LeadHER: The Desire To Be Perfect

Written By: Andrea Crisp


Hi, my name is Andrea, and I’m a perfectionist. 

This label has haunted me for years, and has been the source of self sabotage for as long as I can remember. 

I’m also a leader, a friend, a coach, and a daughter. But with everything I do — I strive for perfection. And, no I did not get the memo that there is no such thing as perfection. If that were true, I would have stopped trying to be perfect long ago. 

There is a battle that rages inside of me to ‘fix’ everything, and everyone around me. Nothing is sacred. If a problem is presented to me, then my first instinct is to find a solution. No matter what the cost. 

Heaven forbid I make a mistake. Let’s be real here… heaven forbid anyone make a mistake. 

When I was first asked to contribute to the Gather Women Blog, I wrestled with what I wanted to write. So, I wrote several drafts which promptly were deleted. In my quest to be real and authentic, all I really wanted to do was to paint myself in a positive light, to show you the best side of me. But, with every draft, I was more frustrated with the lack of transparency I was willing to reveal.

So here is the real me. The real struggle I face as a woman in leadership. 

As women in leadership, we all struggle. We have something that holds us back from pursuing our potential to the fullest. Mine is the desire to be perfect. Ok, there are also other things, but let’s not go there today. 

So, what is holding you back? 

It doesn’t matter what position you hold when it comes to falling victim to shortcomings. They are lurking beneath the surface, and we are constantly trying to keep them at bay. Today, I’m going to shine a light on mine, so that you can be encouraged to do the same. 

A few months ago, I stumbled on the Enneagram (a personality inventory) and began listening to a great podcast called “The Road Back To You”. To say that I was enlightened is an understatement. I took the personality inventory quiz which revealed exactly what I knew to be true of myself — I'm a ‘perfectionist’.

Yes, the ‘perfectionist’ is a personality type. Shocking, I know. 

But, it also took me down the path of self discovery towards a place of grace. For the first time I was able to see that my worst flaw is also my greatest strength. My desire to see things ‘perfected’ in my own life and in the life of others has been the catalyst to helping women reach their potential. 

I began to realize that although I may fight with the desire to be perfect, it also holds the keys to my own purpose. God has made me this way for a reason. I’m not cursed by being a ‘perfectionist’, I’m blessed to be able to see what is possible in life. 

There is grace that covers every part of my strength and weakness. God has given me a perspective on life through the lens of a ‘fixer’, and that is not a bad thing. In fact it’s a great thing. 

Maybe you have been struggling to overcome a weak area in your life, and feel like you keep bumping up against it at every turn. I’d like to encourage you to examine it from a different perspective. God did not make a mistake when He created you. He has created you uniquely to bring honour and glory to Him. When you see yourself from His perspective, you will start to see that His love is made perfect in you. And, that the very thing that once held you back, will ultimately magnify the greatness of God. 

If you are interested in taking the personality inventory that I mentioned, it can be found here — www.exploreyourtype.com/details