I’m Breaking Up With Perfect

Have you ever been in a relationship you knew was bad but didn’t know how to end it? Whether it is a friend who betrayed us, a boyfriend who ignored us, or a coworker who undermined us, unhealthy relationships are bad for the soul. But there is one relationship that steals potential from all of our ther relationships—including our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with God. It’s our relationship with Perfect.

Perfect is a bad friend. No matter what we do or say or give or take or create…it’s never enough. Perfect always demands more, but it’s never satisfied. Never.

My friend Amy Carroll has written a new book I just love!! And she’s on a mission to help us all break up once and for all with our unfaithful friend: Perfection! And today she stopped by to share her heart and her book with us on my blog – plus she’s giving away a copy too

AmyC“As I rummaged through the damaged store, I hurried toward a colorful decoration that caught my eye. A hurricane had ravaged the seaside store’s merchandise, but there were a few treasures left.

My prize that day was a papier-mâché figure of Santa Clause directing a band of animal musicians. Since my husband was a band director, seeing Jolly Old Saint Nick with his conductor’s baton poised made my heart sing even though it was a balmy North Carolina summer outside.

I carefully carried the figurines to the cash register and made them mine.

Nearly skipping with joy down the sidewalk, suddenly I tripped and dropped my fragile treasures. My face fell with dismay as I peeked inside the bag only to see pieces of Santa and his friends lying jagged and free-floating at the bottom.

When I got home, I gently removed the pieces and lay them out on a table. One by one, I drew a thin line of glue on the narrow edges and began to put them back together.

The results weren’t altogether terrible.

Santa’s pedestal is webbed with cracks and the beaver is missing a leg, but unless guests get too close, they’ll never know the trauma Kris Kringle endured. He’s broken but still beautiful, and a smile stretches across my face each Christmas as I unpack him from his protective box.

Why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?

All of us have a level of brokenness from our own sin nature or from sin leveled against us. We all have cracks of insecurity, shards of sin, and flaws of failure, but for most of my life I’ve wanted to hide mine. I’ve wanted to glaze over my brokenness with a façade of perfection.

If I had found only a perfect Santa acceptable, I would have either tossed him after his fall, or I would have hidden him away in the box with the other outdated, worn-out ornaments.

That’s ok with an object, but we’d never do that to an imperfect person. We’re all in the same boat! So why are we afraid others will do it to us? That maybe God will too?

So we keep others at arm’s length, never allowing anyone to get too close, or we hide behind our walls of shame or false perfection. We try to earn acceptance and love with our just-right words and our thought-out actions, feeling more and more lonely all the time, when in truth…

Authenticity is the antidote for isolation.

Jesus doesn’t despise us in our brokenness, tossing us away or hiding the fact that He loves us. He gently takes our pieces and glues them back together with His grace, compassion, and forgiveness. If we’ll only lay down our masks of perfection and surrender to His perfecting work, Jesus lovingly sets us out for the world to see and claims us as His own.

I’ve been on a journey to break up with perfect, and I’m finding my relationships with others are deeper than ever when I’m real about my flaws. In the process, I’m able to point to Jesus as the Perfect One, our ultimate hero, and I’m resting in the lavish love I’m finding in Him.” ~ Amy Carroll, from her new boo: “Breaking Up With Perfect”

BUWP-CoverENTER TO WIN
To celebrate the release of her new book “Breaking Up with Perfect” Amy Carroll is giving a copy away!

ARE YOU READY to BREAK UP with PERFECT? If so, leave a comment below this post where entries will be gathered and a winner will be chosen. Please CLICK HERE if you’re reading via email. All comments must be shared on my blog to be entered. THANKS!!

 

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Heather P says:

    I long for the day when I can let go of the unrealistic expectations I have for myself and rest in God’s peace, knowing that He says I’m good enough. Thank you for your post and ministry.

    • I too share your longing but why is it that it always comes tomorrow; which we can never quite catch up with?

  2. Tammy Dobson says:

    I would love to read your book 🙂 Thank you for sharing:)

    • Barbara says:

      I really need to read this book! I trust we all struggle with our own expectations to be higher than realistic and it really could be mixed in with our own “pride” of who we are! Ouch…..
      Thank you for the opportunity of winning the book giveaway!

  3. I struggle with this all the time I feel I won’t measure to everyone’s standards. Thank you!

  4. Aimee W says:

    I would love to read this book. Thank you for sharing!

  5. This sounds like a great book. I am trying to do this exact thing in my life. I am very hard on myself, my son, and my boyfriend!! It is not healthy for anyone, so I want to change myself to accept not being perfect, after all, Jesus is the only perfect person!!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Lisa, I totally understand! It took me wrecking a few friendships to recognize the problem, but seeing it is the biggest hurdle. When we surrender our own view of perfection, Jesus is faithful to do His gentle perfecting work in us!

  6. Jessie Kern says:

    You know, you never think, at least I don’t that I struggle with perfection until you read the “symptoms”. I do struggle with what people think about me and hold back admitting that I do things wrong sometimes unless I am running myself down. This is not good either. It is sad that we can’t go to each other and pray for each other for things other than physical illness. That is important, but oh how important is our spiritual health.
    Thank you for sharing with us how to break up with Perfection!

