Growth vs. Perfection

Did you know, YOU are ALREADY amazing?

Yes, YOU. YOU are.

This book I’m reading tells us so: “You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be.”

Chapter 3 is called: Why is it so hard to believe I’m amazing? (Great freaking question, right?)

Holley, the author, then breaks down lies we tell ourselves:

LIE #1: “I have to be perfect.”

For context, right before I read page 46, I had just written out my entire “2017 Goals” list with a detailed timeline to achieve them: Pay off my credit cards, lose 20 pounds, have my pre-requisites done for school, submit my applications, increase my credit score, become a fitness Instagram influencer, grow my blog, get paid more, and the list goes on.

So, what does page 46 say? It tells us that the goal is not perfection, it’s growth, and what the difference is between the two:


Perfectionism is all or nothing.

Growth is little by little.

Perfectionism is all about the goal.

Growth is more about the journey.

Perfectionism is about outward appearances.

Growth is about what happens on the inside.

Perfectionism is about what we do.

Growth is about who we’re becoming.

I looked at my 2017 list again & this is what I realized:

  • I tackle self-care, my diet & weight loss journey as all or nothing. If I mess up one day, the entire week is shot.
  • My entire 2017 check-list was all about the end-goal, the destination, not the journey. “When I lose 20 pounds or get a higher-paying job, then I’ll be happy.”
  • Most of my goals were focused on my outward appearance, how I look on paper or on social media.
  • My plan was all about what to DO to get there — I made a detailed, daily, step-by-step timeline on the exact steps needed to achieve my goals (if that’s not a perfectionist, I don’t know what is).

See the common theme? I’m clearly focusing on the wrong things.

But, unfortunately, perfectionism has always been my main disease. I have made myself miserable, trying to always be better, be thinner, be this, be that. I can NEVER be content with who or where I am. Perfectionism is why I’ve gone to therapy, suffered from eating disorders, battled anxiety & been so hard on my personal & professional relationships. Living my life writing to-do or goal check-lists, like I did before reading page 46, was a form of reassurance for me., I guess. In my mind, it would make it so I wouldn’t become complacent and, heaven forbid, enjoy myself & life at it is.


But guess what ladies & gents: you DON’T have to be perfect.

The real goal is GROWTH, not perfection. Because, if you strive for perfection, you’ll be striving & falling short for the rest of your life.

If you battle the same struggle, take this poem to heart, whether you are religious or not:

Why You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

I know perfectionism.
She calls my name and says:
“You will never be good enough.”
And sometimes I listen.
I cower in a corner.
Or I endlessly run.
But it’s always about fear.
Then these words stop me in my tracks,
grab me by the heart,
and invite grace to speak instead:
“Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18)
I don’t have to be perfect.
I only need to be perfectly loved.
And I am.
So are you.

Never forget it.


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