1. It makes me into a better person. Actually, no. It makes me more of an ass. Grumpier. More critical. More self-focused. And lonely (because ‘friends’ are actually competition).
2. It helps me perform. The truth? It stops me even trying.
3. I feel better knowing that I’ve done my best. When has your best ever been good enough?
4. It protects me from feeling ashamed or judged. Right. Nothing as cheering as repeatedly falling short of my own ridiculous standards. And being ruled by fear.
5. It’s possible to be perfect. Remind me again: why did Jesus have to die?
6. If I do good stuff, I’ll be accepted. Wait. Didn’t I try that? And doesn’t the gospel teach the opposite? You’re accepted first. And then you bless.
7. I’m doing it for me. Are you sure you’re not doing it to be seen?
8. I’m not doing anyone any harm. Really? You’re totally fine with them doing things in a slightly different way?
9. If you don’t aim for the best, you won’t be the best. Guess what, there will always be someone neater, smarter, funnier, prettier, nicer. And you can’t kill them all.
10. I’m not sure how else to live. Living is what everyone else is doing while you’re trying to be perfect.