  7. Kim Reed says:

    I’ve been trying to break away from perfection for 40 years! I’m so excited to read this book and learn from it. But most important I hope to teach my 8 yr old not to follow my “It has to be Perfect!” footsteps and learn that not being perfect is good too.

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Gracious, yes! I see the effects of my own perfectionism in my oldest son, and it breaks my heart. It’s been a great joy to be on this journey to break up with perfect with him, though!

  8. Patsy McWhorter says:

    All my life I have struggled with prefection so others would accept me. Wearing mask to look a certain way. Little by little God is chipping away at my mask making my into the person He desires me to be. Sounds like this book would be a helpful tool for Him to use.

  9. Melissa says:

    I have struggled with perfection all my life. And yes, it has kept me from deep authentic relationships with others in fear of what they would think of the “real” me. Perfection is a lonely place, and I am constantly seeking God’s help to try and “let go”. I need to read this book!

  10. Katrina says:

    I, like so many others, am constantly beating myself up because I am never good enough. And, honestly, I feel as though I never measure up to anyone else’s expectations of me, either. I certainly need to learn to change my way of thinking.

  11. kerrie adams says:

    This is something I have struggled with forever – if I don’t win the book – I will be looking for it on the shelves. I just said to a friend – I wish I could see myself through your eyes. I think this book may help me with that and seeing myself as He does. Thanks for the opportunity to possibly win your book!

  12. I have so very many cracks and broken places. But you know what? While I wish they weren’t there and long for the day of complete healing, I’m grateful for each one, because with each one the Lord has called me ever closer to Him. Even though despite my best efforts I’ve never measured up to anyone’s expectations, and it’s a daily battle not to sink into the pit, in His eyes I see Love. And acceptance. And forgiveness. I am a daughter of The King! And so are YOU!

  13. Paige E says:

    Oh, Father God, you crack me up sometimes. I’m over here sitting at my desk, pouring over Todays’ Christian Woman online articles about perfection and unrealistic expectations and I get a ding on my email. I switch over and in big black letters there is an email from Renee Swope saying “I’m breaking up with perfect.” SO funny! Bad funk this week. I think most of it comes from a bad case of “I don’t get to’s.” I’m fighting back with praising my God, but its a tough battle this week. Then I berate myself mercilessly for not having a grateful heart. Ridiculous. God peels back layers and allows me to see that I just don’t like myself very much. My inability to follow a healthy diet or exercise program consistently, my getting frustrated at my boys for their ungrateful hearts (which I think is just a reflection of my own), not doing enough at my struggling church, not spending enough time with my husband who desires more of me and feels less prioritized than my boys-whom I don’t feel I spend enough time with because of my job. Whew! Oh how I long to just be me and not worry about all of this! To truly be done with my perfection seeking self who holds me to crazy high standards and imaginary grades. My striving has caused me to isolate myself at church, the one place I should feel most accepted and loved but instead I feel I don’t measure up at all. Anyway, I’m there with you ladies. We should start some kind of club. Sisters in Christ rebelling against the world while loving others or something like that. Love ya, Renee! Can’t wait for my hike at the end of the month! Calgon take me away!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Paige, it’s been a revelation for me to realize how harsh my own pursuit of perfection is on my soul while God’s perfecting work is full of love and grace. He’s constantly moving me forward, but He’s so kind and gentle!

  14. Cathy P. says:

    This hits home. My mom came after anything I did and redid it “better “. Even into my early 20’s. Been hard not passing it on to my family. This book seems to hold some good advice.

  15. Rebecca says:

    Yes, I would love to read this book! I need to learn God’s truth about living in the freedom of His love. He does not require perfect. We are all broken, yet beautiful in His sight.

  16. Your book sounds like it would be very helpful in keeping our minds focused on God and not what others think of us. Thank you!

  17. I tell myself that I’m not perfect all the time. My daughters and husband hear it. But there are (many) times I still don’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it. I want to be perfect, despite knowing I never will be. Perhaps some focused time with this book and my Bible will remind me once and for all that I’m not perfect, I never will be, and that’s perfectly fine.

  18. I struggle constantly with perfectionism! This sounds like a great book to help me grow!

  19. Pamela Smith says:

    Thank you! This is truth that must be embraced from the inside. 🙂

  20. I have struggled with perfection all my life. I can accept faults in others, but not in myself. My only value was in being the best, and being an overachiever. Now that I am in my 60s and retired, I struggle with finding value in my life, as I accept an aging body (no longer a size 6), limitations in what I can do physically (why does getting older have to hurt?), and discovering how to serve God in this last third of my life. Acccepting myself as a valued child of God is my goal, but old habits of needing to be perfect, in my eyes and society’s eyes, are hard to stifle. Looking forward to reading the book. Can we also have it as a P31 OBS?

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Nancy, it’s so good to know God’s never finished with His work in us, and it’s never too late. I’m thankful you’re on this journey with me!

  21. I struggle with this every single day. Truly. This is the hardest part. And I know if I would just open up and realize no one is perfect and no one expects me to be perfect, things would be so much better. I would cherish this book.

  22. Wow am I looking forward to reading this book and learning how to let go of perfect, one of my traits that needs some altering. Thank you Amy for writting the book and Renee for sharing. Blessings, Julie

  23. Suzanne says:

    I’m looking forward to reading this one!

  24. I am just starting to admit that I have this flaw that you talked about (Perfection). I think I need to be able to do everything that it is beginning to effect my health. I would love to wing this copy of your new book.

    Thank you.

  25. I have a lot of failures. No one is perfect. sounds like a book I would want to read.

  26. Elizabeth Abshier says:

    Season, reason and time, what an incredible blog today!

  27. This hits home!! I am so quick to forgive others, but I hold myself captive. Everything on the outside HAS to be perfect, while my white-washed tomb is filthy inside with thoughts of imperfections and criticism of myself for missing the mark. Sad part is I KNOW this, and yet still fall victim to the unrelenting pursuit of the enemy in this arena. BUT, God!!! Who is the only one who is able to bring victory in this area.

    BTW, Amy, I have a printed P31 devotional that a home-schooling mom had sent out to our group over 10 years ago—long before I began receiving P31 daily emails. It was the one you wrote on “Watching Deborah”—it has impacted my life SOOOO much. I have put this into practice since I read it and now I have young women in our church comment on the way I love my hubby and always speak so well of him. I have even been in conversations where other husbands comment to their wives on how lovingly I look at my husband when he speaks. Thanks for the post, it has changed my life (and my husband’s too!!)

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Tina,
      What you shared about my “Deborah devo” leaves me in awe! I got the joy of calling Deborah several years ago to tell her that the devo had been placed right across from Titus 2 in P31’s NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible. She was stunned! Her story continues to change women’s lives, and it reminds me that I never know who is watching.

      I totally understand the struggle. I’ve always been much harder on myself than anyone else. God’s so gentle and kind with His changes, though. We can learn to rest in His grace, but it’s truly a process!

  28. Melissa Sarlo says:

    Yes, I struggle with this like so many others and I am in the process of believing God for who He says I am. I am trusting Him to help me hold myself to a standard of grace rather then perfection,

    I am thankful for all the Proverbs 31 Ministry Authors. The books you ladies are lead to write are life changers. Thank you so much for your obedience in writing even in the frustrating times of writing.

  29. Michelle says:

    Yep, perfectionist here… do right or don’t do at all…. both can be bad. Can’t wait to see what is in this book!!

    Thanks Renee and Proverbs 31 for all you do in ministering to the saints.

  30. Looks like a great book! Can’t wait to read it!

  31. Linda Bumba says:

    Would love a copy of this book!

  32. Donna Lee says:

    Man, breaking up with perfect! For me this would be a life saver. I have let this keep me or stop me from doing so many things. That old recording “what if I make a mistake, or what if it doesn’t turn out perfect! Thank you so much for sharing and turning on the lights! God bless.

  33. Leslie W says:

    Perfection leaves me overwhelmed sometimes!! If I can’t do things perfectly I don’t want to do the task at all!! Which in turn leaves me with more than I can accomplish!! Then when I step back and look I’m happier when I make the smaller accomplishments instead of turning them into huge tasks!!! Proverbs 31 contributors speak right to me daily!! Thanks for the “real” perspective of every day life!!

  34. Thank you for this truth that I have stuggled with for years in my perfectionist state of mind. I look forward to reading your book. Such a timely topic for me – it is time to break up with perfect.

  35. Thank you Renee for this post. I loved your words on our relationship with perfect. It was a new angle for me to look at on this subject. I can’t wait to read Amy’s book.

  36. Perfect is unhealthy, gets in the way of what is really important- taking the time to spend with the people you love and helping others. I have been trying to break out of my prison for years and I am finally making some progress. I could still use all the help I could get. Thank you for this post on the topic that is of utmost importance to me!

  37. Great post Renee….would love to win this book! Boy, do I need it (just ask my husband haha!)

  38. Shelba Murray says:

    I have several angels in my yard and garden, and living in Oklahoma, some have been damaged from the wind or hail. They could be replaced but are a good reminder that even with a broken wing an angel still has a purpose in God’s world. It helps to remember these when I too feel a bit broken and useless. God’s garden has grace for us all!
    Thank you.

  39. Thank you, Amy. This sounds like a great book. I’m longing to lay down my mask of perfection and surrender to Jesus’ perfecting work.

  40. Oh my goodness!! I definitely struggle in this area. I’ve been going through a season of emotional healing in my life right now and this is one of the areas that I’m trying to overcome.

  41. Kathy Stathis says:

    I would like to also break up with perfect’s cousin procrastination! I would love to read this book, such PERFECT timing with what the Holy Spirit keeps pointing out to me!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      You’re so right! Glynnis Whitwer has a book coming out in a couple months about procrastination, and it has a chapter on perfectionism. I can’t wait to read her perspective!

  42. Shelley Bergman says:

    This book sounds great and exactly what I need to do. My lack of perfection is bring me down. Funny o don’t expect anyone or anything else to be perfect, just me. Thank you for your ministry. Always seems to speak exactly what I need to hear.

  43. i have learned from my al-anon slogan progress before perfection. I perfection when i hear my navy dad’s voice in my head that nothing is ever go enough. for i know i settle for progress not perfection

  44. i really Need this book thank you

  45. All my life I have struggled with trying to be perfect with my family, my friends, at church, how I look, always needing to do what I think others expect. Still at age 70, I feel this way. Your devotional thoughts are helpful in making me realize that I don’t have to be perfect all of the time and that I need to let go of this thinking, especially since as I get older, it gets harder and harder to do. Thanks for you inspiration!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Charlotte, my favorite name for God is Redeemer. He really is able to redeem, and it’s never too late! I’m so thankful.

  46. Thank you for sharing. I need to be reminded that I have to stop demanding perfection from those around me. And that only God can give me peace and contentment. I look forward to reading your book!!

  47. I know that this book was given to you by the Lord! For years I (unrealistically) believed I was the only person who felt this way. Thank you for sharing your story and in doing so help take away the veil of guilt and shame I have been feeling. I look forward to a life changing experience as the Lord helps me love myself as much as He does!

    Bless you,

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Sylvia, that’s so funny! Even as I wrote the book I wondered if I was the only one who felt this way. I’m thankful to have sisters on the journey to breaking up with perfect!

  48. Melissa May says:

    I thought I had broken up with perfectionism several years ago, but God’s been showing me that there are deeper layers yet to be discarded! Perfectionism can be so sneaky… Any help in rooting it out would be welcome! 🙂

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Yep. I started writing the book thinking I had something to share. I finished knowing God is still at work in me!

  49. Oh how we women need to hear this! As an older adult, I teach young women in Bible study and see them struggle regularly to be the “perfect parent, spouse, co-worker” etc. It is killing them. I’ve been there and feel their pain! I had a conversation with one young mother just the other day as she faced an uncertain diagnosis for her child. Her comment was, “He’s just so perfect in every way. I don’t want anything to be wrong.” Thank you for sharing this important message!

  50. Wow! I certainly see myself here. I would love guidance in “breaking up” with all those things/relationships–whatever the case may be–those things holding me in the “must have perfection” mold/habit. How freeing to be able to live my life without those feelings holding me down and just lean on God only. Your book sounds wonderful!

  51. The daily struggle to be perfect and everything for all those in our lives is tiresome and torture. I’m currently going through this battle in my life so this speaks volumes to me. I’ve trained myself to be perfect and respond accordingly for so many years. I’m just now asking myself if it will make me happy…whatever it is. I know that I’m not alone and to hear this message shared among so many women, while a little sad, is also inspiring. I pray we all find peace, comfort and acceptance in being our true selves.

  52. Oh, how I would love to win this book because perfectionism is not my middle name but my first name. While I am responsible for my thoughts, there are others, co-workers, family, church family who expect perfection as well. So I always feel like I’m walking on egg shells and if one drops, it’s my fault. I didn’t expect the unexpected, I didn’t try hard enough, I wasn’t good enough as a person or in my walk with the Lord. I’m trying to accept myself as God sees me, knowing that perfection will not be complete until I arrive in heaven, but while in the here and now, it’s very difficult.

    • Amy Carroll says:

      I write in the book about my over-developed sense of responsibility. There’s a story about how Renee was one of the forces in helping me to recognize it. I’m so thankful for her!

  53. I can’t wait to read your book. I struggle daily with the expections I have for myself and feel that others also have for me. Love your writings

  54. I would love this book!

  55. I would love to read your book.

  56. My Mom is the perfectionist and at 53 I’ve never measured up to her ideals. I’ve tried to break that cycle as a Mother. It is a balancing act with the desire to have your children become all they can be but allow them to be human and make mistakes.

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Laura, I’m recognizing a repeating theme about mothers and daughters in the comments. Lynn Cowell and I are going to put our heads together to do a post or series on her blog in a month or so. Although I see that I’ve passed on so much of my perfectionism to my oldest son, we’re now on a sweet journey to break up with perfect together. We’re going to put a stop to it in this generation!

  57. Melissa C says:

    I love the connection to the broken figurines being glued back together and how God glues is back together. I am looking forward to reading this book and sharing it with a few friends who desperartly need the message.

  58. Definitely sounds like something I need to read.

  59. Heather says:

    This is the perfect book for me! I try so hard to be perfect, and I’m so hard on myself because of it! I tend to forget about grace so easily… 🙁 I cant wait to read this book! 🙂

  60. The struggle of trying not to compare or matchup to how everyone else looks along with their accomplishments can take the life out of me. This book would provide a means to help many of us work through the process of recognizing that we are already perfect in God’s eyes and continually accomplish wonderful things every day.

  61. Amy Wilson says:

    I definitely need to break up with trying to be or appear perfect!

  62. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I could definitely use some help in this area and I cannot wait to read your book!

  63. It is amazing to me that we all struggle with this. I’ve always felt like the only one that had all this turmoil going on inside—-hidden by the “perfect” outside.
    I’d love to win a copy!!! Thanks.

  64. Susan G says:

    Thanks for this! Will continue my escape of ‘perfectionism’ as I read this book! 🙂

  65. Rochelle W. says:

    I am looking forward to reading this book! I have always struggled with being “perfect” and trying not to do anything wrong. I think this book will help set me on the right course.

  66. What an awesome message. I think I too need to break up with “Perfect”. Thank you for a chance to win a copy of the book.

  67. Sydney G. says:

    Soooooooo needed right now!!! It’s long overdue! I’m quitting PERFECT too! So looking forward to delving into this book!

  68. I would love to have a copy of this book. I so need it!!!

  69. Kimberly Onions says:

    God bless you Amy for writing a book which prayer fully helps set this captive free! Since I can remember perfection was the unattainable goal modeled by my beloved mother. I too was expected, especially by those closest to me who I deeply loved and desired love from, to achieve it. It’s created a hideous monster of self doubts and I insecurities which have eroded my God given purpose in life far too often. I’m beat down, worn thin and tired of doing whatever I can to make others happy. Please understand, it gives me immense joy to bless and do for others. I’ve grown enough in God to understand doing so doesn’t mean giving myself completely away where there’s no more Kimberly left. Perfection has been a vicious circle with no winner. I look forward to reading your new book and finally being set free to fully live as God created me to! Hugs and love to you Amy and all who struggle with the destructive forces of perfectionism <3 (and yes, I re-read this wanting to change and 'perfect' much of what I wrote but forced myself to post it like it is)

  70. I think as a woman I struggle alot with perfectionism, and it is a good reminder for me!

  71. Laura R-C says:

    What a great visual to remind us that imperfections can be useful and beautiful in the eye of the beholder. And God loves us, flaws and all. Thanks for these reminders and for what sounds like another great book.

  72. I would love to have this, would fit majorly in with transforming me and where I am!

  73. Beth M. says:

    I would love to win this book! My daughter and I both have an ongoing battle with
    Perfection and always trying to get it right. I have seen more of myself in my daughter than ever
    before. She’s 27 and dealing with being a single parent at the moment. I think all of us need to
    break up with Perfect.

  74. Nana Diane says:

    Perfect? Definitely not me. For one thing I’m such a clutz that I call myself a “Cracked Pot”. Not a “Crack Pot”, but a “Cracked Pot”. Ha! I am constantly falling or dropping and breaking something. Many of my collectables have been repaired. I thank God for a husband that is good at fixing things. And, Thank God for glue! And not just the kind that glues “things” together but one that can glue people together too. I love people so much and I ask God to put the people He wants to into my path to show His love to them. It’s when I let people know how real I am, and by that I mean imperfect, that it opens up the lines of communication. It’s then that people know you’re real and then is when you can love them in Christ’s name. Everyone can relate on the level of not being perfect. It is then they feel safe. It is then that Christ’s love can shine through. I get excited just thinking about it.

    I have recently become handicapped and am in fact going in for surgery tommorrow for a below the knee amputation. And this may sound weird, but I look forward to all the people God will send into my life to love, in HIs name. After all my life is not about me, it’s about Him and sharing His love with others, from one “Cracked Pot” to another.

    God’s blessings on all of you!
    Nana Diane
    PS. My grandson thinks it will be “cool”! Only a boy… But do pray for him and the rest of my family as they worry about me.

  75. I have been struggling with perfectionism all my life. I would love to win this book!

  76. Why would we think others would require more of us … It is so hard to give the grace we so desperately need to ourselves, to require any less of ourselves than our own high expectations. I’ll try to remember your Santa when I see my own cracks. Thank you, Amy. : )

  77. If only I felt adequate enough to not have to be perfect. I am eagerly anticipating reading this book! I hope I win it!

  78. I have never really thought of having a relationship with “Perfectionism”; however, now that I think about it, I am in a horrible relationship with “Perfectionism”. It causes me to take forever to get things accomplished because everything has to be “just so”. A friend of mine always comments on how I “tie everything up with a bow”. In my relationship with “Perfectionism”, I also beat myself up whenever I feel like I have done something wrong or could have done something better. It is definitely time to break up with “Perfectionism”. I would love to read your book and see what you have to say about it! Thanks for sharing!
    -Marcy

  79. Jill Kuiper says:

    We all struggle with perfection if we’re honest. Would love to read more. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  80. I need this book. It is easy to love others with their “cracks” but I can’t seem to find that love for myself. I hope I win the book! It sounds fantastic!!

  81. Katharine says:

    I also have struggled with ‘perfectionism’ in my life. I am getting somewhat better at recognizing it and am working w/ God to move beyond this. This book sounds like a jewel in the toolkit to keep on that path. Thank you all for your open words…we are not alone!

  82. I am so ready to break up with perfect. The only problem is that I am my own biggest critic!

  83. Striking comment that settles in your heart.

  84. I am so beyond ready to break up with perfect!

  85. Oh man, do I need this book. I ended up with the job a dear, forever friend of mine retired from. She was perfect. I’m not. I’m tired of comparing myself and feeling like Others are comparing my faults to her perfections.

