Perfectionist: Quit Trying To Be Perfect

Three Thoughts To Help You Conquer Your Pursuit Of Perfection

Perfectionist, there is no such thing as perfect.

Often we are tempted to look at other people and compare our self to them. Their glaring weaknesses are never what show up in our thoughts, but rather we see all the spectacular wins and successes they seem to acquire.
Perfection gets even more elusive when you couple it with a comparison. However, today I want you to know that there is a freedom you can live in…Freedom from being perfect.

You were never perfect, to begin with. Your flaws and mistakes are absolutely part of you, but in Jesus, all of those qualities disappear. God covers you with the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, and you become a new person.

I know you probably remember the verse I am about to quote, but I ask you to please read it again with fresh eyes.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Perfectionism has to bow to the new life found in Jesus Christ. The person you never thought you could live up to being, the one with perfectionist tendencies, is dead, and a brand new person had breathed in the breath of life when you became a Christian. Jesus takes away the old and brings in the new, and thank God for it.

The key to winning your battle with perfectionism is to stay in Christ. You have to keep yourself rooted and grounded in him. Don’t slip away from your relationship with him.
The most valuable qualities you will ever possess, find their way to the surface through your relationship with Jesus. He recreates you and forms you into the person you were created to be in the first place, and it is not a perfectionist.
It is likely that when you think of yourself, you think of the imperfections and all the qualities about yourself that you do not like. However, if you are a Christian, I am asking you to stop thinking about yourself and set your eyes on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of your faith, and he can build up a new set of qualities in your life based on the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Here are a couple of things a perfectionist should think about this week:

1.) Perfection is not possible so quit striving for it.

Humans are flawed. We make mistakes. We fall short of the goal. Jesus came to span the space between YOUR best effort and God’s creative power and purpose in your life. You cannot get there on your own. It will require the power of God in your life. Quit trying to be a perfectionist and start living a simpler life by following God’s path.

2.) God never expected perfection from you in the first place.

Even though you are a perfectionist, God knows you are not perfect. He understands your weaknesses. He sees when you put forth your best effort, even though your effort cannot reach the goal line. However, unlike the world, God does not expect you to be perfect. In fact, he knows you cannot be.
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You are clothed with perfection when you put on Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. Perfection is not something you can be; it is something you put on. You put on the perfection of Jesus. You live in him and walk in him with the complete understanding that he never sinned and never made a mistake. You allow him to guide and direct your life. When you do these simple things, the pressure leaves, and peace starts to grow in your heart and mind.

3.) Getting to the goal line in life takes one simple quality. Faithfulness.

One time Jesus spoke a parable about money. In the parable, he compared the efforts of those who had received a degree of money to manage. Those who had received the money were expected to show effort and try to increase it through wise investments.
One of the money managers was afraid. He thought he would lose the money his master gave him if he invested it. So he just hid it in the ground. At least he would not lose it, right? Wrong.
When the master returned from his journey and inquired with each money manager, he found that the first two men had increased his money through wise investments, but when he came to the third, the master was angry because the man had no effort to show. What the master said is eye-opening: “You should have at least put my money in the bank so it could gain some interest.” (paraphrase)
Listen, banks do not provide excellent interest. The master was not looking to become wealthy from the effort of those he put in charge of his money. The master was already rich. He was giving his men a test of FAITHFULNESS. What would these men decide to DO with the opportunity they had received? Their faithfulness was the quality being tested, not their skill.
The master was only looking for faithfulness. Listen to what he said to those who put forth effort:

Matthew 25:21 NKJV – His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Well done.

Who had done well? The ones who were faithful.

He called them “good” and “faithful.” They were not good because of what they did. They were good because they were the master’s servants. However, faithfulness was THEIR choice. They chose to be faithful in the little things, and because of their choice, the master was pleased.
God is not looking for perfection from you. He is looking for faithfulness. Quit being a perfectionist. God would much rather have a person who makes mistakes, admits them, and receives guidance or forgiveness, than an individual who strives for a perfection they can never reach on their own.
What will you be? Perfect or faithful? Perfection on your own merits is an illusion, but you can choose to be faithful.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

How to transform your leadership with one neglected action

The power of reading in a leader's life

Leaders are readers.

This is a very popular statement in many circles and with some audiences; and to be clear, I believe it’s true.

But…

Not all readers are leaders. Even among those who hold a position of leadership in some organization, in many cases, the leader reads simply to say they have read. I have lost count on the number of times I’ve heard something along the lines of, “Oh yeah, I read that not too long ago.”

Some read, only to say they’ve read.

If  you are a leader, then reading is an imperative value that needs to be cultivated in your life; but not so that you can simply say you have glanced over the information contained in a certain book.

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For the leader, reading should be much more than a simple transfer of information. Reading should be about inspiration for the leader; and more importantly, reading should lead to transformation.

Learning isn’t about facts, and figures. We call this memorization;  and memorization has its place; but for the leader, learning involves doing things differently. Learning has to do with the transfer of great ideas, and  strategies; and once the transfer has been made, learning that comes from reading always transforms the reader.

I have books on my shelf that I’ve already read, and reread, and re-reread. Why? Because they didn’t just impart information to me; but they made an impression on me. When a leader reads a book that makes a solid impression on him or her, it is a clue that they need to revisit the book over and over.

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Quality books are not just filled with words used to take up space, they contain principles that can be transferred. Principles are not fully understood or put into practice in a leader’s life over night. Sometimes it takes years to grasp the amazing principles you can gain from reading a book that stirs you.

Now, not every book will impact you in the same way. Some, we read and put away. They contain great information and substance; but they didn’t move you in the way other books have.

