Does Striving For Perfection Drive You Bananas?

Going Bananas

Early in our marriage, Mr. 4-Ever made the mistake of mentioning how much he enjoyed another woman’s banana bread. Not to be outdone, I took it upon myself to make his life complete by creating my own perfect loaf of banana bread. I tried a dozen recipes, but none of them turned out well.

We ate a lot of really mediocre banana bread and threw an obscene amount of banana bread in the trash. No matter what I did, I could not get the bread to come out right.

I cried. I whined. I obsessed.

Finally, Dave told me that his appetite for banana bread had waned. He said as nicely as he could that my insane pursuit of perfecting banana bread was done and I needed to quit wasting my time and our money. 

Perfection steals your joy and your time!

Maybe I’m the only one who lets perfection run her life, but I gotta believe I’m not alone. In another blog, I wrote how striving for perfection isolates you and steals your joy, but have you considered how much time you waste when you pursue perfection relentlessly? When you insist on do-over after do-over till it’s perfect, you waste time and resources unnecessarily. And if you don’t have the time to make it perfect, you are miserable!

If you need to re-do your hair, your makeup, your banana bread, your test score, and most of your conversations, you will waste a lot of time and energy.

I wish I had a nickel for every dessert I trashed cuz the edges were overdone. Every brush I threw when my hair wasn’t just right. Every writing project I discarded cuz it wasn’t good enough.

Here’s the Truth!

Replace the lie that your work needs to be perfect with the truth of God’s word that says you only need to do your best.

The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.” Colossians 3:23-24 

When perfection tries to ruin your life, how do you recognize it and keep it from taking over? I’d love to hear your strategy. Leave me a comment below. 

Prayer: Father, you created us to do our best but not be robbed of our joy, time and resources chasing perfection. Whisper your pleasure to us and with us. In Jesus Name. Amen.