3 Steps to Avoid Being Paralyzed by Perfection

The fact that we aren’t perfect can be paralyzing. But if we turn to Christ, we can move forward despite our imperfections.

Photo by Aaron Burden

Throughout life, we usually want to find the perfect solution to each of the problems we face. However, this desire to find the perfect solution can stop us from moving forward. In “That’s How the Light Gets In,” Professor Tyler J. Jarvis suggests three steps we can follow to get unstuck and move forward. 

Step One: “Admit and Accept Imperfection”

If we admit and accept that our decisions or ideas will likely be imperfect, we can often quickly come up with a good—not perfect—solution. This admittance and acceptance of our imperfections is also the first step in using the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Step Two: “Work Hard to Get Your Best Approximation”

Recognizing our imperfections isn’t an invitation to slack off. We still need to put in effort to find the best solution. When Oliver Cowdery unsuccessfully attempted to translate the Book of Mormon, the Lord said, “You took no thought save it was to ask me.…You must study it out in your mind” (Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–8). This shows that we must work hard in order to get our desired results.

Step Three: “Get Up and Act on Your Best Approximation” 

After we have found a good solution to our problems, we need to act. According to Jarvis, “This is hard because we know our answer is not perfect. That might scare you. It often scares me. But we cannot let our fear of imperfection, our fear of making a mistake, prevent us from acting on our best approximation.” If we admit and accept our imperfections like mentioned in the first step, we can also receive strength to move forward with our best approximation through the enabling power of Christ’s Atonement.

Read or watch Tyler Jarvis’s BYU devotional “That’s How the Light Gets In” to learn more about how to get unparalyzed by perfection. 

Source: BYU Speeches

—Auburn Wilcox, Latter-Day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Study “Be Ye Therefore Perfect— Eventuallyby Elder Jeffrey R. Holland to learn how to continually strive for improvement. 

Read the article “Four Qualities Perfectionists Need to Develop” to learn how to replace perfectionism with faith in the Savior. 

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  1. Pingback: Choosing Progress over Perfection - Latter-day Saint Insights

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