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The Problem with Perfection

Do you try your best but your best never seems good enough?

You strive to be the ultimate friend, wife, mother, sister, daughter, employee, student, Christian….the list goes on…..and on.

What is the problem with perfection?

I always identified myself as a perfectionist, and I was proud of my self-given title. However, my endeavour to live up to the title ‘perfectionist’ left me critical and crippled.

The problem with perfection is found deep within the cogs of our heart and mind. It is the thoughts and emotions that drive our motivation for perfection. It’s the voices that tell us we are not good enough. It’s the constant need to compare our successes and failures with those around us. It’s the self-critical internal dialogue that never lets you celebrate the wins. When you dig through all the doubt, comparison and criticism you will find that the unstable foundation of perfection is FEAR!

Atelophobia [A-tel-o-pho-bia]

The fear of imperfection

The fear of never being good enough

The fear of never being good enough drives perfectionism and results in self-sabotage. We set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and then criticise our own inevitable failure. The resulting fear of failure then demands even higher expectations and the cycle continues.

{The cycle of perfectionism will never allow you to be you}

Do you see your flaws as failures, your short-comings as down-falls? Do you struggle to celebrate your achievements because you could have done better? Do you feel like you are not free to be you – the real you?

{Authenticity breaks the power of perfection}

Our Creator designed us each uniquely and our unique design demands authenticity. Our flaws are not failures, they are opportunities to display the beautiful grace of Jesus. Our flaws allow us to flourish as we embrace our uniqueness and walk in the perfection of Christ’s love for us.

{Authenticity is letting go of who you think you are meant to be and embracing who you are created to be}


When we get comfortable with our imperfections we not only lift the pressure of perfection off ourselves but we give everyone around us the permission to be real. You are completely unique, a once off, and one-off creations cannot be compared to anything else! You were created by your Father God who has specific plans and purposes just for you and God doesn’t make mistakes. You might make mistakes but you never are one.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14


We are all on a journey and it takes an appreciation of the journey to push through the fear of failure. Just like a physical journey consists of obstacles and movement so does the journey towards living an authentic life. If you struggle with perfectionism like I do then you will probably expect yourself to be able to embrace the authentic life by this time tomorrow! That is not the nature of a journey. The journey to authenticity will involve obstacles of doubt, disappointment, fear and frustration but they will be far outweighed by the movement made towards freedom and peace as we commit to the journey. You are not on this journey alone, we are here, cheering you on and praying for you every step of the way.

Today, would you make the brave choice to join me on the quest for the authentic life? Leave perfection behind, celebrate your uniqueness, embrace you flaws and commit to the journey.

{The authentic life beckons you into wide-open spaces of possibility and promise where you are free to be you}


Elise Heerde is a wife, mother, teacher and writer from Melbourne who loves Jesus and passionately shares about the grace, hope and love that He offers to all. She deeply desires to see the broken made whole, the captives set free and the lost brought home.

She found freedom from long-term depression and anxiety in Jesus and now dedicates her life to empowering and inspiring others to live in the freedom that comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus.

Elise has a Diploma in Ministry and is currently studying her Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies.

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