But when you find a book that moves you, grasp hold of it and don’t let it go. Chances are good a book like that has power to transform you as a leader.

http://larryshankle.com

 

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Leaders are readers; but not every reader is a leader.

I have a couple of questions for you:

  • Is your leadership better from the time you’ve invested reading?
  • What books have made a transformational impact on your own leadership?
  • Are there books that you revisit over and over again? What are they?

Here’s a few that have impacted my own leadership (some are older, others more recent):

  1. Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

  2. The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization

  3. Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer (Commitment To Spiritual Growth)

  4. The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength

  5. The Power of Vision: Discover and Apply God’s Plan for Your Life and Ministry

  6. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

  7. It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership

  8. Eisenhower on Leadership: Ike’s Enduring Lessons in Total Victory Management

  9. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

 

For further reading about the topic of leadership, read these posts:

Simple Leadership: 5 Great Ways To Bring Simplicity To Your Leadership

How To Improve Your Leadership By Leading With Integrity

Five Ways To Change Your Daily Rituals

Rituals. That’s not a word that we usually associate with our self. The fact is, though, we all have them. In fact, as I’m writing this post there is a cup of Starbucks sitting right next to me (I love to grind my own beans).

Coffee is my morning ritual.

To get up and have a cup of freshly ground, extra-bold, espresso roast, Starbucks with two pieces of ice to knock the edge off is amazing. This is something that I do. Guess what…you have things that you do everyday or nearly everyday as well. These things are your rituals.

You may not have realized that you have rituals; some things just come naturally to us. And to be sure, not all of our daily rituals are bad. Like coffee. It gets me going, makes me productive, and helps me out. On the other hand, there are rituals that we practice daily that probably don’t help us so much either. These rituals are those things we want to change about ourselves. We just don’t always know how.

For instance, I’ve always wanted to be a morning person.

Now, for full transparency, morning people used to get on my nerves. How can you be that chipper at 5 a.m.? It didn’t seem possible. How do they do that? But throughout the course of my life, even though I’ve made the best of the “way I do things”, I realized there is still a lot of room for improvement. One of those places I personally want to improve is my morning ritual. Now…before you get the wrong idea about me…let me clarify.

I may not have always been a morning person; but I have been very productive with the time I spent.

I used to work long into the night. It hasn’t been unusual for me to still be awake and working at 4 a.m. Although, I may have gotten some things done, I’ve come to the conclusion that this ritual isn’t healthy for me. It’s a ritual that needs to be changed. I bet you have some unhealthy, could be better, need some work on them, rituals as well. Luckily that’s the subject of this post!

How do we change our daily rituals? Let me start by saying that a ritual is something that is ingrained into our life.

Your rituals have probably been a part of who you are for a long time. For years now I’ve been staying up late, and working, instead of getting up at 5 a.m. It started in my teenage years. Then this ritual filtered over into my adult life when I worked a second shift job, then a third shift job. This ritual is hard to break. It’s ingrained into who I am. So it is with your rituals. The question then, is how do we change?

Let me offer five ways to change your daily rituals.

1. Set a goal for what you want to change

I know…this one probably isn’t rocket science; but it’s necessary. The act of setting a goal and writing it down somewhere helps to solidify what it is that you want to accomplish.

Pointing the direction to where you want to be is much easier with a road marker.

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That’s all a goal really is. A goal is a road marker to point the way to where you really want to go. When it comes to your daily rituals, you’re going to find that it’s much easier at the start to fall right back into what you’ve always done. You need a clear picture of where you want to be. A goal, written down and posted somewhere, is a great way to start changing your daily rituals.

goals

2. Tie up loose ends that will stop you from changing

Here’s what I mean…Every time you want to change something about yourself…something usually ends up getting in the way. It’s a loose end.

A loose end is something that you didn’t consider or make allowance for. Take for example, getting up earlier. A loose end that really needs to be tied up is how to change your night time rituals so that you get in bed sooner. What loose ends will keep you from getting the sleep you need? If you don’t tie those up, they will tie up your resolve to change.

Loose ends are a part of every big change in our life. Identify them. Eradicate them.

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3. Change your story first

This is a great point that I originally saw in a post by Micheal Hyatt. (www.michealhyatt.com) Ironically enough, he dealt with the subject of being a morning person, which I really want to be. His advice…change your story.

Instead of talking about how difficult changing your ritual will be, start talking about yourself as if you’d already made the change. For me this means I have to start saying, “I am a morning person”. What I need to stop doing is talking about how difficult it is for me to fall asleep; and if you know me, you know I’ve struggled for years to be able to sleep well.

Let me ask you a question…what conversation do you have with yourself that you need to change? I bet you have one! And scripture says that death and life are in the power of our tongue. Literally that means that we can help or hurt ourselves by what we continually let come out of our mouth. To change your ritual, change your story.

4. Get accountable

For me, this is easy…I’m doing it right now! I want to be a morning person. I’m going to be a morning person. I’m going to get the sleep my body is telling me that it needs. Done. It’s out there. Keep me accountable.
Now your turn…what is it that you’ve wanted to change for awhile now about your daily rituals; but you just haven’t found the power to do it?

My suggestion, put it out there.

Post on Facebook.

Tweet it.

Tell someone.

Tell a whole bunch of people.

Get accountable.

Allow someone to put you on the spot about your goals. The fact is, this step is probably the step that keeps most people from changing anything. Why? As long as something is only known to us, we are the only ones who know if we fail. Accountability is allowing others to see your personal report card and spur you on to better grades, so to speak.

5. Get busy

Even accountability won’t help you until you simply get started. Whatever your goal is, get going. There’s no day better than today. No time is better than now!

I hope these simple steps help you to achieve some change in your personal goal to change your daily rituals. It may not be easy; but it will be worth it.

Change Your Daily Rituals