I try too hard, I do. I’m hard on myself probably 23 out of 24 hours of the day, and rarely hesitate to demean myself until I feel it is justified. I have the capacity to hurt myself far deeper and wider than others could even imagine doing. If you're reading this, maybe you're the same way. People may know you as "driven", "Type A personality", or "an over-achiever". You want everyone to always like you and support everything you do. I get it. But it all comes with the same dangerous message.
“Try harder. Do more. Be more.”
Essentially, if you’re not good enough, do what it takes to be good enough.
Oh he doesn't like your short haircut? Get extensions.
She says you've gained a little pudgy weight? Force yourself to work out twice a day.
He doesn't think you’ll make a good wife? Buy every book about godly marriages
She says you try too hard? You keep. trying. harder.
And the cycle continues.
Why does the trait that so severely plagues us personify this world’s method to success? We prize the person who pushes themselves beyond every mental boundary to reach their goal, but at what price does all that pushing come? At what point does that person cross the line from being driven, to being driven crazy by their own desire for perfection?
If you ask a perfectionist, that line is blurry
I’m not going to tell you to stop trying too hard, because that’s not the answer. If you and I already try to take every action possible to fix one problem, then all that extra work will only expand the original issue. I don’t even have the professional expertise to offer you the solution, but I’ll give you what I do know: we belong to God, which means everything we are- yes, everything- is His. He loves us just the same, and nothing we do or don’t do will ever stop that love.
We can start with resting. We can start with silencing the lethal, condemning words we say to ourselves. We can start with breathing again.
“Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Cor. 12:9