“Heather, you didn’t fail.”
In tears I left the tech booth. Ed’s words hit home after I told him I had just left my job at the news station. A job that started out part time turned into a mini dream of producing stories. Instead of being part time, it turned to full time and I thought maybe this was my chance to finally “be someone“; but as it consumed my desires and time, the job created a strain on my family where I was only mom on Wednesday and Thursday nights. After several alarming events and behaviors, God made it very clear I needed to be home.
I know I don’t need to be perfect, so why do I still feel like a failure?
Tearfully I turned in my resignation which felt like the death of another mini-dream–another failure. My first evening home should have been bliss and it was until I couldn’t find the lid to the tupperware bowl. Suddenly I found myself ranting as bowls and lids spilled out of the cupboard out onto the floor and down the stairs as I began matching bowls with lids and stacking like it were the last game of Tetris I’d ever play. My husband rounded the corner with the words,
“Heather, chill!! It doesn’t need to be perfect.”
Life felt out of control, I lacked direction and purpose and found myself trying to control the only thing I could–Tupperware.
Why do these feelings of not being enough and failing keep popping up in my life? Why do I have a long list of failures constantly running through my head?
2 kids with special needs
Walking away from a women’s website I co-founded
My first book riddled with errors
My arrest record
Our tiny home that I can never seem to keep clean, nor does it compete with others on the block.
My resignation in ministry
….. fail, fail, fail, epic fail.
Or was it? I sat on the couch and in one afternoon inhaled Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory’s book: The Cure for the Perfect Life: 12 Ways to Stop Striving and Start Living Braver.
As I read the book I realized I was trying to live up to the ideal picture of Heather in my head. This Heather valued the noble task of motherhood, being a godly wife, being myself, creating a peaceful home, and following God’s call on my heart but the reality was this: I valued people’s opinions of how I performed, my accomplishments, fitting in, and being normal.
And what drove my reality: Fear of being rejected. Fear of not being accepted. Fear that I am NOT enough. And what I learned is this:
The Try Harder Bullies demand that we live according to priorities that we don’t really believe in and they cause us to violate the values we do…How do they wiled this kind of power in our lives? They use fear.
Little mama, it’s time to face our fears. It’s time to look the enemy square in the eye and say, “I am not afraid of you.”
Do you feel that way? Do you feel like your identity is wrapped up in what you can do or what you’re known for? Do you find yourself thinking, I’ve failed? Or perhaps you’re thinking, I’m known for what I can do not for who I am?
If so then my friend, you and I are going to be rebel buddies.
And what I loved most about this book was how it actually drew my husband and I closer. In the book, Cheri & Kathi offer a ton of find out what makes you tick type of quizzes including, “Which type of rebel are you.” I learned I’m a Driving/Analytic Rebel while my husband is a Amiable Rebel. Meaning, unless I’m initiating change and doing “something” I feel like I’m not fulfilling my purpose when the reality is this: God created me to be a see the big picture and strive to make a difference while he created my husband to teach me to be…” present, not regretting the past, not reaching for the future but living for now.”
It taught me to look through his eyes while he learned to look through mine. Suddenly we understand each other and ourselves. Now days, I blog when I feel God leading me instead of trying to get traffic. I don’t care that my weeds are taller than my neighbors, and if I’m not asked to speak at an event this season–that is TOTALLY awesome. And when it comes to being a mom, I’m much closer to being the mom I want to be in my head. 🙂 I think Ed was right!!
If you want to let go of the try hard life, this book is for you. If you want to face your fears head on, this book is a must read. If you want to break the chains of perfectionism, start hammering way with this book!
Which Rebel are you? Take the Cure for the Perfect Life Quiz
In other words I slide towards performancism when stressed and tend to offend my husband because he feels he isn’t good enough. If you want to find out what kind of rebel you are, take the quiz right here: The Cure for The Perfect Life Quiz. And if you want to find out.
Freebies & Samples: Go ahead, try a taste of Braver Living
In case you are in need of courage through out your day of Living Braver, here are verses you can download! A Verse a Day for Braver Living.
Want to sample the book? Click here for a sample chapter download.
Don’t forget to stop by and listen to Kathi & Cheri on Here’s The Thing Podcasts too!
Ready for a community of women to rally behind you?
If you’re ready to break out of performing and need a Bravery Buddy, check out their Facebook Group: Tiny Acts of Rebellion.
Want to win a free signed copy?
If you’re ready to become a rebel of the “try hard” life, stop by my Facebook Page (facebook.com/HeatherRiggleman) today and leave a comment for a chance to win a SIGNED COPY of The Cure for the Perfect Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver. It is a much needed personal resource for women and it would be perfect for a book club or Bible Study. 🙂 P.S. Hearts Ignited Girls–Guess what book we are doing next? 🙂
More about the Book
Do you know a woman who works her heart out but never gets anything “just right”? Who feels like she falls short of being the Christian wife, mother, daughter, and friend she longs to be?
Sound like anyone you know? Perhaps even the girl in the mirror? If so, Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp have good news for you.
You’re not a bad person. You’ve simply been obeying some really bad rules for far too long, rules that promised paradise but misled you into perfectionism, people-pleasing, and procrastination prison. But you don’t have to stay stuck in discouragement and resentment. Escape is possible. Rescue is waiting.
This sassy self-help guide offers been-there-felt-that, girlfriend-to-girlfriend empathy and experience that will help you
- tell the difference between reasonable rules and bad rules
- identify the bad rules you need to break
- discover biblical wisdom to overcome the bad rules in your life
As you stop trying to measure up so that others will be impressed, you’ll experience what it means to “let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.”