This week I had the privilege of being a part of my sweet friend Amy Carroll’s book release party for her new book, Breaking Up With Perfect: Kiss Perfection Good-Bye and Embrace the Joy God Has In Store for You. Here’s a few pictures from our awesome and fun evening!
The whole night was about breaking up with the tendency to try to be perfect, or at least look and seem perfect to others. Can you relate?
Maybe your struggle with perfectionism is real and this would be the perfect book for you – but even if you think you don’t struggle with this issue, you might be surprised.
Recently I read Breaking Up with Perfect and Amy’s words opened my eyes not only to the fact that I am apparently a perfectionist in denial, but that it has affected my life and my relationships in a lot of different ways.
One point Amy drives home throughout her message is that no matter who we are or how we are, us women will most likely be able to identify with one of two categories —- the Good Girl Syndrome, or the Never Good Enough Syndrome.
In the first chapter, Amy says this. “How did we get to the place where all looks well on the outside but we’re starved on the inside? Some lovers of Perfect live with the Good Girl Syndrome. These women are rule followers by nature and bask in earning the pleasure of the people surrounding them. Others live with the Never Good Enough Syndrome. These women use their flawless exterior to cover the wounds and shame of their pasts. Both kinds of women build an external structure rule by rule and pleasant smile by pleasant smile. We seek to portray our lives as picturesque cottages with English gardens surrounded by white picket fences. But inside the rooms of our hearts are empty, echoing boxes devoid of the wonderful messiness of deep relationships, love, authenticity, and compassion.”
I don’t know which category you identify with most, but as for me, I think I fall most into the Never Good Enough Syndrome category. I’m positive the term ‘flawless exterior’ would not be one I’d use to describe myself, but I’ve always known I’m a Type A, task-master, goal-oriented, to-do list driven, over achiever. A woman who might appear confident, but who would let any criticism knock her to her knees and cause her to go hide in the bathroom and sulk if she felt unliked, rejected or unaccepted by someone, or a group of someones. A woman who would carefully but quietly distance herself from the person(s) who had hurt her, or made her feel not enough and keep them at a safe distance from that point forward. Fear of rejection and the hurt of other people’s unkindness has always been a struggle for me, and has sometimes even caused relationships that I cared about to dwindle.
But to be perfectly honest, I honestly never considered any of those things “perfectionist” tendencies, and certainly never considered myself a perfectionist. Okay, well maybe a little, but not full on perfectionist!
The good news is that my walk with God over the past several years has helped with all of that so much, although that syndrome still tries to rear its’ ugly head every now and then and I have to fight the urge to retreat into hiding or put up walls if I feel threatened, hurt or uncomfortable. Yet I honestly never considered how those personality traits affected my relationships with others, much less how it affected my relationship with God.
Amy said this in Chapter Eight, “In the end, I don’t want to be known for completing my lists. I want to be known for loving God and loving others well.” I loved that.
Might we all stop worrying about completing our to-do lists, trying to be super-woman-wife-mom-employee-boss-church volunteer-ministry leader-best friend-cookiebaker-PTA President-symbol of perfection and confidence, and start letting down our guards, tearing down walls, asking God to fill our hearts, and letting loving people and sharing the love of Jesus be our motivator for all we do, think and say? How life changes when we care most about loving God and others, and less about our busyness and our attempts to look like we have it all together.
I could write on and on about this message in Breaking Up With Perfect, because I know it’s one that will change hearts and free women from trying to live up to expectations they were never meant to live up to. But whether you are a Good Girl or a Never Good Enough Girl, I believe God might have some sweet nuggets of truth to speak into your heart through Amy’s words.
To enter to win a copy of Breaking Up With Perfect, leave a comment sharing which ‘syndrome’ you struggle with most and how this book might be a great read for you this summer.
To purchase your copy of Breaking Up With Perfect which released just this week, CLICK HERE! (Note: Today’s the last day for Proverbs 31’s flash sale of this book at a price of only $11.00 per book!)