I saw a nifty photo on Facebook - a person holding up a hand-lettered sign that simply shad, "Be Awesome."
"Yeah!" I thought as soon as I saw it. "I want to be awesome! I'm going to be awesome today!"
It didn't take five minutes, though, for the self-doubt to set in. I'm not awesome. In fact, I'm incredibly flawed. I get so much wrong, every day, in my thoughts, words, and deeds. I am so not awesome.
And so once again I fall into the abyss of perfectionism. Because I am not perfect, I am unworthy. I can't be awesome because I am not perfect. It's all-or-nothing thinking, which is paralyzing and stunting. If I don't do anything, then I won't mess up.
Awesome is not the same as perfect, though. No human is perfect; every human makes mistakes. So by my self-doubting calculation, nobody can be awesome.
Perfectionism is a terrible thing. Every day we have a hundred chances to do the right thing and to be awesome in some (even if little) way. If life were baseball, and we did three or so things right and almost seven things wrong, we'd qualify for the Hall of Fame. Baseball players and fans know this and rejoice. The perfectionist, however, cannot ever be happy. What about those seven swings and miss? Those seven dropped balls? Those seven fly outs?
"Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," says Matthew (5:48). Right. But maybe this would be more helpful: "Be awesome as your Father in heaven is awesome." If perfect trips you up, then lose it from your vocabulary.
Forget perfect, and just go out there and be awesome today.