"Perfectionism" and Prosperity

RareFaith-perfectionism

We live in a time when life comes at us faster than it ever has in the history of the world. We get stressed, overloaded, and overwhelmed. Under these pressures, it is hard to remain calm… the state of mind necessary to live in harmony with the universal laws of success. Often we get discouraged and lose faith, simply because we spend so much time beating ourselves up for our flaws.

To qualify for the blessings we’re praying for requires a calm and confident state of mind. But when we’re disappointed in ourselves, it is tough to have faith. The problem is, so long as we’re not perfect, there’s always something to be disappointed about. So what do we do about that? How can we have peace of mind when we’re so imperfect? How can we achieve prosperity so long as we fall short of perfection?

Do we have to THINK, BEHAVE, and DO everything perfectly in order for the blessings to come? No.

In my book, Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Money Matters, I talk about how I had a perfectionist mentality for many years, until, after I married and had children I discovered to my dismay how literally IMPOSSIBLE it is to be perfect, even when you give it all you’ve got.

For a simple example, I’d make a commitment to study a certain amount each day or week, and I’d sit down to read… just as a baby in the other room would wake up and start to fuss. Or, I’d get the kids to bed and open my books just to hear some crying and then one of the toddlers would throw up.

It seemed that something always got in the way of my ability to make a commitment to myself and keep it. I had gotten pretty good at “self-mastery” before starting a family, but all that changed after the first baby. No longer did I have much say in how my time would be spent, even with all of my good intentions of living a disciplined, structured life.

Finally, one day I surrendered in despair. I realized I had become a cranky, sloppy person with the utter inability to finish anything I tried to start. Anything that did get done was done half-shod. I collapsed in tears and expressed to God how sorry I was that I was such a failure. I was devastated and confessed that I was doing the best I knew how, and that as poorly as I was doing, it was all I could do.

For the first time in years I felt Him really smiling down on me. It was as if He was saying, “FINALLY you realize your dependence on me! NOW we can proceed!”

Everything changed after that. How does this lesson apply to me now? I still have all the interruptions that come with family life… even more now than ever. In fact, a paper airplane just hit me in the head and I’m not even kidding.

I don’t have time to plan, prepare, and execute much of anything as perfectly, professionally, or impressively as I should. Let’s say I’m selling something, and if doing the presentation poorly could cost me the deal, I have two choices. I can either think “oh, dear… I did such a bad job” or I can think, “that’s just going to have to be good enough.”

Which mentality will bring success? Which mindset leads to prosperity?

Now that I know my best is never going to be good enough, and now that I know that God understands and is okay with that (so long as I really try), I rely on Him to make up the difference for my inadequacies. When I’m trying to do a good job and I blow it anyway, I think of Him and pray that He can make something useful out of my less-than-perfect efforts.

So long as I have believed that, I’ve seen miracles.

So then, do we have to THINK, BEHAVE, and DO everything perfectly in order for the blessings to come? No. We will not live the principles perfectly, no matter how hard we try. BUT, we can think of God when we come short, and pray for mercy.

Let me give you an example. Years ago, my husband and I made the mistake of trying to purchase multiple investment properties at the same time. The underwriters on every one of those deals became uneasy when they realized what we were trying to do. The first home went through relatively easily, but the second was more tough. The underwriters kept coming back with more unexpected hoops that we had to jump through, including having us show larger amounts available in certain accounts than what they had originally requested, as well as proving that those funds had already been seasoned for so many months, etc…

Each time we managed to jump through one hoop, they came back with yet another and another and another. Originally they only needed to see X amount in the bank and 3 months of payments in reserve. Then, seeing us as a risky investment, their requirements increased to something like X times two and 6 months in reserve, which eventually turned into a required 12 months in reserves plus a letter stating we weren’t accruing more liabilities, even though they already knew we were. It seemed as though they had long since decided not to extend the loan and were hoping we’d just give up.

