The Pressure of Perfection

Updated: Aug 17, 2019

I have always been one to set goals and standards and aim to reach them. Sometimes I fell short, but it was ammunition to make me work harder. On the first day of PA school, I walked into the classroom and unsurprisingly, I was the only black student. I tried to go in with a positive mindset, but there was an air of entitlement and "segregation"-- all the minority hung tight, and then there was everyone else. To make matters worse, on one of my rotations, the preceptor began to share his thoughts on HBCU's and how he disliked the idea of them. Whhaaatt?? You gotta be kidding me... He challenged me daily with deep questions, while taking it easy on the Caucasian student.

By the end of the rotation he sha

red that while I was prepared, I was not AS prepared as the other student. From this point on, I began to set the bar higher and higher and would fight hard to meet the mark I was setting for myself, but did not realize it was not just to achieve excellence, but to avoid failure.

Perfection is a state that is unrealistic and a setup for failure! Some seek the perfect body, or perfect looks. You can easily point out a perfectionist at times because they have all the answers and front like their life is perfect. At the heart of the matter, perfectionists seek the approval of others and can even impose their standards on others-- particularly their children. For instance, spending a great deal of time on academic activities with young children, rather than allowing for creative expression or free play. According the the American Psychological Association, perfectionism can make one more susceptible to mental pathologies like anxiety, depression, or even suicide.

If you find yourself heading down this path do a self check--we all need them sometimes! "We all stumble in many ways.."(James 3:2), and God's strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)...God already knew our imperfections, but loved us just the same.

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