How to Blast past Perfectionism and Self Judgement
The Situation: In one of the best birthdays I have celebrated, we were at the University Belt Center in Manila-Recto Area. I was still on my second year in Architecture. Here we are at 11pm gathered around the birthday guy.
It was not my birthday.
We were all crowded standing around him, “prayer style”, taking out our bibles and speaking in tongues looking like we were waiting for a word from God for this birthday boy, seated on a chair on a dark worship hall. This was the UST department (it used to be Victory Campus Ministry or Youth on Fire by then – go Tigers!) composed of lady’s and men’s small groups meeting to strategize for evangelizing our campus. And celebrating a birthday. 🙂 The leaders have asked permission for us to stay over at the church center.
While no one was looking, two of our outspoken guys silently tiptoed to the toilet. I being me, just doubted seriously whether the word I got is the “correct” word to share, oh well, typical me. 🙂 I was waiting for some prophetic moment of revelation from our less self-conscious UST ladies to confirm my word.
All of a sudden, the two guys tiptoed back, this time with a bucket full of ‘cool’ water! As my birthday friend closed his eyes expecting more “religious praying” and words of blessing, the guy motioned a finger over his lips meaning “be quiet”. A wink and then motioned to slowly move back lest we get wet. We all looked at each other and woke up those who pray with eyes closed. And while our friend still crisping a smile probably seeing the Holy Trinity, suddenly cold water rained over him. He was drenched wet. Then we topped icing over his face.
Then revenge – he chased around the guilty culprits with icing all over the dark worship hall while we all laughed at his trouble.
To hide the identity of our leaders who by now are already senior pastors and national writers, let’s keep this confidential. 🙂
Expectations are a natural part of our system. Our thoughts allow us to anticipate the future. My ‘birthday’ friend expected more prayer but what he got was a bucket of water. By the way we brought some changing clothes and he forgave us. Yet we sometimes sulk and throw fits when life surprises us.
Unfair Expectations that Derail our Relationships and Personal Happiness
1. We look for Unicorns.
God is a God of miracles, no doubt about it. Setting high standards is normal. Perfection is when a person strives for flawlessness and setting excessively high standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns about other’s evaluations. It is unhealthy because it is based on what you want but on other people’s perceived opinions. Yes it is perceived.
2. We expect God to be angry and disappointed with us.
A personal vacuum is a mirror. When people are silent, we “assume” personalities for other people according to how we “perceive” our world. If our dad and community is loving and forgiving, we will perceive God to be loving and forgiving. If he is critical, passive, angry, violent or confused – we project God to be angry and judgemental toward us. And if God is angry and disappointed with us,
3. We fear making mistakes.
Immaturity is the unstable and self-defeating thinking that the fear of making a mistake and the corresponding perceived judgement of the failure is greater than the joy of learning something new.
4. Unclear Expectations
Emotions left as they are beautiful and positive. But as a leader, they are traitors of the soul!
Unclear Expectations are subjective negative judgements on a thing or a person until it or they “feel” right. Artists always use this to assess what to improve on their painting such as a dab of blue or orange or a few strokes on a portrait. On a relationship level it is judging all girls unfit based on how they “feel” right.
5. Self Judgement
For a long time, I thought I knew a lot of things. Then to know that I didn’t know me as good. I was doing a lot of stuff to myself that I didn’t quite understand.
Self Judgement starts out with seeing other people and their accomplishments. Next step is to doubt who you are and expect the same accomplishments that others have. Then start the comparison and competition until you have finally broken down and destroyed yourself.
Where did it all go wrong? False expectations that you are someone else. You will always be different from other people even your family or your friend-forever of 100 years.
Understanding who God created you to be and accepting what you want now and in the future versus what you haven’t accomplished yet, is the bedrock of emotional and mental health. Sometimes religion (the traditional, cultural and judgemental expectations) can blur what you want and what other people want, but the answer is also there. Read on.
Not Taking Responsibility.
After hearing the ways that we are setting ourselves up for depression and heartache. Here’s the good news. It doesn’t have to be that way. The answer lies with you.
Two thousand years ago, someone already decided that you are love-able and that your heart will now, and evermore, be potentially good. The catch is, He believes that no matter how bad the situation is, He trusts, He certainly bets that you could pull yourself together and reverse wherever you are and live your best life ever. His name is Jesus.
He not only suffered to give you this kind of life. He chose to die for it, knowing that death is not enough to stop Him. But you have to take responsibility to speak to those proud audacious and confusing thoughts and take them down. If you do, you would be able to hear Him speak. And its about His powerful love and unstoppable faith.