Friendly reminders for the perfectionist in you
I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist, and by a bit, I mean completely. To the point where it stops me cold from finishing things I’m so excited to work on. I’ve gone from posting 2 to 3 times a week to about once a week. Except I haven’t been writing any less. It’s just that everything I’ve come up with is currently sitting in a folder waiting for me to stop trying to fix it and let people read it finally.
I have so many ideas and things I want to make, but I second guess as soon as I start. Being an anxious lil nerd is definitely a part of that. But I think part of it is that when I scroll through my blog it’s just… not quite what I want it to be. It’d be great if I could pinpoint something specifically, but I just know somethings not sitting right with me.
I know, poor baby right? With all the crap going on in th world right now, a random woman in Florida being a baby about her blog posts doesn’t rank very high on anyone’s list of concerns. It shouldn’t, either! Trust me, I’ve never once taken myself that seriously.
But I think there are a lot of perfectionists who can relate, whether they’re working on a creative project or not. So these are some friendly reminders for anyone (including me!!) who’s brain is being a jerk to them and telling them they’re not doing good enough.
No one is over analyzing your work more than you are
One thing I’m trying to tell myself more and more is that while I spend hours planning, writing, and editing a post, everyone else spends about 3 minutes with it. They read it, or maybe just skim, and then they’re done. They move on to something else. That doesn’t mean that a post is insignificant, although they can be and are to plenty of people, but it just means that no one is really agonizing over it like I am. There are always things that can be improved on, but there comes a point where you’re just making too much out of it and need to just hit publish.
Just making something is an accomplishment
Every single time a friend has shown me something they’ve made, I’m first and foremost impressed with the fact that they made something out of nothing. When we’re writing or painting or whatever it is we’re doing, we have an idea in our head of what it’s supposed to be. Then we see the outcome and it inevitably doesn’t line up with our original vision. So we’re disappointed, and we nitpick, and we stress out. But no one else knew what you were imagining. They only see something really cool and original! It’s always good to work hard, but it’s also helpful to remember that no one else is going to view your work from the same lens as you.
Remind yourself of how far you’ve come instead of focusing on how far you have left to go
Aiming for perfection is only setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s not achievable for anyone. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a project and felt like it was exactly what I was hoping for. You can always find something to improve on, and getting hung up on those flaws will only keep you from trying again. One thing that helps me is to look at some of my really old projects to see how much I’ve improved. It’s such a gradual thing that you don’t always notice it. Then I look at something from 2 years ago and I get this rush of relief like holy crap, I actually did get better!
There is no finish line because every time you hit a milestone, you’re going to automatically look towards the next one. Always. No matter how good you are or how far you’ve come. There’s not going to be a day where you’re like okay this is it. I’m good enough and I never need to improve again. Just appreciate where you’re at and the fact that you’re still creating at all.
Don’t be the reason you’re not having fun anymore
When people start any kind of creative project, they do it because they love it. That’s why I started a blog, because I’ve always loved to write. And I love things like painting and drawing. My room is filled with journals and sketchbooks and art supplies. My phone is filled with lists of ideas to write about. It’s what’s fun for me. But when all I do is overthink to the point where I can’t even publish a post or finish a painting… it’s not really fun anymore. What a waste to ruin one of my favorite things just because I’m afraid it won’t be an unrealistic/unattainable level of perfect that no one else even cares about but me? Ugh. I need to get a grip.