Break Up With Perfection This Valentine’s Day

February 9, 2015 | 20 comments

“You are an amazing person.”

Do you believe that?

Let me confess something: I’ve been quite able to turn to the person next to me in at church or on the gymnasium bleachers — or right here on this blog — and tell you how truly amazing you are. And I’ve always meant it.

But sometimes? It’s really hard to believe that one word — amazing — about myself.

After spending the last year with thousands of women at conferences and retreats, I know you can totally relate.

You’ve told me how you feel like you’re not measuring up. How you’ve been burdened with the “not enoughs.” You see the ways you’re falling short when you look at your credit card balance, your dress size, your rejection letters, and the messy family stuff that you don’t want anyone to know about. You compare your insides, to the polished-up outsides of your Facebook friends. All the while your inner critic is yammering on about how you’re falling short.

And it all makes you feel quite un-amazing.

You know what we do when we feel un-amazing? We try harder. We do more. Because we think if we work harder, then we might finally be able to reach some unrealistic, invisible standard of what amazing looks like. We put in longer hours at the office, give more of ourselves to the committees, say yes to everything, and do our best to please everywhere.

The pressure for perfection is wearing us out.

But the answer isn’t “do more.” It’s not “try harder” or “work faster.”

The answer is believing that you are preapproved.

Living preapproved is the muzzle on your inner critic. It’s the permission slip you need to break out of the prison of perfectionism.

Do you know today how utterly cherished you are? Do you know that you are the apple of God’s eye? (Zechariah 2:8)

God is saying to you, “You are an amazing person.” He is saying, “You don’t have to earn anyone’s approval. You don’t have to try so hard. Rest in me. Believe again that My Son forfeited Heaven for you — to free you from guilt, from condemnation, from legalism, from living a try-hard life.” He freed you from the invisible standards of perfection that none of us can achieve.

It’s time to break up with perfection, and live preapproved. That’s the love and approval your heart has been searching for all along.

Will you join me in breaking up with “perfection” this Valentine’s Day?

“Breaking up With Perfection”

My friend and fellow author Holley Gerth and I have a Valentine’s gift for you!

We’re hosting a free webcast on Wednesday February 11th at 8:30 p.m. CST called “Breaking Up with Perfection.” (Head on over to RSVP!) We’ll have a fun, honest, insightful conversation about our struggle with trying to be perfect and how God is helping us get free. We’ll also answer questions from you!

A Fabulous Giveaway

To celebrate a clean break-up with perfection, we’re giving away some fun prizes during our free webcast.

1) A gorgeous necklace from Vi Bella Jewelry, inspired by my book Love Idol and made by artisans in Haiti.

2) Holley’s soon-to-be-released book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect

3) Jennifer’s book, Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes

To Enter the Giveaway

1) Share this post on Facebook.

2) Leave a comment saying you did so.

3) In your comment, also include a question you’d like for us to answer during the webcast. The winner will be announced during the webcast.

To be part of the free Breaking Up with Perfection webcast, click hereWe’re looking forward to being with you!

Share on Twitter

{Click to tweet this}: Living #preapproved is the muzzle on your inner critic. (Join a free webcast with @dukeslee & @holleygerth)

28 Days of True Love

Have you been following our 28 Days of True Love? Find details here. Follow along on instagram here. Feel free to pin or share any of our images below, or make your own. Use the hashtag #28daysoftruelove and tag me @dukeslee so I can find you!

Your truest valentine says you are justified. (Romans 3:24)

Your truest valentine says you are beautiful. (Psalm 45:11)

Your truest valentine made you to shine like a star. (Philippians 2:15)

Your truest valentine rescued you. (Colossians 1:13)

Your truest valentine declares you PreApproved. (Ephesians 1:4)

Your truest valentine renews you every day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)




by | February 9, 2015 | 20 comments


  1. Karrilee Aggett

    Oh I love this! I have it marked on my calendar and will set my West Coast alarm so I can join you girlies on Wednesday! I shared on fb and twitter and can’t wait to wake up with you both! Hmm… a question…

    Do you have a main trigger that still stirs up those Perfectionistic tendencies? And once you identify what that is, what are some tools to help overcome it? (You know… an easy question!) 😉

    • dukeslee

      Thanks, Karrilee! So glad you can join us. And thanks for the great question!

