A study at Hewlett-Packard examined how qualified people felt they needed to be before they applied for jobs. They found that many won’t apply for a job unless their qualifications line up with the job description 100 percent. Others applied for jobs even if they were only 60 percent qualified.
Those statistics made authors Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory wonder how many good opportunities people miss out on because they’re hesitant to step out until their circumstances are perfect. There’s a word for that.
Perfectionists can’t be satisfied by excellence. They need something more. Perfectionists spin their need to be flawless to sound noble, maybe even super-spiritual. But in reality, they’re handcuffing themselves. As Ken Davis says, “A perfectionist is not someone who’s perfect. It’s someone who’s miserable because they can’t get it right.”
So why do perfectionists handle life the way they do? They do it to avoid all mistakes, all failure, and all criticism. The problem is, there’s only one way to do that: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory are joining us for our broadcast “Ending the Pursuit of the Perfect Life.” They describe the four bullies of trying to live a perfect life:
• People pleasing
Kathi and Cheri say these bullies keep us from enjoying good relationships with God and with others. They lie to us, saying, “You haven’t worked hard enough. You haven’t done everything on your to-do list,” – maybe even, “You aren’t good enough. You don’t deserve good things from God or from others.”
Our guests will share how you can find peace and hope, and how God can help you with your perfectionistic tendencies.
If you believe in what we’re doing at Focus on the Family, I invite you to become a monthly partner with us. We’ll send you a copy of Kathi’s and Cheri’s book, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, as our way of saying thank you.
If becoming a monthly supporter is beyond your means right now, I hope you’ll consider a one-time gift. We’ll still send you a copy of the book to say thank you!