To all my fellow perfectionists out there, I have a word of caution. No, not the ones you’ve already heard before:
If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never succeed.
Thomas Edison didn’t fail, he discovered 1,000 ways NOT to make a light bulb.
Blah, blah, blah, blah….
Most of us have come to grips with the well-known dangers of our “disorder.” The constant worrying. The paranoia. The dreams never pursued and projects never initiated. The countless arguments we have with people in our head (please, can you just be quiet for one second Clarence!).
But let me warn you about one danger of perfectionism that you may have missed (I know, as a perfectionist the thought of that absolutely drives you crazy, doesn’t it?). Out of your visceral, impulsive, overwhelming fear of being wrong. Of missing the mark. Of being left out of the conversation…
…you are very easily manipulated.
By some evil, vindictive mastermind? Maybe. (The worst kind use God as their manipulation tool). But most likely by sincere, strong-minded people who are just pursuing their own passions and calling. When you can’t bear the thought of being wrong, you’ll quickly migrate toward anything that makes you feel “right.” Accepted. “In.” That can be dangerous ground.
Take a quick assessment. Your obsession with perfection may be more than an irritant to your spouse or a frustration to your kids. It could be manipulating you. Controlling you. Even dulling your ability to hear the voice of the (only) Perfect One. (John 16:13).
Of course, I could be wrong (a potential imperfection I’m learning to live with).
What do you think?