Letting go of perfection

I never considered myself a perfectionist, seeing as my life has always been “in shambles” so to speak. I have never been able to keep my living space clean, I got poor grades in school, and my artwork has always been pretty sloppy. In retrospect, however, I’ve accepted the fact that some of these failures stemmed from a desire to be perfect in a way that is not achievable. At least not for me.

I tend to put off cleaning up after myself because I am very particular about how things get put away. I like for every object to have its own home, preferably labelled, and placed neatly there. This is rather time consuming, and as a result my belongings tend to hang out wherever I drop them until that magical day when I will have the time to create the perfect space for them…you see where this is going?

In school, I often gave up on assignments if I couldn’t get them just right, preferring to take a zero rather than reveal to my teacher the sub-par-whatever-it-was that I came up with. It doesn’t make much sense when you actually think about it.

And then of course there is the artwork. I already said it’s usually pretty sloppy. This is because I get frustrated when things don’t go the way I wanted them to go, and then I end up rushing through the rest and giving up. Or just not starting at all. Frustration.

So I am learning to let go of perfection. I keep telling myself it’s ok if I make a mistake, and it’s ok if I’m not using the top quality materials, or if I’m using the “right” techniques or the “right” brushes or whatever…the truth is, I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing most of the time. I just don’t care anymore.

5 thoughts on “Letting go of perfection

  1. I often question the difference between being a perfectionist and being obsessive. Is there a difference, and does it matter if it takes you in a good direction like creativity? This week I took maybe 600 photos, RAW and JPEG and only today kept three for my blog post tomorrow. But, it keeps me out of the bar. 🙂

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    1. I agree that perfectionism or even an obsessive nature can drive many people to do great things—it sounds like you’re one of them. But if you had spent the week taking 600 photos only to decide you didn’t even have three worth sharing, what would be the point?

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