Excellence vs. Perfectionism

Pursuing Excellence vs. Perfectionism

Have you ever been around a person who is never satisfied until the job or other thing is perfect? It appears that perfectionists are fixated on getting the project just right at the expense of people's feelings or other priorities. Are you that type of person? Perfectionism is a bad habit. It typically stems from low confidence and/or a fear of failure. Many are perfectionist because they are concerned more about what others might think about them versus finding out what others really think about them.

Perfectionists are typically:


-Harried and time-crunched;

-Unable to see the big picture;



-Rarely, if ever, allowing a sense of true accomplishment and personal reward.

Perfectionists are typically no fun to be around. The one true observation about a perfectionist is that they are typically not involved in self-improvement. You don't see a perfectionist regularly challenging their own assumptions. They typically don't read a lot on leadership, goal setting, learning how to serve others, etc. Perfectionists, in many ways, are very self-centered.

True leaders focus on excellence versus perfection. Excellence is the focus on the end result - "Did my action meet or satisfy or accomplish the desired goal?" Excellence is others focused as well as outcome focused. Perfectionists rank the particulars of the process (doing it their way) as high as the outcome. In work, perfectionists typically micro-manage and focus on conformity versus allowing people to work according to their strengths.

The person concentrating on excellence has a mindset of:

-Continual growth and learning;

-Satisfaction of a job well-done and clients served;

-Flexibility and adaptability;

-Satisfaction, due to an ability to complete things and move on;

-Lower stress thanks to clarified expectations;

-Strong sense of meaningful accomplishment.

Choose today to be a person pursuing excellence versus perfection.


Understanding that you will never reach perfection until heaven frees you to pursuing the more important things in life. When you understand that God does not demand perfection from us, then you are freed to learn what God really does desire from us.

The reason God does not demand perfection from us is that we cannot be perfect because of sin. God had a remedy for the sin problem before He even created the world. In Ephesians 1 the Apostle Paul wrote that through Christ

"We are chosen to be holy and blameless (perfect) in His (God's) sight before the creation of the world."

This perfection is obtained through faith in Jesus Christ. God does require perfection and Jesus met those requirements by living a perfect life then dying for the sins of the world (your's and mine). His death was to cover our imperfection. Our requirement in being perfect is to have faith in the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. God says that Jesus is our substitute in meeting His requirement.

So if God does not require perfection in us on earth, what does He require? He requires a life of continual transformation for His glory. Setting your mind and life on living for Him.

Colossians 3:1-2 says

"Since you have been raised with Christ (that is your perfection) set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

(This is the perfect Christ interceding for us to the Father. This frees our mind away from trying to be perfect in our own strength to then pursue excellence in the God's strength.)

Also Romans 12:1-2 says

"Therefore, I urge you in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God: this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is: his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Leaders commit their life to be transformed, renewing their mind. True leaders have a mindset of continuous learning and continuous transformation to the Glory of God.

Leaders understand that God does not require good works to please Him (we are already pleasing to Him according to Ephesians 1) but good works are to glorify Him. Good works let others know who God is. Our life of change is to be others focused.

As Jesus said the greatest two commandments are to:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:30-31

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