  86. Darlene says:

    Sounds like a great read. I think we all put on a perfect mask and act like it’s all perfect, our life,marriage,kids everything is perfect. But if we are so perfect then we don’t need Jesus in our lives. Perfection is a burden and it keeps us from being who He wants us to be. And as long as we hide behind our mask of perfection then it makes it hard for anyone to know us and relate us and it also makes it hard to grow into who God calls us to be.

  87. I’m learning that I’m enough…I’m broken and imperfect in every way, but I’m enough because Jesus loves me….oh, how I need this book! Thank you for sharing how Jesus loves us when we are broken, just like your Santa Claus…..

  88. Rachel Brunswick says:

    I would love to read this book! This totally sounds like me! I’m sure this book will hit home for tons of women! The hardest thing to accept is our own brokenness and imperfections!

  89. Kelli W says:

    I have battled with perfectionism my entire life! So exhausting and frustrating! Your book sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  90. How exciting it is to find someone else have struggled with the same problem that I have, 8 years ago God put me in prison to be a correctional officer .it has definitely been a journey, I realize I can only do the job by gods amazing grace,thanks for writing a book about perfectionist…. I do realize there is one, only one, that is perfect Jesus Christ.

  91. God has graciously been leading me away from perfection for a long time. My motto is “It’s good enough.” Being a passionate quilter and sewer, there are times when perfect is important – making sure all the corners meet in a quilt. When I am cleaning the house or someone is coming over, the “good enough” comes out. Areas that are a little more difficult to deal with are relationships and with God. The measuring and comparing myself to others on the spectrum of perfection has caused me to by-pass some people because I think they are better than I am. Learning to be more real and opening my heart, confessing my imperfections, has brought me more joy in relationships. Accepting that God made me just the way I am and can use even the rough places in me to accomplish His purpose has been so freeing! What some may look at and see as a weakness or annoyance, when surrendered to God can be used by Him. Samson’s eye for the women appeared to be His downfall, but God used it mightily. God made him that way specifically to get the job done. That is the God we worship and serve, nothing is too difficult for Him!

  92. Holli Braun says:

    Dear Renee
    Your shared lessons in life have not ceased to change me. Thank you for sharing your lives lessons with wisdom and grace. Excited to read your new book.
    In His Love, Holli

  93. Jennifer says:

    Oh my! How appropriate is this book! My professional life demands so much and I love it but it’s taken a toll. I have came along way in my journey! Always need a new resource to assist! Thanks!

  94. I can give other people the benefit of the doubt but expect so much from myself. I would love to read this book! Thank you for sharing.

  95. I struggle so much with trying to please people and be perfect. I don’t admit it until I hear someone else admit it first then I pray about it, ask for forgiveness, live free from it for awhile…and struggle again. I’m so tired of this fight…so tired of not really being free of it. It’s harder, I’m sure, to work at being perfect then it is to just be me and let others see me as I am – not perfect. So why do I… Thank you sharing, Renee & Amy!

  96. Thank you for this valuable resource!

  97. Delores McPherson says:

    It is hard to believe that God would accept me just as I am. My head knows it but my heart always thinks I need to achieve something more for God. Sometimes I need to just pause (Be still and know that He is) and realize that God is in control and He loves me flaws and all.

  98. Sherrie Murphy says:

    I’ve felt that way too.

  99. I so relate to this: “We try to earn acceptance and love with our just-right words and our thought-out actions, feeling more and more lonely all the time, when in truth…
    Authenticity is the antidote for isolation.” If only I could get it in my hard head that it really does lead to isolation. Oh, the perfection infection is so exhausting. Thank you for your encouragement. 🙂

  100. Adrienne says:

    It took so long to realize God doesn’t expect us to perfect, but rather humble and repent when necessary. We are far too concerned with our own unrealistic aspirations of being something God didn’t intend or we are more concerned about people pleasing than we should bother to be. Excited to read the book, and even better if I win! God bless all!

  101. Robin Kraft says:

    I felt like you were talking about me when I read this. Thank you for reminding me that Jesus loves me right where I am at, just how I am. Wow that is comforting. His very best to both of you 🙂

  102. Amy santos says:

    It’s so scary how much I can relate to this brokenness you speak of, always striving for perfection. It’s not fun and I cannot wait to read your book!

  103. Marilyn Gore says:

    I am a sensitive Impatient perfectionist and drive myself crazy inwardly because I want to portray
    nice and don’t want to be mean outwardly…I long for a Christ- like heart that my outside demeanor mirrors my true heart of Agape Love and compassion…

  104. Oh yes. I need to read this. If only we could all learn to be transparent with one another.

  105. Danielle says:

    My pursuit of perfection nearly ruined my marriage. Instead of letting my husband lead our family with God at the head, my type-A personality and perfectionist nature tried to do both my husband’s and God’s job. I am thankful that God spoke to me and told me that perfection was becoming an idol in my life that was getting in the way of not only my relationship with Him, but with my entire family’s relationship with Him. God is not just good, He is the only PERFECT one.

  106. Kimberly says:

    Yes PLEASE I would love to read this!!! Definitely a STRUGGLE for me! Thanks God bless!!

