“One Step at a Time,” Ensign, September 2019
Perfection can sound terrifying—especially when we make it the standard for our imperfect selves. I mean, everyone messes up sometimes. Often, these mistakes can help us make necessary changes, but if we spend too much time dwelling on being perfect, those thoughts can become debilitating.
If you ever feel like you’re not good enough, read Joëlle’s article on page 70 about how understanding the Savior’s Atonement helped her overcome her perfectionism. In his article on page 72, Nathan helps us recognize what perfection really is and how we can get there one little step at a time. And on page 76, Kathryn shares insights about what it means to improve yourself after having a very imperfect morning.
In digital-only articles, you can read how perfectionism can fixate on things like cleanliness, like with Amber’s worries, or on aspects of the gospel, like Aaron’s struggle to be a man of God. Derek and a licensed psychologist also both explore an anxiety disorder called scrupulosity, also known as religious OCD, that causes people to accept nothing but perfection in their religious pursuits. And David also offers steps to overcoming perfectionism and tells us that “be ye therefore perfect” (Matthew 5:48) might not mean what we think it means.
As we strive to improve, we need to keep in mind that the Lord wants us to be inspired and uplifted—not dejected. We can be way too hard on ourselves (see my digital-only article) and should remember to be kind to ourselves on our journeys to perfection.
Focus on Heavenly Father and the Savior. They know your divine worth and, over time, can help you become even more than you ever thought you could be. One step at a time.