One morning, I got up with a plan for an extremely fulfilling and productive day. I’d start the day in prayer and worship, I’d have a wonderful breakfast, I’d post on social media, and then I’d research ideas for new topics to write about. Finally, I’d photograph some products to post online. Later in the evening, I planned to read for a few hours. Except, the plan didn’t go anything like what I was expecting.
After breakfast, I started to experience the most crippling pain ever. It started slowly at first and then within moments, it was the only thing I could feel. I tried to ignore the pain and keep working on my to-do list. But then I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere. So, I had to stop, surrender my plans, and embrace the fact that the day would be pretty uncertain.
Has that ever happened to you? If you’re anything like me, you probably didn’t want to submit your plans and embrace uncertainty. Maybe you’d have wanted to stick to your perfectly planned out day. Not unlike this situation, sometimes God allows curveballs to be thrown into our lives. It’s our choice to submit to God as he changes our direction or try to have things our way. If you’re struggling with letting go of your plans and embracing God’s will, keep reading for five ways to let go of perfectionism and embrace God’s will for your life.
As perfectionists, we often want everything to happen according to a set plan. It’s hard for us to let go when things change. We desperately want to hold on. However, God did not call us to hold onto our plans for dear life, he called us to surrender and trust him. Sometimes God will put a wrench in our plans to help us turn around and recognize that no matter what, he is sovereign and we are not.
I’m not sure where you are right now. Perhaps you have plans for your life that don’t seem to be working out. Maybe you struggle to let go of perfectionism and maybe it’s negatively impacting your life. Honestly, I’ve been there too and I still feel this way sometimes. But, I have decided to walk with God wherever he’s leading me in this season even when it doesn’t work according to my plan. Truthfully, God’s plans are perfect. Mine are not. You and I are allowed to leave perfectionism behind and take the hand of God as he leads us wherever he wills.
It’s so much easier said than done. So here is some advice if you’re just starting out.
How to let go of perfectionism and embrace God’s will
1. Learn to let go
You’ve probably heard this said a thousand times: let go and let God. But, I strongly believe it’s the first step to truly overcoming perfectionism. Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely okay to make plans. Actually, it’s wise to make plans. But, you have to let go of the idea that things will happen exactly as you planned them. Sometimes, things will change a little. Other times, they’ll change a whole lot.
Regardless of how much they change, you can still have peace. How? You let go of control and you place it back where it belongs — in the hands of God. When you let go of control, even when your plans don’t work out, you’re okay because you know God is in control and he will always make a way out. But, also understand that the way out God makes for you might not be what you were expecting.
2. Open Your Heart
I mentioned above that the way out God makes for you might not be what you were expecting. That’s where an open heart comes in. You have to be open to things that may not have even been on your radar. Maybe you dreamed to be a doctor but perhaps God might be leading you to pursue Social Work. Your heart might be set on your goal but have you considered that God could be leading you in a different direction? When one door closes, God often opens another one for us to walk through. If we’re too busy staring at the door that’s closing, we might miss the one that’s currently being swung wide open. Take the limitations off. Let God in and allow him to take you on the journey he has prepared for you.
Related: 5 Good Reasons to Trust God’s Timing
3. Ask Him to Let His Will be Done
I know, it’s not easy to be flexible as a perfectionist. We don’t really like change. Asking God to have his way in our lives opens the door to so much change. It can be scary. It’s uncertain. You don’t really know exactly where you’re going. When we let God have his way in our lives, it takes away our ability to know. But, we have a tendency to want to know. See, that’s where trust comes in. You may not know what God is doing but you can be certain of who he is: a loving father and a gracious God who never goes back on his promises. So, you can trust that no matter where he leads you, you will be okay.
4. Actually Let Him Take Control
It’s one thing to ask God to come in and take control. It’s another to let him. His plans for you won’t always look pretty but they will always work together for good in your life. There will be hard times that you won’t want to endure but please know that hard times with God is worth so much more than smooth sailing all alone. When we go through hard times, God prepares us for the beautiful things he has in store. Of course, it won’t just be hard times. But, hard times or no hard times, you can trust God to bring you to a beautiful place.
5. Keep Getting up When you Fall
The reality of this journey is that you will fall down sometimes and slip back into your old ways. Here’s the simple solution for when you fall: just get back up. If you’re used to doing things or thinking a certain way, it’s not easy to change. It happens one step at a time. Give yourself grace and no matter what, don’t give up.
If I’m being honest, there are many things that have not gone according to plan in my life. Especially lately. But, I believe God is teaching me to trust him through all of it. When my plans started to fail, I learned how to let go of perfectionism and embrace God’s will. When things don’t go according to plan, it can be scary. But, God wants to take you to an incredible place. Let him lead you on the beautiful journey you’re about to take. Rest in him and lay your anxiety and worry about the future at his feet. You can do this. I believe in you.