  107. Stephanie says:

    This book sounds amazing! Reading all the comments so far it sounds like many of us women are in the same boat! And sometimes as a Christian I feel like there is always a little more expectation to be perfect, even though we are under grace. I mean, how many times do we hear about the Proverbs 31 woman? So unattainable. But like many others I want to fix this not for myself, but for my two children. They are growing up in such a time of so much seeming perfection…t.v., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, moviestars……..Oh how I bathe them in prayer in this area.

  108. I so struggle with this in one specific area of my life, while I would not call myself a people-pleaser, I would say I habitually wear a Mary Poppins mask…she is never cross or cranky, always level-headed and calm and polite. While good manners are never out of fashion, it is exhausting too always be pleasant and happy, but if I am not…? Thanks for write this book Amy! It is so needed!

  109. Miranda Miller says:

    I would love to read this book and hoping I win. I would have already bought it but do not have enough funds for it. I am the type of person who thinks I am will never be perfect and at sometimes envious of those who look perfect.

  110. Perfection! Almost kept me from commenting, thinking my response could never be good enough.

  111. Ahhhh, so comforting to know I am not alone! Perfection has robbed so much of my life! It’s exhausting! I’ve tried to let go and let God so many times – only to take it back again! Thank you, Amy, for writing this book. And a bigger thank you to all of the ladies who let their facades down to post on this blog! I want to break up with perfection!

  112. What I have read so far from your book really resonated with me. This is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. Accepting that I will be accepted by God and others regardless of my flaws is a definite work in progress. I’m in hopes your book will make a difference in my effort to accept myself for who I really am, a child of God, ok with all my imperfections.

  113. Elaine B says:

    I need to break up with being perfect. Perfection has been my middle name since I was about 8 years old. Being perfect almost cost me my relationship with my daughter about 4 years ago. I would so much love to have this book to read.

  114. Perfection is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. I long for the day when perfection will stop preventing me from trying new things. I am just so scared of failing.

  115. Jennifer says:

    Perfection is literally killing me.

  116. Connie Stankovich says:

    Hi, I would love to have this for someone dear to my heart.

  117. Oh, how I would love to read this book. I long for the day when I can relax and enjoy life. I miss out on the joy of many activities just because I am focused on things being a certain way. I have a two year old and I don’t want to miss out on his life and fun because I was focused on the wrong things.

  118. Rebecca A. says:

    Thank you for writing on such an important topic that I think most of us deal with in today’s world and our everyday. God Bless, look forward to reading 🙂

  119. Diane Higgins says:

    I would love to read this book! I am constantly dealing with feelings of perfectionism. I’ve gotten a little better but still have a long way to go! I would love to win this book! Thanks for all you do. Love reading your emails!

  120. This is something that I constantly struggle with in my life. I can only focus on God to keep those negative thoughts out of my mind. The closer my relationship with Him, the less of those thoughts I have.

  121. This book really caught my attention – I am currently struggling with a betrayal in friend relationship – and have always struggled with the “perfect’ syndrome. I feel like if I tell anyone about my struggles it means I am weak and doing something wrong. God is beginning to work with me on this.

  122. Cora Nash says:

    I struggle with the haunt of discouragement- that I am not doing enough. After I read this I realized I am striving for perfection and demanding of it of others in the most dangerous subtle way. Can’t wait to read this book!

  123. Jennifer says:

    I hold such high standards for myself and unfortunately for others. This has resulted n much brokenness in my relationships. I am praying and hoping for healing. This book sounds awesome to help I that process.

  124. I have struggled with perfection my whole life. It has been such a struggle that I have stayed in friendships, thinking that I could be the perfect friend. Then one day I realized that the relationship wasn’t healthy and trying to be perfect for other people, isn’t what God desires for my life.

  125. Ouch! And Ouch. Preparing to send mini me out into the world this fall who learned this trait from me a little too well ;(

  126. UGH– perfection— that word and feeling that we all suffer from. God is putting the pieces back together, but the world around me seems to not want damaged goods. In other words, to find someone who wants to share and enjoy this broken but glued vessel is lonely at times. BUT God….knows what He is doing. This I believe and trust. Thank you for your book and ministry to encourage those of us who suffer from this.

  127. Can’t wait to read your book! I now realize perfectionism is basically a sickness. I’m not sure what drives me to always want a neat, somewhat clean, house and yard, but have always felt it’s a direct reflection on who and what kind of a person I am. Thank you for your ministry and willing to be used by God

  128. Linda N says:

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book. Maybe I could finally find out how to relax and enjoy. When I can’t do something perfectly, I find myself not doing it at all. Not the recipe for success.

  129. DeAnn I♥RFKC 2011 says:

    It’s funny, it’s like I just realized I keep a place set at my table for rejection for when I fail to meet that perfect mark I have set for myself.

    It’s just like God to drop something in your lap! I don’t believe in coincidence and I know God intends for me to be free from my harmful ways of thinking. I just started reading Renee’s Confident Heart and I have now pinned today’s blog to my new book list. This time next year will look ALOT different by the grace of God.

