Rise of Neoliberalism Plaguing Millennials, Generation Z

And, well, for the anxious and controlling parents—love them. They love you.
And, well, for the anxious and controlling parents—love them. They love you. (3643825)

Perfectionism is on the rise among Millennials and Generation Z, according to a new study.

Perfectionism is broadly defined as a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations, according to a study by Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill published in the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin.

The authors point to three reasons for the rise: neoliberalism's expansion, parents who are anxious and controlling and meritocracy's increase.

"[N]eoliberalism and its doctrine of meritocracy have combined to shape a culture in which everybody is expected to perfect themselves and their lifestyles, by striving to meet unrealistic achievement standards," the study states. "For parents, this new culture confers an additional burden. On top of their own duty to succeed, they are also responsible for the successes and failures of their children."

What are these researchers talking about?

Neoliberalism is "a liberal who de-emphasizes traditional liberal doctrines in order to seek progress by more pragmatic methods," according to Merriam-Webster. This same dictionary defines meritocracy is "a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement; leadership selected on the basis of intellectual criteria."

And most of us know what anxious and controlling parents are like.

Why is this such a bad thing (aside from the controlling anxious parents)?

"Research among college students and young people, for example, has found self-oriented perfectionism to be positively associated with clinical depression, anorexia nervosa and early death," the study authors point out. "It is also associated with greater physiological reactivity (e.g., elevated blood pressure) and ill-being (e.g., negative affect) in response to life stress and failure."

Noteworthy is the fact that perfectionism is actually a doctrine. I didn't realize that until I did some research on the topic while I was writing my book, Faith Magnified.

This doctrine states that the perfection of moral character constitutes a person's highest good. It's a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable. We serve a perfect God, one without sin who delivered us from sin. But we're still not perfect—and we never will be so long as we're in this flesh.

The good news is God doesn't demand absolute perfection. When Jesus said "Therefore be perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48), He was speaking about walking in love.

So, Millennials, Generation Z, Generation X, Baby Boomers—whatever age you are—don't get hung up on trying to be perfect while you are in this body of flesh, or you may get religious instead. We should strive for maturity. That said, we can be in the perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2). We should set our hearts to pursue Christ. When we do, we'll mature in Him and find His perfect will.

I break the powers of false doctrines over your life. I bind the voice of neoliberalism. I shatter the drive for perfection and release a grace to pursue excellence. I push back the ideology of meritocracy, in Jesus' name.

And, well, for the anxious and controlling parents—love them. They love you.

Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at info@jenniferleclaire.org.

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective