot of fearful “what ifs” because of a past experience. She was frozen in fear thinking that it would be a mistake if it did not work out how she wanted it to. What finally freed her up was understanding that no matter what, she is going to make a mistake in the future. But God was going to be there for her with grace so that she could move forward. That gave her the freedom to experiment, listen to God, and see what He does with it instead of being afraid of being imperfect.
Two questions we can ask ourselves if we feel like we struggle with making mistakes are: “Have I created a pass-or-fail mindset?” and “Do I feel like I ‘have to’ do something?” Yes, there will be things we have to do in life but sometimes we get attached to things that do not need to happen but we are doing them because we are trying to appear that we have it all together.
I also wanted to remind you that if you are still breathing, that means God is not done with you. He believes in you, He woke you up this morning because He has plans for you. He wants to lavish you with His goodness, He wants to show you all of the great things that He can do through your life. Never stop believing in that. Do not let the fact that you have made mistakes and will make them in the future stop you from performing the things that God has called you to do. He wants to move you forward, despite whatever you see as an obstacle or an imperfection along the way.
[19:05] How we can change our perfectionism patterns with the Christian Mindset Makeover
We can know and talk about these things from a theoretical standpoint, but I want to encourage you to consider something different than just “knowing” it. Trying to willpower ourselves into something like this will not give us the healing and resolution that we want. We have a pattern in our subconscious mind about how we are supposed to respond to others and we have been conditioned to act a certain way to get approval in order to feel good enough. Those are the patterns that keep us stuck in thinking like we have to be flawless to be accepted and we cannot willpower our way out of it. The subconscious programming that has been in there is going to overrule the willpower every single time. So what we have to do is find out what those patterns are inside our subconscious mind, where they came from, find healing around them, learn what we need to do to let go of them, and replace them with God's truth.
In the Christian Mindset Makeover, we use a process called brain priming. We spend the first five weeks understanding our subconscious mind, our brain, and how it works. Then we ask ourselves questions to dig into the inner soundtrack in order to replace it with God's truth. Then we use brain priming which helps to rewire the neurons so we develop new patterns and reactions. This allows our subconscious and logical brain to be aligned with the truth so we no longer have the inner battle. I encourage you to sign up if you want support in changing these patterns for good! You can also check out this free workshop that talks more about why we get stuck in these patterns of not feeling enough.
If you want to allow your mind to be rewired for God, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I would love to connect with you over there and help you release lies and toxic thoughts that have kept you from living the full life that God has planned.
OTHER RELATED EPISODES:
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