Are you a perfectionist? How has that been working out for you? I ask this because I know that my need for perfection has caused me much heartache in the past. According to, the word means a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less. In my case, when I am actively pursuing perfectionism, I am rejecting myself. Perfectionism is just one more characteristic of Not Good Enough Syndrome.

This is from the Online Etymology Dictionary.

perfectionist (n.)

1650s, from perfection + -ist. Originally theological, “one who believes moral perfection may be attained in earthly existence, one who believes a sinless life is obtainable.”

In both Hebrew and Greek, sin is an archery term meaning to miss the mark. We all miss the mark from time to time. The point is that we continue to pick up the bow and take aim. To become good at archery, you need to practice. The A.A. Big Book tells us that our recovery journey is progress and not perfection. Here is a quote from page 60.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Where are you today in your recovery journey? Are you able to pick up the bow and take aim? Are you ready to drop the need for perfectionism when you do?

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