Recently I had some work of mine reviewed. Flashbacks of when I was in the workforce facing the dreaded "annual performance evaluation" sent chills vibrating down my spine. The fear victims experience in my recent suspense series pales in comparison to the terror I felt sitting down in my manager's office as he shut the door.
I always fared extremely well in those evaluations and should have been ecstatic. BUT although 99% of the feedback was positive I would invariably zero in on the 1%, beating myself up over it. Why? Because my name is Patti, and I'm a perfectionist.
Focusing on the1% stripped away every ounce of joy I had in my accomplishments. The joy morphed into fear and doubt. Fortunately, later on in life, I had a supervisor who cared enough to knock me off that pedestal of perfectionism by pointing out the 1% did not represent failure, but an opportunity for growth.
The same curse of perfectionism attacks me spiritually. When doing my daily examination of conscience, I beat myself up because once more I have sins to confess. Growing anger and disappointment tempts me to throw my hands up and accept the fact I'm a total loser. I even told my priest that during one of my trips to the confessional. He just smiled and reminded me of Ecclesiastes 7:20, "yet there is no one on earth so just as to do good and never sin." He added that God does not want us to wallow in guilt or disappointment, but learn from our mistakes, strive to do better and move forward in faith.
Pastor Rick Warren also has wise words on the topic: "If you struggle with perfectionism, then ask God to help you deeply understand that he loves you unconditionally," which brings me to this wonderful quote: