Is this you? You try to finish up a creative project but you just can’t get it right, so you choose not to work on it at all. You won’t let anyone see your work until it’s perfect, which means that you generally don’t share.
If these feel familiar you might have some perfectionist tendencies.
Here’s the thing: on the surface, perfectionism can look good. It can look like you have pride in your work. It can look like you want to do things well.
Perfectionism is fear in disguise.
Perfectionism makes a deal with you: You cannot contribute until you are perfect. Until then, perfectionism will keep you safe on the sidelines making sure you don’t contribute. Only once you are perfect – so says your perfectionism – you will be entitled to make your contribution.
Here’s the rub: You will never be perfect . Why? Because you are a human being and humanity is the opposite of perfection.
Think about a piece of art you love. What do you love about it? Its perfection or its humanity?
I love art that allows me to touch both the humanity of the artist as well as my own (like this song which, if you listen to the end, you can hear them turn off the recording device. Imperfection!).
So, what is the antidote to perfection?
Volume is the antidote to perfection.
If you want to create and you’re stuck in a perfectionist rut, the best thing you can do is get working. Not for anyone else’s eyes, just your own. Focus on your creative work as much as you’re willing and able, even if it’s ten minutes a week.
Working breaks the cycle of perfectionism. Don’ t worry about whether your work is good. Focus on showing up. And then keep showing up.
The more you create, the more you get into the creative flow, the less a hold your perfectionism has over you.
Does this scare you? Or is it something you already practice? I would love to hear back from you.
With love and courage,
ps – I can’t wait to share my free four-part video course, Awaken! Reconnect to Your Creativity with you this fall. And I’ve also got a new album coming out!! Want album updates? Click here: