I’m ashamed to admit that after all of these years as a personal trainer, I am very performance and results driven in my approach to my health. You like myself, might have believed that this was a great thing but as I mature in my faith, I’m learning that God is not looking for perfection, He is looking for progress.
Whether its growing in your faith or learning how to be healthier, our success is not achieved by ‘trying more’, ‘striving more’, ‘fixing the broken parts’ or ‘working harder’. Our success is based on consistent actions that draw us closer to God. The closer we hunger for God, the more we starve our desire for the things that are not of God.
When you’re Perfection/ Performance Driven in your thinking you do things like:
- Constantly try to do better every
- You want to quit when you mess up
- You’re often guilt ridden
- You often blame circumstances or people for why things are the way they are
- You experience a lot of shame and anxiety
- You are easily swayed, bored or quick to give up and ready to try the next new thing
- You’re hyper-focused on the final goal and not on the steps along the way
- You’re constantly judging, evaluating and berating yourself- you use words like, ‘I’ve failed’, ‘I blew it’, ‘I screwed up again’, ‘I will never get there’, ‘I need to.’
- You constantly set goals that are impossible, unrealistic, non-specific, unattainable and indefinite and noncommittal — I need to eat healthier, I need to start exercising, I’ve got to lose weight
- You refuse to go deep and only look at surface causes so you may never get past dieting and exercising
- You operate from a place of lack and not good enough
- You constantly feel in bondage, frustrated
- You’re afraid that you will never reach your goal and fear that you will easily lose control
- You use your past as a measuring stick for how well you will perform in the future
- Changes are rarely permanent
When you’re Progress Driven :
- You realize that there will be seasons of high productivity and seasons with not so much progress and its all good
- You realize that its a slow and steady journey and not a sprint
- You understand that God is developing patience and perseverance in you and these qualities are developed over time
- I read a great post that said’ 1 step backwards after taking a step forward is a cha-cha and not a disaster’- that’s a great process-driven mindset!
- You realize that there is joy in the journey and its not tied to your final goal
- You set mini, achievable goals with clear time lines and actionable steps along the way
- You understand that root causes are deeply entrenched patterns that must be uprooted before ‘real’ growth can take place
- You operate from a place of abundance and prosperity
- You trust God and trust yourself. You know that ‘all things work together’ and truly believe that God’s got it.
- You don’t feel fear or anxiety about failing and know and believe that you will achieve your goal
If you’re tired of the cycle of yo-yo dieting; tired of always starting over in your health and fitness program; tired of trying to do it on your own and tired of feeling bad all the time then its time to change.
How to change from Being Performance/Perfection to Progress Driven:
1. Let Go!
2 Cor 3:18 states, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
What a beautiful picture of how we are changed! First, the passage implies that we will see our true selves when take off the masks and the pretence that we’ve got it all under control . Second, it implies that HE changes us in HIS image, we don’t change ourselves to who we want to be and third, it implies that this change happens in stages. Isn’t this a freeing concept? You can rest from all your work.
2. Create Mini Goals
We often fail because we try to change everything at once and after a week or so are dispirited by how difficult and impossible the task appears. Take baby steps each day instead as this slowly breaks the poor habits AND starts to build momentum in the right direction. Start with one small area of improvement and master that. Perhaps for the first week you just drink water instead of soft-drinks or juice (even diet soft drinks are a poor health choice). Every time you have success with achieving the small goals, you progressively dissolve your procrastination habit by replacing it with a take-a-small-step habit.
For who hath despised the day of small things? (Zec 4:10)
3. Get Present
Many of us live on automatic pilot both physically, mentally and emotionally . We are not aware of how our bodies are talking to us; what our bodies need to feel great and why we eat when we’re not even hungry. Until you get present and understand why you do what you do; you are destined to repeat it.
Getting present means taking time to make the connection between what emotions led you to eat; how did you feel after you ate a particular food or meal and what feelings are you stuffing with food.
Getting present means taking time to allow the Holy spirt to search you and show you the root of your anxious thoughts (psalm 139:23)
My personal journey continues…. I’m learning that God is not concerned with me being perfect. In fact, that has been the biggest wedge that keeps me from having the kind of relationship with Him that I desire. So I once again, I lay down my tendency to ‘work on myself’ and submit my health and my life to my loving father knowing that he will take care of all my needs.