  2. Karrilee Aggett

    Oh I love this! I have it marked on my calendar and will set my West Coast alarm so I can join you girlies on Wednesday! I shared on fb and twitter and can’t wait to wake up with you both! Hmm… a question…

    Do you have a main trigger that still stirs up those Perfectionistic tendencies? And once you identify what that is, what are some tools to help overcome it? (You know… an easy question!) 😉

  3. Kristin Smith

    I love it!! Cheering you on ladies and hoping to be able to join you!

  4. Kristin Smith

    Oh and I shared on FB and Twitter too. And a question, let’s see…It is one thing to know I don’t need to be perfect, and yet another to live in that freedom. I don’t think I am there yet…how do you claim that freedom and live fully in it?!

  5. Nancy Ruegg

    Love the break-up imagery for doing away with Mr. Perfectionism! I had a bit of fun imagining “him” as a has-been boyfriend: What a waste of time he is. That loser is no longer welcome around here! If he so much as shows up on my doorstep I am telling him to get lost. Just what did I see in him in the first place?

    Thank you Jennifer!

  6. Trudy Den Hoed

    Such an encouraging post, Jennifer. I need to hear this preapproved message every day as I so easily forget. Like you, I can much more easily tell others they’re amazing, but it’s so hard for me to believe it for myself. I’d love to hear the telecast, but I won’t be able to be there. Is there a way I can still access it later?

    • dukeslee

      Yes, Trudy. It will be available on YouTube. I’ll try to remember to send you the link. If I forget, shoot me an email! xo

  7. Terry Felix

    Shared on facebook and Twitter. Looking forward to it!

  8. Katie Reid

    I shared. I also totally need to break up with perfection! My question is, “How do you identify when you are doing something with excellence vs. when you are striving for perfection and letting perfectionism hold you back from living free?”

  9. Bridget Kramer

    Hi. I so hope my schedule allows me to be present at this discussion! My question: How do I, normal, plain, no-fuss, no drama, regular girl, figure out how to be happy. How to be happy and still ‘live’ in this chaotic, competitive, what are those jeans called?miss me?, how many necklaces do I need? world and show my girls that I am true. True to the person God called me to be? Without having the limits of the perfect world, home, or beauty?

  10. Marni Gallerneault

    Beautiful! Shared on FB. I would love to find that balance of not striving for perfection, yet serving well what God has before me. How do I tell the difference between what God wants me to do, and what I think I should be doing?

  11. Emily Wierenga

    I love both of you and your hearts. XO

  12. Debbie Putman

    I always need reminders that God loves me for who i am. I must rest in His love and peace that passes all understanding. I shared this event on both my personal Facebook page and my blog Facebook page. Looking forward to listening tonight. Thank you! My question: how do you keep this truth of God’s love and grace in the forefront of your mind when you are discouraged by yourself? How do you turn to Him instead of allowing not-enough to permeate your spirit?

  13. Carolyn

    Shared on facebook. Looking forward to tonight’s broadcast. OOPs question posted to facebook. Question for tonight – how do you counter people saying they love you
    and accept you, yet when in a crowd, you are left out of conversations,
    ignored and just all around made to feel not really loved and accepted?

  14. Debra S

    I answered true to my amazement to everyone of the quiz questions. I am in the mist of finding my purpose and am finding it hard to lose control of my earthly identity.

    My Question is: How do I get rid of the nasty voices in my head? The ones that question my every decision and paralyze my every move. I am a follower of Christ and read His word, yet the doubt voice continue.
    Thank You
    I have posted on FB and Twitter. I do not blog.

  15. InfertilityMom

    I shared this on Facebook. Jennifer, how did God put your book title on your heart?

  16. Ashley

    Can I get this any way besides attending it live? Me as late last night seeing it but I NEED this! Thanks

    • dukeslee

      Yes! I have a video recording of it available on my blog. Come on over and check Thursday’s blog post to find it. 🙂


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