After meeting their newly imposed requirements over and over, it eventually became impossible to do the next thing they asked. We were so weary that we were ready to just let it go. We had done all we could do. Then a simple thought came to mind: we don’t have to come up with all that extra money and we don’t have to do everything they are asking… all this would take is for one person in underwriting to simply have a change of heart.

Suddenly it all seemed so simple, because it was going to be so much easier for us to pray for one person’s heart to change, than to pray for another $40,000 (or whatever it was – I can’t remember) to show up in our account by the next day, WITH proof that it had already been sitting there for several months, which would have been impossible to do.

Having finally come to peace with giving it our best and letting go of the outcome, we emailed to let them know that we would not be providing them the proof of the additional unexpected funds they were requiring.

The next day, our loan officer called and said that there was only one final token request (something insignificant), and it would be a done deal. There was no more mention of the large sum of money they had wanted before. It all finally went through.

The point? “You need not run faster than you have strength.” When perfection is impossible (and it always is), God can make up the difference if you will ask for His help and then believe in Him. Do your best to only ask for those things that would be in your best and highest good, and then trust Him. (More on that…)

A woman prayed: “Dear Father, I’ve been doing really well today… so far I haven’t yelled at the kids, cussed, thrown anything around in anger, overeaten, overspent, or overlooked my responsibilities… I haven’t watched too much TV, nor driven too fast. I’ve been good natured and cheerful to everyone around me… But Father, it’s morning and time for me to get out of bed. From here I’m really going to need your help.”

That’s what it comes down to: reliance on that higher power. If you choose to believe that somehow, God makes up the difference between your efforts and what’s required, then it’s that very belief which puts you in the right state of mind to receive the blessing… even when you don’t “deserve” it. In all honesty, none of us really “deserve” it. Only by the grace of God are we even breathing. So, to reach our goals, what does He require? Belief. Belief that He has a way to make up for our failings, and asking Him to help.

So, believe you can achieve your ideal life. Do what you can, and then when needed, say to yourself, “this is just going to have to be good enough.” Can you see how thinking this way is in harmony with the laws of success? If we think we aren’t doing well enough, and if we think that our inadequacy will prevent us from succeeding, then we’re right. Trust God to fill in, believe that He will, and you can succeed.

I just got hit in the head again. I’ve tried to edit this article as I’ve gone along, and now that I’m at the end I really should run through it one more time to make sure it comes across the way I wanted it to, and make sure the sentences are readable and flowey, but a precious little 5 year old has been trying to get my attention for more than two hours, so… it’s just going to have to be good enough.

Originally published February 7, 2005

Added August 8, 2015: Those of you who have been following me for a few years know that those real estate investments didn’t go so well! So yes, be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it. Here are some related follow-up articles that you may find interesting:

Gurus are Human
Human Empowerment, In Perspective

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No Flow, No Go?

Picture for attention.

Do you ever feel like you could be the poster child for Murphy’s Law?  Have you ever wondered if the struggle you face is evidence that you’re doing the wrong thing?  Before you draw that conclusion, read this:

I had a conversation with one of our Mindset Mastery participants and I thought I’d let you in on it…

Hi Leslie,

…I am just really bummed out right now. I am currently attending a University course to get my psychology degree. I am taking a philosophy class which I thought I would love, but it turns out the instructor is very picky so I am not enjoying or doing well in this class.

I read once that if something is a struggle, then it is not the right thing to be doing. If I am meant to be doing something, then it should be inspired and easy flowing.

I want to be a life coach and thought that with a degree in psychology, it might make things better.

I am worried too because I am getting financial aid and if I fail this class I may have to end up paying for the class or pay loans back or something which will put me further in the hole. I am just sitting here wondering what I am doing and really very upset. I didn’t know who to turn to or even what to do right now, So I guess I just needed to vent. I am scared, lets just say that. I am at work right now, if I wasn’t I would be crying.

Here’s how I replied:

First of all, take a deep, deep breath.

Second of all, let me add my perspective on the comment, “if something is a struggle, then it is not the right thing to be doing.” I think there is some truth to that, but it’s been twisted.

