We began several weeks ago talking about the Perfectionists mindset, and how many of us have been told since we were young to “do our best”, “make the grade”, among other things in an attempt to inspire us to put forth effort. What this also prompts can be a perfectionist mindset that unless my standard of excellence is achieved on the project at hand, I will keep going back and improving it — especially before I let anyone else see it.
The root of procrastination is fear, and the fear of what others will think of me if my creation doesn’t meet their expectations. This fear itself is rooted in the idea that my worth is placed in what I do and how others perceive it. This is a very dangerous place to be because what I do is usually reactive instead of being proactive, and that means my self-worth is based on ever-changing and ever-changeable opinions.
The Danger of a Misplaced Self-Worth
One might ask what the problem is behind basing my self-worth on my accomplishments. After all, there are millions of people who are succeeding in life, and shouldn’t this be something to be proud of?
“Yes,” but also “No”.
The problem with looking at our successes for our worth can be compared to looking at our life as a series of photographs. Photographs are still images that capture a moment in time. However, life itself is more like a film-strip, with millions and billions of moments in time that move in sequence with each other.
Photographs are important, but when the dozen success-moment photographs are compared with the millions of in-between, less successful, moment “frames” in our filmstrip, we can begin to lose our self-worth. In fact, our life’s photographs fade quickly from the moment they are captured.
As quickly as scenes can change in a movie, so can others’ opinions of us change in an instant. If we choose to let their opinion of us be the source of our worth, then we are in for one rocky, roller-coaster ride of our emotions. When we are up, we can feel invincible, and when we are down we are horribly depressed — and this can change in an instant. The danger is that we are giving up the control we have on our emotions, to someone or something that doesn’t always have our best interests in mind.
Where Should We Place our Self-Worth?
In the countless places we can tie our worth to, only one stands out as being deserving, and that is on God (and Jesus), and specifically His opinion of me.
Romans 5:6-8 says: “When we were unable to help ourselves, at the right time, Christ died for us, although we were living against God. Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die.But God shows His great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.”
God loves you and me so much that He is willing to break through time and space to show us this love — during a time when humanity was living completely opposed to Him. This is a profound love that is beyond what we are capable of on our own. It also shows us how much God values us, and this value, this “opinion”, is what we should base our worth on. Jesus’ actions are a representation of God’s love for humanity throughout history, and because this is a past event that cannot change, nothing can ever change God’s love for us.
This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try, but it does mean that God still loves us when we don’t measure up to what we were hoping for.
What are your thoughts about this? Do you struggle with a misplaced self-worth? Please share below and join the conversation!