Tuesday, 18 June 2013

What is perfect?

What a relief. Don’t try so hard. Let go. Give up. Relax. Let it be easy and effortless. Stop pushing. False urgency is not helpful. Step back. Detach. Watch yourself. Call someone. Get off the wheel. Somehow, somewhere along the line – how it happened is not relevant right now – I learned this: ‘what ever you do, however hard you try, it will never, ever be good enough.’ That’s the bedrock of perfectionism and perfectionism is an insidious ‘killer of joy’ I read some wise person say.

© Maggie Sawkins 2017 My word art on Etsy.

Here is a case in point. The hardest bit as Steven Pressfield says to start his book ‘The War of Art’ is not the writing. It’s the sitting down to write. That which keeps us from sitting down, is resistance. Buried inside resistance are many things maybe and I think one of them must be this horrible habit. 'If it will never be perfect then there is no point trying': it’s a classic catch 22. It’s a relief. There’s no perfect success possible so I’m off the hook...

The art of dealing with perfectionism is staring at its hidden lie that there is such a thing as perfect. Hollywood talent agencies know the ‘perfect’ face will always have some asymmetry, some quirk that sets the star apart. That makes them human. Is there a perfect tree? A perfect dinner? I’m wondering if perfection isn’t a state but an experience. 'That was a perfect evening…' (in a different mood, maybe not). 'It’s the perfect spot…' however imperfect it may be. Seek imperfection a wise mentor suggested. Look for 5 imperfections a day. Practice no more self shaming thoughts but instead…’Ah, bless me, how imperfect am I!’ x