I gave birth to a few kids, and every one of those labors was a TREMENDOUS struggle.  That doesn’t mean in the least that it wasn’t the right thing to do.  The truth is that ANYthing worth having is worth struggling for.  The key is to keep your “WHY” vivid and alive.  When you lose sight of why you’re putting yourself through something tough, then the pain is only magnified.  When you remember the people whose lives you’ll change forever, the passion and the dream of that expectation is anesthesia that dulls the pain.

I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I thought, “We can do anything, as long as it gets us closer to our goal, and as long as we know it’s temporary.”  We always said that about the un-fun things we had to do along the way.

Furthermore, if you give up now just because it isn’t fun anymore, then how will you ever be qualified to coach someone else through their struggles?

If I were you, I’d do what I could to remember the law of Polarity and the law of Rhythm, especially now.  As horrible as this is, is how wonderful the reward will be on the other side.  If it’s only a little bit bad, then the reward will only be a little bit good.  If things are bad today, you can expect an upturn in your mood soon enough.  Look forward to it, expect it.  Be grateful for the pain today, because it is only through that pain that there could possibly be meaning in the victory.

As for the “flow” concept, yes, things can go smoothly and you can have that peace of mind being in the flow.  But it is an internal thing.  Life will always deliver challenges.  ALWAYS.  Life mastery means finding peace of mind and assurance that everything is going to be okay no matter what.  When you live in that kind of a state of being, then the resources you need begin to flow your way more naturally.  But remember, you’ve got to achieve that mindset before it flows, and that mindset can only be achieved in the middle of hardship.  (Anyone can find peace of mind when life is going smoothly; the best rewards come from finding it when life is NOT going smoothly.  That’s what separates the winners from the crowd.)

So, in reality, your hardship right now is a tremendous gift to you – you’re being given the opportunity to prove your mental toughness and demonstrate right thinking in spite of it.  Pass the test and you leap to a new level of life success.  Without the hardship, you would have no opportunity to prove yourself, and no corresponding reward would be waiting.

Anyway, I know this probably isn’t what you wanted to hear, but I hope you find it helpful.

Hang in there – a better day is coming if you respond to this the right way.  Think, how would a champion handle this?  How would a highly successful success coach handle this?  You’ve got it inside of you to conquer this – be kind to yourself.  Do your best and let God handle the rest.  Whatever the outcome is, chalk it up to your experience that adds to the value you’ll have to offer your future clients.

Warmest regards, 🙂

Leslie

This young woman quickly replied:

Thank you so so much Leslie! It means so much to me that you took time out to write me back! I love every bit of your reply. It all makes perfect sense! Again thank you so much! Just what I needed.

Now, what about you?  I’d like to help you get through those ‘stuck places’.

How? Join me in the Mindset Mastery program – there are now have THREE ways to play:

  • The Premium Mindset Mastery (Shipped) Program – $847.95
  • The Regular Mindset Mastery (Online) Program – $197
  • The NEW Mindset Mastery fully GUIDED (Online) Class – $497

Procrastination is your biggest enemy – if you know you need to do this, do it now.  Your transformation awaits you!

http://www.prosperthefamily.com

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The GUIDED Mindset Mastery Program

ANNOUNCING! The “GUIDED” Mindset Mastery Class 

No more “going it alone”!

I love the Mindset Mastery Program. It’s been around for nearly 10 years and we’ve seen hundreds of students experience it’s powerful process.

But previously, the only two options for completing the Mindset Mastery program was 1) regular online, or 2) premium shipped (with my assistance at the midterm). In both cases, it was primarily a self-directed course, with optional interaction with fellow participants in our private Facebook group and discussion forum.

However…

While some people are naturally motivated to push themselves through the lessons and challenging assignments to graduate with Honors, others have more difficulty staying on track. 

Sometimes participants get to one of the more challenging lesson assignments and then pause, digest, prepare to tackle, and then wrestle with it… ultimately overthinking how they should proceed, and they get stuck. Paralyzed. And too embarrassed to admit it and reach out to the community for support.

While there is no deadline for completing it in these two formats (one of our graduates took 4 years to complete it), and while the online community is always available to help a person get over the hurdles, sometimes people think they are the only one struggling, or that they should be able to figure it out on their own, or they doubt anyone in the group would understand why they’re stuck, and actually know how to help.

The good news is that the Mindset Mastery program is rooted in principles which are accessible to everyone, no matter what their background, experience, or skill level. It meets each person where he or she is at, and helps them level up and increase their confidence in achieving goals with Rare Faith.

The bad news is that so far, we’ve only made the program available to those with one learning style.

That’s why it’s time to create a THIRD enrollment option:

The GUIDED Mindset Mastery Class

This brand-new 15-week course is a hands-on, structured, group-paced course, patterned after a tremendously effective program format, where you meet for one hour each week online with your Expert Guide and eleven other class members, as you go through the program step-by-step, week by week, together.

You’ll be guided through ALL of the 24 Mindset Mastery lessons online, with a proven system for holding you accountable, and keeping you on track for graduation.

When does it start?

NEW SCHEDULE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, our original plan to hold this class on Thursday evenings needed to be changed, so…

We will have a mandatory Tech Check on Wednesday, January 2 at 8pm MST. The remaining sessions will be held Wednesdays (Jan 9 – Apr 10) – from 8-9pm MST.

A great way to kick off the new year!!

How much does it cost?

One semester takes you through the entire class. Cost is $497, but if you are already a Rare Faith newsletter subscriber and want to claim one of the 12 maiden voyage “pilot program” spots, you can save $100. Discount available only through November 26, 2018 or while there are still openings, and applied at checkout.

What do I get? 

When you enroll in the Guided Mindset Mastery Program, you’ll get all the same materials that come with the online version of the Mindset Mastery program, a knowledgable expert guiding the class through each challenge and fielding questions along the way, and an accountability system for keeping you on schedule and progressing toward successful graduation.

You’ll experience the powerful life-changing journey in a small group of 12 like-minded students, who are experiencing the same process with you from week to week. You’ll enjoy ongoing support, so you can more easily make progress at a steady pace through every single one of the mind-expanding units, from start to finish.

Who is this for?

The Mindset Mastery program is for anyone who wants to gain practice and confidence in applying that “Rare kind of Faith” that causes things to happen. This is accomplished as a scientific experiment, of sorts, in two phases:

Phase 1 – You use the principles to experience success with an INCONSEQUENTIAL goal, in which the outcome is beyond your natural control.

Phase 2 – You use the principles to experience success with a MEANINGFUL goal, in which the outcome is beyond your natural control, by:

  1. Identifying a long-term, life’s purpose goal.
  2. Identifying a shorter-term goal that is difficult, meaningful, or important.
  3. Identifying and accomplishing a bite-sized piece of the shorter-term goal, which is beyond your natural control, to which you apply the principles, with success.

Through this proven process, you’ll experience the success pattern for yourself, and teach your brain a skill that you will be able to repeat again and again for making steady progress toward the achievement of ALL your goals, throughout your life.

Not just for newbies!

This class is not only a fresh start for NEW enrollees, but it also provides a fresh start for existing participants who got stuck along the way, or for veteran graduates who want to experience the process at a whole new level, and who want to enjoy fresh, new success.

There will also be an opportunity to learn how YOU can potentially facilitate future classes for a home-based income.

Registration opens November 1st. Registration is NOW open!

Click here to register for the GUIDED class

Other options:

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Applying Rare Faith in the simple things

We moved into our new home last month, and we’ve been uncertain whether our beloved cat “Tom” would be able to go exploring without getting lost in the new environment. So we kept a careful watch on him for the first week, but eventually braved letting him out.

When he didn’t come back as quickly as usual, I began to feel worried. He finally showed up, but only after I went walking, calling for him up and down our street. I never saw him, but shortly after I gave up and came home, the kids discovered him at our door. He must have followed me there; I think he got our houses mixed up. After that, he never strayed far.

That was nearly six weeks ago. However, last week, after a night exploring, he came home looking like a wreck. We weren’t sure what happened, but his tail was matted and he walked with a limp.

