The Perils of Perfectionism


Per·fec·tion·ist
noun
a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.


 

If you’re anything like me and see yourself as a perfectionist, this may be your biggest flaw. How could you take a word which basically translates to being the best and see it as such an imperfection? Well, it’s simple, nobody is perfect.

As a perfectionist you simply will not and quite frankly cannot settle for less than the idea of perfect. You’ll tweak and tinker, scrap and rebuild, doubt and critique until you’re left feeling unsatisfactory about something that may have been A1 from the start.

I recently did some nail art that was inspired by a street artist I follow, Adam Kiyoshi Fujita, and absolutely love his work. On a whim I decided to post it to social media and to my surprise he actually reached out and was impressed by it. Adam Kiyoshi Fujita Inspired NailsHe’d asked me to send him some more pics showing off my design and that’s when my anxiety set it. The curse of perfectionism strikes again!

Instead of jumping on the opportunity, I decided to spend the next few hours freaking out about how unsatisfied I was about my work and all of the pictures I’d taken. Rather than feeling gratification that he’d found interest in my work at all, I felt pressure, stress, and depressed I’m not 100% ambidextrous (talk about an adverse reaction).

After my nervous breakdown I finally decided it’s best to send something than nothing, so I sucked up my unrealistic high standards and sent what I thought was best out of what I had. Turns out he loved what I had to show!



“The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.”
– FDR


Perfection is imaginary. It’s opinionated and varies from person to person, yet there are some of us who still try to attain the unattainable, and want to satisfy everyone and ourselves. Though it’s great to give yourself standards, it’s unhealthy to strain for an impossible standard. It’s the fear of creating something sub par to those around us, but we really are our biggest critics.

The truth is, in creation, there will always be room for improvement because an artist’s work is never really complete. The mind is ever-changing and new ideas and inspirations can stem at any moment. Whether it be the moment you were in when you began painting, writing, or recording, or in a moment shortly after or even years after. The important thing to remember is not to waste time scrutinizing and missing an opportunity trying to create the best version, when you could create a variety of amazing things. In the words of Shia LaBeouf and Nike, “Just Do It”.

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