The Performance Trap

The Performance Trap

For perfectionists, the pressure is always on . . . and the performance never stops. All of life is lived under the glare of an unforgiving spotlight. The smallest blemish . . . the tiniest flaw . . . the slightest mistake is sure to raise an eyebrow and silence sought-after acceptance.Even when reason seems skewed, the Psalms offer hope for the afflicted.

Perfectionists are performers, but they are also prisoners . . . chained to the opinions of others—their self-acceptance invariably linked to cherished accolades. Overlooked crumbs on the kitchen counter leave a perfectionist humiliated before guests. A student’s self-worth plummets if a record of high-scoring As is broken by an unbearable B.

Even when compliments do come, such praise provides only a fleeting moment of pleasure because now the bar—the measure for self-worth—is simultaneously raised even higher. Instead, God’s plan is that we aim for excellence, not perfection . . . to accomplish our personal best with the gifts He gives us, using the power He provides.

Q & A — Perfectionists & procrastination…

“I used to be a perfectionist who accomplished so much, but now I can’t even get to work on time or get my work finished. Why am I constantly procrastinating?”

A perfectionist often procrastinates because the “fear of failure” takes control of emotions and paralyzes productivity. Perfectionists seek to get their need for significance met through excellent work, but perfection is an impossible goal to maintain. The time eventually comes when the work is never quite good enough, and it seems better to do nothing than to risk feeling like a failure.

If you are serious about moving beyond perfection-driven procrastination . . .

  • Change your goal from seeking to please others in order to earn acceptance and begin trusting the Lord for His unconditional acceptance.
  • Realize that your significance comes from Christ, residing in you, not from any of your accomplishments.
  • View your work as being given to you by the Lord and as your opportunity to allow His wisdom to work within you and through you to accomplish His purposes.
  • Focus on pleasing the Lord in all you do with a heart of genuine gratitude.

“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)

What God says…

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” (Ephesians 6:7)

Additional verses to read: John 14:27Psalm 139:23-24Ecclesiastes 2:22-23Romans 12:2

ABOUT JUNE HUNT June Hunt is the Founder and CSO (Chief Servant Officer) of Hope for the Heart, the nonprofit Christian ministry she founded in 1986....

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