Am I Asking Too Much of Myself?

Joëlle Spijkerman From Zwolle, Netherlands

Striving for perfection is a good thing, but it can become negative if we let it overwhelm us.

I’ve always expected a lot of myself, especially in high school. And I often fell short because I tried to accomplish so many things at once to prove that I was good enough.

One year I decided to learn ballroom dancing, take music lessons, and join an ensemble. I thought I needed to do as much as I could to develop and perfect my talents. But at a certain point, I had to give everything up because it was all just too much for me to handle. I was so hard on myself.

I felt like a failure, and failing was one of my biggest fears.

I know I’m not the only person who struggles with perfectionism. So many of us are trying our best every day and feeling discouraged when we don’t accomplish everything perfectly. But despite our efforts, none of us will ever be completely perfect here on the earth. So how can we strive for perfection when all efforts seem so futile?

Try remembering these wise words: “Be ye therefore perfect—eventually” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017).

Striving for perfection is a good thing, but it can become negative if we let it overwhelm us. With everything this life asks of us physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually, it’s important that we don’t burn ourselves out by requiring perfection of ourselves. And it’s even more important to think about what Heavenly Father asks of us. He doesn’t want us to be burnt out from trying to do too much.

The Lord taught in Doctrine and Covenants 10:4, “Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you . . . ; but be diligent unto the end.”

We can apply that to our lives. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and we will be if we do what He tells us to do in the best way we can. Even if our efforts are not quite perfect yet.