In yesterday’s blog, I promised you that I would share what God did to change me into a reformed perfectionist.
I’d like to say it was some great heroic effort on my part.
Or some amazing insight that I had on my own that enlightened me.
It wasn’t anything I did.
My process of reformation DID, however, follow a common pattern of growth as I am writing about now in my new book about being a respectful woman. Before we get to the really juicy and most important part, the place where transformation BEGINS, I’ll share this excerpt with you about the change process in general:
Another expectation you should have is one for what is commonly referred to in our culture as “failure.” The truth is that change takes time – lots of time. We have deeply ingrained habits that don’t just magically disappear overnight. This is work. The people around us will resist our efforts to change – often responding with anger, frustration, and conflictual behaviors. What you may not expect is that they are not the only ones who don’t like change – YOU may find YOURSELF actually sabotaging or resisting the very changes you insist you want to make! Don’t be surprised or label any of these things as “failures,” however. Resist the temptation to give up, and instead, embrace the process. You will fall down a ton, but what matters is whether or not you get back up and keep trying. Eventually, you will be successful – if you do not give up.
Giving up guarantees failure.
You need to expect yourself to go through many incidences where you behave the same way you always did, and only realize it after-the-fact. This is part of the natural process of developing competencies. These are listed in the following stages and based on research:
Unconsciously Incompetent: you don’t know what you don’t know, might be aware or completely blind to having a problem.
Consciously incompetent: you are aware that you have a problem and are lacking the ability to solve it.
Consciously competent: you have learned the skills to solve the problem, but have to think about them as you practice. If this is a new area of skill, you do not have any old habits to clean out and replace, so the mistakes you make will be different than if you already had a way of navigating through the problems. In the case of human relationships, it is likely that you already have some habits of thinking and behaving, so you will develop competency following this pattern of behavior change:
Latent-Awareness: long after making a mistake, you realize you did it.
After-Awareness: shortly after making a mistake, you realize you did it.
Middle-Awareness: while making a mistake, you realize you are doing it – you inconsistently alter your behavior, increasing in correction mid-stream as your awareness grows sooner to the beginning time of the mistake.
New-Awareness: before making a mistake, you realize you were just about to, and you do the right thing. This stage continues for quite some time, and after consistent repetition for a minimum of twenty-one consecutive days, a new habit is formed. This may take longer depending on how much effect context has – you may not realize you are making the same mistakes if dealing with different people, for example.
Unconsciously competent: you execute your new skills without thinking because you have a new habit of behavior.
If you remember back to when you first learned how to drive a car, you may have worked your way through all of the stages. As an idyllic teen, you may not have known that driving is an actual skill requiring training, and in your state of unconscious incompetence, you may have not known that you couldn’t drive. You may have been surprised when you drove for the first time and became aware of your lack of skill (conscious incompetence). You then proceeded to engage in the long task of learning how to drive. You had to think about the many things to do while navigating a car, and you were aware of the placement of your hands on the wheel, how and when to turn on the blinker, when to let off of the gas, etc. You were becoming consciously competent. If you have driven an automatic and are learning to change your behavior to drive a stick shift, you’ll go through the awareness steps again – with the new behaviors – lurching the car a few times, making mistakes and catching yourself. Finally, you’ll emerge at some point as unconsciously competent, able to carry on a conversation, check on someone in the back seat with the rear view mirror, and drive – all at the same time, without giving any of the activities a single thought.
The awareness process will be common as you work your way through the dares in this book – and it will be different for everyone, so be sure to give yourself a lot of grace, expecting to make a ton of mistakes.
Be gentle with yourself and have a lot of patience. The most important thing is simply to not give up.
I’ve talked about this stuff before, using this graphic:
“We don’t know that we know” means we have moments where we do the right thing, and are completely unaware of ourselves in that moment. We’re not thinking about our knowledge – that would move us back into the “conscious” state again.
At my core, I really believe that what really happens here is the Holy Spirit takes over – IF we have surrendered to God and are not “working hard” in our own flesh. Our pastor talked about “self-improvement” this weekend, and how our efforts CAN net us some result, but the real power, the real change into freedom and abundant living comes from God in us moving.
It’s literally effortless when God does it.
So God used several verses to really move me.
The first was in Genesis 1:31: And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Notice it doesn’t say “excellent” or “perfect.” He said it was GOOD. VERY GOOD.
Have you ever thought about that?
If everything in the world is “very good” … um… what is God’s version of “excellent?”
If God could settle for “very good” – and knowing that my absolute best and what I consider “excellent” will still be just trash compared to God’s “good” – shouldn’t I be okay with just doing my best?
And finally, the verse that put an end to all of the rumination and gap thinking for me:
And here’s how that played out with my kids –
I stopped focusing on their results, but instead focused on the following:
- acknowledging effort
- celebrating risk-taking, even if mistakes were made
- having fun while doing (task)
- enjoying the time spent together (people)
- celebrating mistakes because learning occurred
- shooting for “good” instead of “perfect”
There’s a great article here on more of the above.
I also saw a ton of ownership come into play with them – I stopped pushing and they became more responsible. They became interested again.
I also saw an end to the procrastination, which also happened to end their stress!
And that’s a thing others have written about, apparently.
I haven’t been perfect at this, mind you.
(that was a joke, albeit true) 🙂
(I’ll have a few more mess making marriage myths for you tomorrow, btw)
OH – and if you want to know just ONE THING you need to do to help your kids feel loved, THIS POST nails it. I’ll have one on this in marriage next week, hopefully.
What about you? What’s the biggest thing keeping you from being a reformed perfectionist? Or have you already? Share how! 🙂
Love to you,
One more thing? It’s not small – and TODAY at MIDNIGHT it ends… 🙂
You’ll also want to consider Boot Camp – I extended the discount of $50 til TODAY at MIDNIGHT. You can enter the coupon code at check out.
Boot Camp is like nothing else you’ve done before – the training is world-class.
I’d like YOU to pray about it – September 7-12, 2016. More info HERE. Know you are personally invited! 🙂
Maybe even by HIM. 🙂 I know you know. 🙂
Room and Board is included – Check the details.
If you feel called to lead others, to be a Titus 2 woman of influence in your neck of the woods, please seriously consider joining us in ministry. We’re training others to use the incredible discipleship method He has given us – and He’s growing ministry all around the world through women just like YOU.
Space is limited. Grab your spot HERE. And remember to use your discount!
Space is limited. Grab your spot while you still can HERE. And remember to use your discount of bringafriend2016 by registering by Midnight tonight – 5/17/16!
In the meantime, here’s a few other posts you might find of interest:
Hope to see you at Boot Camp 2016!!