The Performance Trap


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The Performance Trap

For perfectionists, the pressure is always on . . . and the performance never stops. All of life is lived under the glare of an unforgiving spotlight. The smallest blemish . . . the tiniest flaw . . . the slightest mistake is sure to raise an eyebrow and silence sought-after acceptance.  Even when reason seems skewed, the Psalms offer hope for the afflicted.

Perfectionists are performers, but they are also prisoners . . . chained to the opinions of others—their self-acceptance invariably linked to cherished accolades. Overlooked crumbs on the kitchen counter leave a perfectionist humiliated before guests. A student’s self-worth plummets if a record of high-scoring As is broken by an unbearable B.

Even when compliments do come, such praise provides only a fleeting moment of pleasure because now the bar—the measure for self-worth—is simultaneously raised even higher. Instead, God’s plan is that we aim for excellence, not perfection . . . to accomplish our personal best with the gifts He gives us, using the power He provides.

Q & A — Perfectionists & procrastination…

“I used to be a perfectionist who accomplished so much, but now I can’t even get to work on time or get my work finished. Why am I constantly procrastinating?”

A perfectionist often procrastinates because the “fear of failure” takes control of emotions and paralyzes productivity. Perfectionists seek to get their need for significance met through excellent work, but perfection is an impossible goal to maintain. The time eventually comes when the work is never quite good enough, and it seems better to do nothing than to risk feeling like a failure.

If you are serious about moving beyond perfection-driven procrastination . . .

  • Change your goal from seeking to please others in order to earn acceptance and begin trusting the Lord for His unconditional acceptance.
  • Realize that your significance comes from Christ, residing in you, not from any of your accomplishments.
  • View your work as being given to you by the Lord and as your opportunity to allow His wisdom to work within you and through you to accomplish His purposes.
  • Focus on pleasing the Lord in all you do with a heart of genuine gratitude.

“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” 

Psalm 86:11




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If so, please choose Women of Faith's other resources on this and other relevant topics (Quick Reference Guide, Keys for Living Books and e-Books).

Grace Filled Words:

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.’” 

Psalm 111:10

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Hebrews 12:14–15

“The wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery.”

Ecclesiastes 8:5–6

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

Additional Scriptures: 

Philippians 3:3–14 

Philippians 4:5

John 7:3, 8

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