Perfect is (im)Possible
Yesterday, I started reading Make it Happen by Lara Casey, one of my favorite female entrepreneurs. I'm sure this won't be my only post about her or the book, but I've already found too many gems worth sharing. I'm a sucker for entrepreneurial and leadership "self-help" books. Find me an engaging author with exceptional one-liners that I can quote on my Twitter and write on post-it notes, and I'm hooked. The problem is, I've read so many of them, that it becomes all too easy to be a little bit numb to the sage advice that is poured out on the best-selling pages in my hands. So, when the book started by saying, "What is holding you back from fully living?" I quickly jotted down the same answer in my journal that I always give.
The same answer. I am still writing down the same answer. Control. Comparison. Insecurity. Drive for perfection. I have been writing those answers down in every Bible study, journal, and self-analysis for 22 years.
It's jarring to see your words on paper. I tried to breeze by it thinking, "Okay, okay, this is always going to be your struggle. That's good, you're being honest," but then I encountered the next question: "Do you feel like you are chasing perfect - trying to measure up to an impossible standard?" I stared at it for a long time because honestly, I chase perfect every day. I love perfect. It didn't feel like a "confession" or a "revelation" to admit that, yes, of course I chase perfect.
So I wrote, "The bigger problem is that I'm still convinced that my perfect is possible." And I wasn't exaggerating.
I believe that most of us are often plagued by the same struggles. Even if you over come them and learn to live free from your insecurities or judgement or eating disorder or deceitfulness, you'll be tempted at some point to fall back into the same old routine. However, a new problem arises when we know what our struggle is, we know our weakness, and we still indulge because we don't really believe that it's that bad.
Like an alcoholic who knows it could kill him, he keeps reaching for the same drink. The words in this book are not new to me, but they provide a fresh perspective. There have been seasons of my life where I have learned to give my burdens to the One who can take them and live life free from my addictions. But, I haven't been filling up with the things to help me achieve that kind of lifestyle as of late. I've been stressed, going through too many changes, and not taking the time to recoup.
I know that perfect is impossible, but I tell myself otherwise every. single. day. And I'm wrong, but that doesn't stop me. Like any addiction, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Been there, done that. In my experience, the only lasting way to stay sober from chasing perfection is to constantly fill up on things that remind you of what is most important and point you towards inspiration.
If you still think your perfect is possible, don't just admit it. Work on it. Keep working. Work every single day to embrace imperfection, or it will become easy to start living a life of what could be, rather than a life that is yours.