Part 2. How Trying to Be Perfect is Sabotaging Your Fitness Goals!

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Are you feeling stuck in a cycle on your fitness journey, constantly striving for an unattainable level of perfection? You're not alone. Many of us find ourselves trapped in a cycle of self-doubt and relentless effort, driven by past experiences and deeply ingrained feelings of inadequacy. These feelings often stem from childhood memories—whether it's someone telling us we were a failure, growing up with limited resources, or experiencing rejection. But there's hope. 

Our worth is not defined by our past or our performance. Today, we're going to learn three things we can do when the pressure to be perfect creates a cycle of sabotage.

Understanding the Roots of Perfectionism

Let’s start by acknowledging where these feelings come from. Childhood experiences have a profound impact on our identity and how we see the world. Perhaps you were told that you weren't good enough, or maybe you grew up in an environment where love and acceptance felt conditional. These experiences can plant deep-seated beliefs that we carry into adulthood, often manifesting as an incessant need to prove ourselves.

This need to prove ourselves can turn into a relentless pursuit of perfection. We strive to look perfect, get fit, eat perfect, and be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect friend, and the perfect Christian. We set impossible standards for ourselves, believing that if we can just be perfect, we'll finally be worthy of love and acceptance.

But here's the truth: perfectionism is a lie. It’s a trap that keeps us from experiencing the fullness of God's grace and love. When we chase after perfection, we are essentially saying that God's grace isn't enough, that His love for us is contingent on our performance. And that's simply not true.

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Breaking the Cycle of Perfectionism

Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
God's love is unconditional. It's not based on our achievements or how perfectly we perform. It's based on who He is and His perfect love for us.

So, how do we break free from the cycle of perfectionism?

1. Align Your Expectations with God's: First, we need to recognize that our expectations should come from God, not from the world's standards or even our own. God's expectation is not that we will be perfect, but that we grow in Christ-like character being changed from glory to glory. He calls us to trust in Him, to lean on His strength, and to rest in His grace.

Psalm 62:5-8  tells us, "My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God." Psalm 62:5-8 (NKJV)

Ask yourself, are my expectations godly or worldly? Am I putting way too much pressure on myself? Spend time each day reminding yourself of who God says you are. You are His beloved daughter, chosen and dearly loved. Your worth is found in Him alone, not in what you do or how you look.

2. Recognize the Cycle of Perpetual Disappointment: When we chase perfection, we set ourselves up for a cycle of perpetual disappointment. Each time we fall short of these lofty goals, feelings of inadequacy and failure creep in. We might start to believe that we are not fit enough, not disciplined enough, not strong enough.

This can be particularly hard on our mental and emotional well-being. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and a sense of isolation. We may even start to distance ourselves from God, thinking that we are unworthy of His love because we are not perfect.

Things you can do:

  • Set realistic goals. Don’t compare yourself to others. Remember my quote, “Don’t covet, compare, or condemn yourself, you are a daughter of the King!”
  • Be kind to yourself when things don’t go the way you planned.
  • What lessons can you learn? Do B- work! Perfectionism sucks the creativity and joy out of you.

2 Corinthians 12:9  tells us, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." We don’t have to be perfect for God to love us. In fact, it's in our weaknesses and imperfections that His grace shines the brightest. 

3. Surround Yourself with a Community of Grace: And finally, surround yourself with a community of grace-filled women who can remind you of these truths. We need each other. We need friends who will speak life into us, who will remind us of God's promises, and who will walk alongside us as we learn to rest in God's perfection over our own. If this sounds like something you need, I’d like to invite you to join Fit Sisters in Christ.

Codie Newcome of Biblical Counseling shares something so beautiful on this topic:
"Imagine now a woman who truly understands that her righteousness comes from being united with Christ. She is clothed in His perfection and not her own. She is filled with the joy, peace, and contentment that come from knowing who she is in Him. She can humbly confess with the apostle Paul that she has not yet attained perfection, which gives her freedom from dwelling on the past or focusing on her mistakes and failures (Philippians 3:12-14). She has traded her striving after a self-made standard of perfection with a desire to press on toward being more like Jesus Christ. She is free to serve the Lord and others out of love and obedience, focusing less on herself and more on the needs of those around her. With the Lord’s help, she stops gazing intently on herself, and instead seeks to fix her eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfector of her faith (Hebrews 12:2)." Source

Closing Prayer

As we close this blog, I’d like to offer a prayer for all of us who struggle with these feelings:

Dear God, we come before you with humble hearts, acknowledging our imperfections and our constant striving for perfection. Help us to release the burdens of unrealistic expectations and to find rest in Your perfect love. Remind us that our worth is found in You, not in our perfect performance or achievements. Grant us the grace to embrace our weaknesses and to lean on Your strength. Surround us with a supportive community and fill us with Your peace.

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Final Thoughts

Write these down in first person and hold onto them:

  • Her expectation comes from the Lord
  • She is clothed in God’s Perfection, not her own
  • Her failures remind her of the Cross and lead her to Christ

If this message spoke to your heart, I encourage you to share it with a friend who might need the same reminder. Let's continue to lift each other up and walk in the freedom that Christ offers.

Remember, you are loved, you are enough, because He is enough, and you are perfectly imperfect in God's eyes.

Yes, You are Strong. Confident. His!


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