Man sitting in a cave

Choosing Progress over Perfection

In a world focused on achievement and perfection, let’s remove unrealistic expectations by celebrating our progress.

In his talk “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles emphasizes the importance of not beating ourselves up when we seem to keep falling short. He reminds us of the commandment to be perfect, but he also clarifies that “we should not demean or vilify ourselves, as if beating up on ourselves is somehow going to make us the person God wants us to become.”

Person Rock-climbing with a quote by Jeffrey R. Holland that says, "Let's strive for steady improvement."

Photo by Анна Рыжкова

God wants us to become like him, which includes becoming perfected, but we so often forget that perfection is a journey that will take us a lifetime. The journey to perfection is more like a marathon than a sprint, so we should focus on each mile marker, rather than running ourselves ragged to reach the final destination. 

During my junior year of college, I failed the first test of the semester. I could have been hard on myself and blame myself for not doing better. Instead, I chose to focus on what I could do to study better for the next test. As a result, I received a much better grade on it. 

Our focus should be less on being perfect now and more on how we are being perfected through Christ. We can do this by setting realistic goals for ourselves that help us come closer to Christ, by celebrating each little victory, and by working to improve each time we experience a setback. 

Read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually” for more information on how we can better focus on progress in place of perfection.

Source: General Conference

[Byline] —Catherine Niesporek, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Take a look at the Latter-day Saint Insights article 3 Tips to Avoid Being Paralyzed by Perfection by Auburn Wilcox to gain insight about overcoming our fear of failure.

Read the Blog article Perfection is Our Potential, Not our Present by R. M. Jennings to learn more about harnessing our potential.

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One Comment

  1. This is inspiring and well needed! Thanks for posting! ❤️

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