We cleaned him up, and by morning he seemed to be himself again. Nevertheless, my kids decided that we should probably keep him inside from that point on. He’s getting older, and seems to be more forgetful. So one of my children put a sign on our front and back doors that said, “Don’t let Tom out”.

Last night, after the family was in bed, I noticed Tom sitting by the front door, longingly looking up at it. He seemed so sad and hopeful, waiting patiently for someone to notice and grant his freedom. He doesn’t make a noise, or try to get eye contact, he just looks up at the door and waits. Should I let him out? What if he doesn’t come home? What will the kids think if we lose him or if he gets hurt again because I “broke the rule”? I took a chance. I couldn’t stand to see him just waiting there, trusting someone would grant his wish without granting it, so out he went.

Usually when he goes out before bed, he’s waiting by the door again by morning. My son usually leaves for school first, so when I came downstairs, I assumed Tom was already somewhere in the house.

But I didn’t see him all morning, and after running my errands all day, I began to wonder if he ever made it home. Worried that I’d be in trouble with my family for letting him out, I hesitated to ask if anyone had seen him. Eventually I became concerned enough to ask each of the kids: “Have you seen Tom?”

No, no sign.

By 8:00 pm I was seriously concerned. Nobody had seen him to let him in again, and I knew he must be hungry, if he was still out there somewhere. So I went to a quiet place and offered up a prayer. I imagined my cat downstairs crunching his cat food. I imagined seeing him at the bottom of the stairs, and me saying, “Well, there you are!” And I imagined how grateful I would feel knowing he was safely home. Picturing him back in the home put a smile on my face, so I knew I was ready to begin. I spoke aloud:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I’m concerned about Tom. If it’s okay with you, will you please send some angels to go find him, and guide him home? I know you can hear me, and I know there are plenty of angels who are available, ready, and willing to help… [I imagined it again, and felt it again, as though it had happened] …thank you for bringing Tom home to us. He has been such a gift since he showed up 11 years ago.”

With that, I ended my prayer and chose not to worry. I imagined the angels on assignment looking for him. I also had a distinct thought, that they don’t magically wave their hand and – poof – he’s at the house, I thought maybe they didn’t immediately know where he was, either, and that they probably had to roam around a bit to find him. It made me think of the Law of Gestation. Maybe things take time, because the “unseen help” is, in many ways, just like us, and it can take time to do the things they’re trying to do. So I pictured them searching, and guiding him home, and even that put a smile on my face.

Fifteen minutes later I hear the front door open and my son yelled, “Tom’s back!”

That smile came back to my face, and I immediately knelt down and expressed my gratitude (again) for sending the help. These Rare Faith principles really do work, and they work – not just for the big things – but also for the simple, daily concerns like this one.

What if we approached our goals the way Tom approaches his? He doesn’t complain, he just focuses on his objective (literally, he just sits there looking at the door), and trusts that he’ll get the help he needs. Do you keep the image of what you want accomplished in view? Do you stay focused on it, with an expectant, trusting spirit? Or do you worry that your desires won’t be noticed? Do you beg and plead for them over and over again, while wondering what you’ll do if they aren’t met?

Try seeing your goal accomplished, and answer the question, “How will it feel when it is done?” But answer it with a feeling, not with words. Feel it. When you’ve done that, you’re ready to ask. Ask once. Then get back to your life and do what you can do for yourself. Trust that you’ve been heard. Trust that there is unseen help that cares about you, and is getting busy orchestrating the ideas, resources, and people you’ll need to accomplish it. Imagine that happening! And believe until it happens, even if it never does, don’t let YOU be the limiting factor. Your job is to believe. It will happen or it won’t. So what. Just make sure you did YOUR part.

I’d like to invite you to read more stories that help you build that belief. That’s what Portal to Genius was designed to do. Follow Richard and Felicity who are at the end of their financial rope, Morgan who needs a medical miracle for his son, and Ray who needs 4.5 million dollars by Wednesday. Be inspired as you see how each of them discover the key for themselves in Portal to Genius. (Read it FREE!)

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