Releasing perfectionism, a journey in five steps

Today I grabbed my journal again and wrote in it, 6 days after the last entry. In the past that would have driven me absolutely nuts. Today, I just grabbed my journal and wrote.

In the past when I skipped days, I would have first tried to catch up for the days before and then was too tired to write what I wanted to write for the day itself.

I don’t have time for that sort of debilitating perfectionism anymore.

Here’s what I do to stop myself from being a perfectionist.

1. Don’t push it
When I don’t want to journal, I don’t journal. When I do, I do. There’s no reason for the journal to be perfect, or for me to tear out pages just because they are ugly.

2. Celebrate mistakes
When I create, I don’t fear mistakes anymore. They are part of my creative process. There are no better teachers than inkblots and failed art projects. One of my most cherished possessions is an album full of analog pictures taken with toy cameras. I love how wonky and blurry they are!

3. Take a breath and try again
This is a big one for me. When I get into an angst cycle because my art isn’t working or because my writing does suck, I don’t let perfectionism win. I just take a breath and try again. In the finished pieces, I can’t even tell where I have made mistakes. It just is part of my process now.

4. Note the freezes
When perfectionism hits, I procrastinate. I have become very aware of when I freeze up, now. All it takes is a couple of deep breaths and then I do what needs/wants to be done.

5. Have faith
I am a firm believer that all my imperfections are leading me to create what I was born to create. Every stumbling block, every fearful moment is a part of my path. It’s all about the journey, and perfectionism has no part in it.

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