Perfectionism & People of Influence
Do you struggle with perfectionism? Carol Harrison describes how perfectionism can prevent you from being a positive influence.
When we think about our puzzle pieces called influence and a longing for having significance, we also see a sneaky little piece try and take their place. It is called perfectionism. We want to be significant, we want to be a positive influence but we want to do it perfectly. We don’t want failure to be part of the equation or the puzzle piece called weakness either.
The dictionary defines perfectionism as: refusal to accept any standard short of perfection. Philosophy uses this to describe it: a doctrine holding that religious, moral, social, or political perfection is attainable, especially the theory that human moral or spiritual perfection should be or has been attained.
Struggling With Perfectionism
Do you ever struggle with perfectionism and does it hinder you from trying something new? Does it keep you from talking to someone else or helping someone else because you might not do it good enough?
Carol Kent in her book, Becoming a Woman of Influence, said this, “We need to give up your perfectionistic expectations. We will never be a perfect reflection of Jesus Christ. The truth is if we follow Christ’s example we will admit our failures, talk though the growth produced in our lives and keep pointing people to Jesus.”
We Don’t Have to be Perfect
Does that give you a chance to heave a sigh of relief? We don’t have to be perfect to point people to Christ—to be positive influences. As we live our daily lives, do we blend in with the world around us or are we a counter cultural force? Do we have credibility because our words and actions match up?
Are we authentic, completely sold out to God? Or do we wear our masks regularly? You know the ones we put on so others think we have it all together, so they can’t see that we need help or are hurting. Or the ones that keep people at a distance. We don’t want to feel obligated to know enough about their needs to maybe be asked to help them. Masks that say I’m fine when inside you’re falling apart.
Great influencers know how to nurture the potential in others to help them fulfill their God given purpose. Great influencers don’t judge others but reach out to help them in time of need or in time of wanting to learn more.
Jesus is our example. In Philippians 2: 5 we read,
“Let this attitude be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus had a powerful influence on all who heard him while he ministered here on earth. People followed him, learned from him, were healed by him and there were those that hated him, hated the truth of God that he proclaimed in word and in deed.
The Bible, God’s Word to us, gives us food we need to grow to be more Christ like in our lives and this will be a positive influence on those around us.
Colossians 3: 12-17 gives us a look at what our lives should be looking like to others.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful
Let the word of Christ swell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
A Positive Influence to Others
Think about the positive influence to others you can be when you treat them with kindness, compassion, and love; when you forgive and help them bear their burdens; when you are thankful instead of full of complaints and when they see the peace of God in every aspect of your life.
Nothing takes God by surprise. He can use our weaknesses as long as we choose to give them all to him. In 2 Corinthians 12: 9 we read,
“But he said to me, “ My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
The Best of our Abilities
Wanting to do things perfectly is impossible, but doing things God asks us to do, to the best of our abilities, allows Him to use us to help someone else, to influence others positively, and to have an impact on the world around us.
Are we willing to let go of the puzzle piece of perfectionism and be the person God wants us to be—loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, thankful and most of all available to be a person of influence right where we land.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope.
She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.