5 Lessons Learned from a Recovered Perfectionist

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes better.”

—Frank Peretti

On of my main functions at my day job is to oversee the training that we do as part of our work. Currently, we’re in the middle of a round of training. I’ve practiced for it. Worried over it. Wanted it to go perfectly. It doesn’t. I stumble over a word here. Forget to mention something there.

I have to remember a quote from Frank Peretti when he served as a keynote speaker at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (BRMCWC). He mentioned the quote at the top of this post when he talked about writing and the fact that a writer never masters the craft to the point of perfection. A writer can only keep practicing, honing his or her craft and making it better—not perfect.

This applies to anything we do in life as well.

A sculptor completes a masterpiece, and though it sells well, he can see minute flaws in it.

The gymnasts I’ve watched on the Olympics work toward that perfect score. No one I’ve seen has achieved it.

Singers spend hours upon hours recording in the studio, trying to capture what they think is perfection in a song. I’m sure they listen to the final product and still see room for improvement.

I could go on and on about how we strive toward a goal that simply isn’t achievable. I won’t. Perfection simply isn’t possible

But what I can do is share what I’ve learned through my own life.

Only God is perfect. He is a Creator God. He is perfection—period. We try. We may come very close, but we won’t find perfection no matter how hard we try.

We can still find joy. We don’t have to have perfection to find joy. Whenever we exercise our gifts and talents, something inexplicable happens. When we’re “in the zone” of utilizing those gifts and talents to our greatest abilities, that hard-to-explain feeling of joy springs forth.

We have a team of support. One of the biggest things I’ve learned through my day job is that no one works alone. We’re in a team. No one expects perfection. We each use our unique talents, and we serve as each other’s cheerleaders when needed.

Using our talents honors God. All of us have been gifted with certain talents and abilities, whether it be technical, artistic, athletic, or something else. He doesn’t expect perfection; He expects a good use of those abilities.

Practice does make better. We need to hone those talents. Seeking formalized training and practicing are what we can do to achieve that. As a writer, I’ve sought formalized training at conferences such as the BRMCWC. I’ve also practiced by writing well over a million words. Athletes work with coaches. Musicians often seek out master classes with those further along in their journey.

Achieving perfection is impossible, at least on this side of heaven’s gates. Instead, I encourage you to take whatever talent and/or ability you have and keep working at it. Keep practicing at it. Because I promise that the more you practice it, the better you will become at it.

In whatever we do, we'll never achieve #perfection, but by practicing, we can always become better at it. #authenticity #encouragement Click To Tweet

Question: What is one of your talents and/or abilities? How much do you practice it?

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