  130. Sounds like a wonderful read. Something that I am definitely in need of….getting rid of the perfection “thing” in me.

    Blessings,
    Cindy

    • I try to do things so perfect and right. I believe i go overboard with it and it has at times became stressful feeling like you have to do everything perfect or well. I really need to say fare well, see you later alligator, and after while crock-a dial. I don’t want to be looked at as not being able Oh Wow(does that mean perfect) LOL

  131. Cecilia Daniels says:

    Coming from a dysfunctional childhood caused me to try to rise above it by not only trying to be ‘perfect’ myself, but I expected it from others as well. You can imagine how difficult it was to maintain this level in all areas of my life! Many relationships suffered time and again. It caused me a lot of pain, and only when my own children shut me out did I finally get off my high horse and let the Lord change me and my brokenness! Jesus is the only Perfect one, Amen!

  132. Finished cleaning out a home I’d lived in for almost 25 years and wanted it clean for the new owners; unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to do all I wanted but realized it’s ok! Praying God gives the new owner many blessings and memories as they move in! Would love to have a copy of the book!

  133. It is so hard to remember that I don’t have to be perfect, but and no one else can either. I want to be a loving positive force for my friends and family, without the guilt of knowing I am not perfect. Only our true Father is the perfect one!

  134. Oh how I wish I could let go of the engrained need to be perfection. I’ve lost many nights of sleep assessing my imperfections and planning on how I can make them into perfection…..or at the very least, provide a “perfect” mask to wear so the outside world doesn’t see how horribly imperfect I really am. I’ve spent many days (and even years with some things) drowning in the floods of anxiety that I am riddled with because I’ve made mistakes that I am not proud of and in my mind that makes me less of a person because I must be something terrible and horrible to make such choices. If I could learn and grow from imperfection and just move on it’d be ok…..but I obsess over these things and define myself by them. I love the reference to the broken Kris Kringle….”he’s broken but still beautiful…..why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?” To more complicate matters, I expect the same perfection I burden myself with from my children, husband and others I love. I’ve spent years purposefully isolating myself from other people outside of my inner circle and building up intentional walls so I don’t have to expose myself to be less than perfect…..vulnerable. It’s a lonely world that I live in, an unapproachable……dark, lonely perfect place where I set myself up for disappointment over and over again because of my need for perfection in all areas of my life. I’d give anything if I could break up with perfection…..

  135. Ajibade Tolulope Samuel says:

    When I read the extracts you shared, I was engrossed so much that I hated the fact that I was merely reading an extract. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post. I placed myself in front of the mirror of my Spirit and realized how subconsciously I’ve expected perfection from myself, ans even though I saw others as imperfect, accepted them for who they are, I expect of myself perfection, and as a result of this unattainable goal, I never truly lived a happy life… Its time to break free from perfection, and accept myself for who I really am just as I accepted others and above all how God accepts me.

    I stay in far away Nigeria but I would desire so much to have a personal conversation with the blessed writer Amy Carroll. I hope to learn more from you and your book.

    God bless Renne for sharing this wonderful piece with the world. May your friendship with Amy never end… Gid bless us all as we break free from perfection!

    Shalom.

  136. I struggle with perfection every day!!! I would love to read this book. Thanks for your ministry and for sharing and giving someone the opportunity to read the book! Hope everyone has a blessed day.

  137. Wow. I facilitate groups of Mending the Soul for abused women and also groups using books like “Boundaries”. What a great addition this book would be to help these women.

  138. I yearn for the day I can break up with perfection! For 52 yrs i have struggled with the awful images in my mind of how imperfect I am, even though I know God makes no mistakes & made me perfect in his image, I just can’t believe he means “ME”. I struggle in every aspect of life, myself, marriage, children, grandchildren, friendships, maintaining a home, you name it I try to be perfect at it all. However the way I see it vs. the way others view me & what I do is drastically different. Its never good enough for me! I long for the “break up with perfection”. Thank you for writing a book about a struggle that most women have & a way to make the break up happen. Thank you also for a chance to win your book, either way I MUST read it!

  139. I am 16 years old, and I happened to hear about Renee’s blog on Spirit FM. It was one day when the conversation came to not measuring up to others expectations. It is something that I struggle with daily, so I thought I would come and see Renee’s blog. I just wanted to say that I love reading your blog’and Renee- they were so helpful! And thank you Amy Carol for writing this book!

  140. I grew up in a house where perfection was demanded. My whole life has been trying to be the best and perfection has ruined my ability to unwind working on my gourds because unless it is a masterpiece I won’t finish. I am constantly striving for perfection at work, relationships and every other part in my life and I am very very frustrated and tired. I do not have close relationships because it’s to exhausting trying to be “on” all the time. I hope your book can help me in this.

  141. Trying so hard to break up with perfect. It’s heart breaking when you hear your own children say, “mom it doesn’t have to be perfect”. We/I try to have everything perfect that it starts to ruin your relationships with everyone. I strive to be perfect and I expect my loved ones to also be perfect. I see that now. Especially since my husband thinks that he will never be or do good enough. I can’t wait to read this.

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