Perfectionism vs Creativity…

I grew up being encouraged always to do my best in all things, and although in some ways this constant quest for self-improvement has proved somewhat beneficial in life, the down side for me has been living with a never-ending niggling feeling of simply not being good enough as I am…

The nagging feeling that I should always push myself to do better has ignited a need for striving for perfection in all things, which of course can rarely (if ever) be achieved and so leads to frequent disappointment. For life’s inveterate losers like me, the focus is always necessarily on the winning, never on the taking part – we always have our eyes firmly fixed on that elusive prize carrot, forever dangling tantalisingly just outwith our reach…

And worst of all, I find my perfectionist streak seriously curtails my creativity. Creativity for me is all about curiosity – exploring, experimenting, being prepared to try (and inevitably fail) multiple times before finally finding your feet with something. But I’m really not good at feeling I’m failing at things; failure triggers my not-good-enough button, makes me feel bad about myself, so much so that over the years I’ve learned to avoid keeping on trying with anything I might struggle with, sometimes giving up before I even get started…

I put it down to a lack of patience, and make jokes about it, but I think it goes beyond that. It’s more a fear of failing that prevents me forging ahead when I don’t immediately succeed. It’s as if I just can’t deal with the repeated emotional trauma of constantly highlighting my not-good-enough-ness, consistently exposing myself as a potential failure and risking the inevitable rejection that goes along with it, so I’d rather give up at the first hurdle than face going there at all…

But thankfully the tide is slowly turning. Blogging is teaching me to trust in my creativity again, to stop paddling about so fearfully in the shallows and start pushing the boat out – so I post my imperfect photographs, share my mediocre poetry, join in challenges just for the sheer fun of it, and now in my fifties am finally learning to truly enjoy life again!

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4 thoughts on “Perfectionism vs Creativity…

  1. It is good that you are slowly letting go of the strangling of perfectionism. Habits that we think are good can sometimes turn out bad for us. Keep rebelling against perfection and enjoy the freedom to be/create at any level. Hugs.

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