As soon as I started to write this post, three major thoughts popped into my head.
“I’m not a writer so why would I even be writing a blog?”
“No one will read this, it doesn’t even make sense anyways?”
“That image could be so much better, why would you post that?”
The struggle of being a perfectionist is real and I am in a constant battle with myself. But I will pursue. Let me just take a moment to chill out, breathe and just write.
Now let’s continue…
The need to be perfect was drilled into my head at the start of my ballet career, when I was eight years old. Ten years of constant critiquing and being told what’s wrong with my body can definitely stick with you even after you’ve hung up your pointe shoes. A ballerina is the epitome of perfection and every little girl’s dream. Well my dream was crushed after turning sixteen and realizing there was more to life outside of being a full time ballet student and I pursued a different path instead. Unfortunately, that wonderful trait of perfectionism followed me.
It was never about my looks, I was quite content with how I looked (for the most part… let’s not get ahead of ourselves). It had more to do with anything I worked on, projects or my routine and schedule. I obsess over planning things, staying organized or being prepared for something. I would prefer things to just go perfectly and smoothly which is both a good and bad thing.
When it comes to my design and illustration work, I give it my all. I work hard and put in all my effort but it can take me a while to understand when my effort should end. I have to make sure I’m satisfied and feeling accomplished with almost anything I work on or else the effects can be crushing. It’s hard for me to stop on something, just walk away and stop stressing on whether or not it can be better. I’m probably too hard on myself and can be my own worst enemy, like most people.
It’s not all bad, being a perfectionist can also be a good quality. It’s allowed me to challenge myself and work my hardest. It helps me set goals and stay motivated to learn new things. I’m competitive and the strive to keep going is fueled by a need to be perfect. I am a better designer because of it and am continuing to acknowledge it.
Yes it’s hard sometimes to deal with and not stress since it can have some negative influences on the things I do and the people I’m around. I feel awful when my boyfriend wants to do something or plan something together and I stress about it not going as planned or being what I expected. I’d dwell on it and not let it go until it ruins my mood and causes me to just mope around, pathetic I know.
There are days where it can rule me and days where I can use it to my advantage. I question if other fellow creatives deal with the same issue, or anyone of that matter. That need, control and constant nag in the back of your mind. I can only shed some advice if so and that’s to use it.
Let it motivate you but not control you.
Let it empower you but not diminish you.
Let it liberate you but not betray you.
It can honestly be a good quality to possess if you choose to embrace it. Enjoy the perfectionist in yourself as I am choosing to do so in myself. Happy perfecting.